The Menzies College First XV battled Bromsgrove School in a muddy clash on Tuesday.
The team from Birmingham, England first travelled to Hong Kong for a match against a local secondary school, before arriving in Auckland, where it played against Kelston Boys’, losing 35-7.
Duncan Murphy, accompanying his son Harry (15), a Bromsgrove player, said the team had won the National Schools Cup twice and was runner-up this year.
Team members were having a great time on the trip, Mr Murphy said.
“They love New Zealand.
“They have found the players more physical, with stronger forwards. It is really testing them, especially the forwards,” he said.
Harry said he had never seen a No8 sidestep until he came to New Zealand.
“We have to run the ball a lot more than we would in England too,” Harry said.
Bromsgrove went on to the field extremely determined and put 17 points on the board in the first 30 minutes, while Menzies sat on three thanks to a penalty.
The Menzies side has been dominating its local competition so far this year, but this did not carry over to the match against the English side.
Menzies soon became undisciplined and messy, players arguing on the field, allowing Bromsgrove to continue to dominate the game.
Menzies players tried to marshall some discipline, yelling “get it together guys” and “wake up Menzies”.
Menzies did not take the pressure well and the game descended into brawls on several occasions.
Bromsgrove led 24-3 at halftime.
The Menzies side obviously received a grilling during the halftime team talk and came back on to the field much more energised.
Mr Murphy said Bromsgrove captain and centre Oli Lawrence was in the England under-18 team.
“He’s really quite good,” he said.
This was backed up as Oli scored the next two tries and widened his team’s lead to 36-3.
Menzies’ new-found determination to get the ball on the line helped its players work better as a team and gave Bromsgrove tougher competition.
Menzies’ extra push paid off, Campbell Heads (17) starting to run the ball and hurdling Bromsgrove players.
Menzies finally put the ball on the line and converted it, resulting in what was the final score, 36-10.
The Bromsgrove team showed fantastic form and executed well-planned play, giving the Menzies side much to consider in terms of its weaknesses and how to work on them.
However, the Menzies players still drove hard and were on the ball, and their forward pack was great and gave Bromsgrove a run for its money.