Boys and Girls Touch Rugby Teams Crowned 2018 Champions in the SDRC

What a way to finish our International School Sports Calendar Year! The boys and girls Touch Rugby Teams have done it again, winning the SDRC Tournament in Guangzhou!

Against outstanding competition, the teams played with unbelievable skill and sportsmanship under the watchful eyes of Mr Wnek (Boys Coach), Mr Picker (Girls Coach) and Manager, Ms Zhang.

Thank you to all parents and wider school community that have supported the Touch Rugby Programme this year and we all look forward to 2019.

Please see below for the team reports.

Peter Wooden | Director of Sports and Activities


SDRC Touch Rugby 2018 Boys

With the high expectations and added pressure of defending their fantastic unbeaten run over the last two tournaments, the Boys 2018 AISHK SDRC Touch Rugby Team headed to Guangzhou with a mountain to climb having to play against some very successful schools which have significantly improved over the last few years.

With a squad of only 10 players to call on, and a gruelling schedule of 7 energy sapping games in two and a half days ahead of them against some of South China’s finest and largest International Schools, the team knew they had to dig deep and give it their best, and that they did in bucket loads.

The boys played hard, but fair, and reached the Grand Final after some sterling performances, again going through without loss. This left one last hurdle and the boys saved perhaps their best game until last, playing an outstanding brand of touch rugby to win the final 12 tries to 2.

To add to the remarkable achievement of winning the competition for the third consecutive time in such resounding fashion, the Boys team also were awarded the much-coveted Sportsmanship Award voted by the opposing teams. Rarely does a team win the “double” and it is a great credit to this fine group of young gentlemen to have achieved this honour.

Congratulations to every member of the team for their untiring efforts and commitment at countless training sessions leading up to the tournament, as well as the way they conducted themselves both on and off the field in Guangzhou. Luke Briscoe, Oliver Worker, Oliver Lopez, Jorge Cooney and Jack Larcombe were on their first SDRC Touch trip and represented the school with distinction. Special congratulations to Eshaan Balani and Ryan Boreham who were awarded the MVP awards for their great skills and inspirational leadership. Also, special mention to Jed Graham and Ben Bezencon for joining and helping the squad in the final week leading up to the tournament. Finally, congratulations also to Cooper Wnek, the youngest member of the team, for his outstanding contributions throughout the whole competition, but most impressively in the Grand Final scoring a record 6 tries and setting up countless others. All up, a truly awesome team effort.

SDRC Boys 2018 AISHK Champion Squad: Ryan Boreham 8H, Eshaan Ballani 8W, Oliver Lopez 8J, Luke Briscoe 8W, Jack Kirwan 8H, Oliver Worker 8W, Jorge Cooney 8E, Jack Larcombe 8E, Eli Morgan 8E, Jed Graham 7J, Ben Bezencon 7J , Cooper Wnek 6B

Mark Wnek

SDRC Touch Rugby 2018 Girls

How proud I was of my team. After only having a few training sessions, they bonded together like glue and supported each other. A quick trip after crossing over the border, the girls were ready to play. The first game was against SIS and we managed to put our training into practise. High scored against the opposition meant that nearly all team members scored. Next they played their arch enemy…AISG. Normally being defeated by them in previous years, the girls managed to draw 3-3. This put them in high spirits for the remainder of the tournament.

Friday saw them win all their games against UISG, AISG1 and QIS. This gave the girls a very healthy lead going into finals.

Under hot conditions and nasty smog, the girls took to the field to beat AISG. Some very tough refereeing and some ‘putting their bodies on the line’ to both save tries (Katija Shirley) and to score tries (Imogen Felton). Half time saw the girls only 1 try ahead 2-1. A bit of a pep talk on the side line revved them up to take out the tournament.

Victory was awarded when the third try was scored. AISG fell apart and knew that they were finally defeated after winning the tournament the last 4-5 years.

Many laughs and triumphs were had. All girls scored a try throughout the tournament. Special mentions go out to Bridie and Imogen for being the leading try scorers.

The following squad deserve a round of applause next time you see them in passing;

SDRC Girls 2018 AISHK Champion Squad: Imogen Felton, Charlize Taper, India Knowling, Bridie Spiller, Jessica Stapleton, Angelina Balintyne, Lucy Holt, Scarlet Knowling and Hope Spiller.


Ben Picker