Redtails flew to New Zealand on the 29.02.2020 for a Cultural exchange and to verse New Zealand National Team on 4.03.2020
Redtails trip to New Zealand to verse NZ National Team
Itinery – Wednesday 4th March 2020 – Pre Game training & War Dance practice
The big day had finally arrived after 4 days of lots of travelling and tourist activities. One may have imagined that this could have caused the players to feel a little tired and low in energy levels. This was not the case with this group of 26 young men, if anything I think it seemed to generate and build up this cloud of electric positive energy around the group that seemed to galvanise them together as one, as a result of spending 4 days bonding together and supporting each other in activities that many had never experienced or thought they would ever be able to try or be a part of. If one seemed a little out of sorts or apprehensive about an activity, others would gather around them and encourage and support them through the event.
To fill in time after breakfast until lunch it was decided as a group to walk the 1.5kms over to the QBE Stadium and view the field that the game was to be played on. The lads were keen to have a run and kick even though a light rain was starting to come in. Staff at the AFLNT directed us to the Rugby field behind the stadium where we had permission to use and where the lads went through a warm up session before going through their War Dance and them running out some drills and a structured session. Happy with the release of some physical energy we all walked back to the Ramada Hotel for some free time before heading to lunch just next to the Hotel at the Coffee Club Ramada. This was all a great plan until we got to the Café to be informed that the power was out in the whole block. Our Hotel manager was brilliant in organising an alternative by phoning up a Restaurant at the Westfield Shopping complex to confirm that they could accommodate our group of 32 for lunch, so we walked another 1km over to lunch and back by 2.30 to do final preparations before gathering on our bus to be driven back to QBE Stadium at 3.30pm to prepare for the much anticipated game against the New Zealand National Team.
The energy in the change room was focussed with an element a desperate desire for the wait to be over and to just be allowed to get on with the job at hand, including being able to showcase an aspect of their own indigenous culture by performing our Redtails War Dance for the very first time.
Redtails defeated New Zealand 16-10-106 to 2-4-16 @ QBE Stadium - 4th March 2020
1st Quarter: The energy level after delivering our very first Redtails War Dance prior to the first bounce was like I have never felt from any squad prior to this day. It was delivered with unity, pride and belief in each other and honour to be representing their region. The physicality of the New Zealand side was felt as they hit hard with solid bodies letting our lads know they were here to play. It took all of the 1st quarter for our players to settle their nerves and direct that energy into structured play. We were lucky enough to slot the 1st goal by King as a result of some joint efforts by his fellow forwards Farrows, Adams, Marriott, Foster & Clarke. Great Ruckwork form Carlile to allow the effective work form midfielders Remfrey, Barry and D Abbott delivered straight to Foster for our 2nd goal. More brilliant work out of the centre with Lake alternating with Carlile in the ruck and creative ball work from Liddle, Sevallos, D Abbott, Barry, Remfrey, Wade Armstrong, Bishop & Dunemann allowed 3 more scoring opportunities with minors by Barry, Adams & King. Our defenders in Nash, Roberts, K Abbott, Forbes, Cole, Kennedy, Plummer and Doyle held their ground and delivered strong sound and decisive defence to any NZ entries containing them to 1goal 2 points allowing us a lead of 7 points after the 1st quarter. Cole retired from the game after a substantial collision and resulting corky.
Redtails 2-3-15 to NZ 1-2-8
2nd Quarter: The Redtails contingent settled into the structures they have trained with over the last couple of months gelling together as a team.Kennedy from the backline found himself upfield to kick our first 2 goals of the quarter, with NZ adding their solo goal in-between them. Our Defenders continued their strong and deniable line of defence with General Doyle issuing the incisive defensive manoeuvres to his troops, Nash, Plummer, Forbes, K Abbott, Kennedy and Roberts and always at the ready to gather the ball if it made it past his men. Across the centre, instinctual and intuitive ball movement was created by Remfrey, Clarke, Liddle, Sevallos, Barry, D Abbott, Carlile, Lake, Wade, Dunemann and Bishop to inject the ball to our forwards allowing Marriott, Barry and Armstrong to add 3 more goals for us, increasing our lead to 33 points at the halftime siren.
Redtails 7-6-48 to NZ 2-3-15
3rd Quarter: We commenced the 3rd term with just as much enthusiasm and desire to create as much forward activity as possible. King, Ford, Marriott, Foster, Armstrong, Adams and Farrows all working hard to open up corridors and create leads with 3 more goals to add to our score by Farrows, Ford and Foster, as well as minors by Marriott and Armstrong. The creative and strong ruckwork was continued by Carlile and Lake all over the ground, with the silky smooth gathering skills of Remfrey, Liddle, Bishop, Barry, D Abbott and Sevallos in continual motion and supported by their ever ready and evasive wingmen, Dunemann, Wade, Clarke and Adams. True to our Aussie military ancestry Doyle, Nash, K Abbott, Plummer, Forbes, Roberts and Kennedy battled just as hard in the backlines to keep NZ scoreless for the quarter stretching our lead to 53 points.
Redtails 10-8-68 to NZ 2-3-15
4th Quarter: Our final quarter was just as impressive as the others with our continued work rate and effort to run the game out to the final siren. No one backed off or released NZ from the strangled hold they had on them. Doyle continued to intercept, out mark and to read the NZ forward entries with precision directing his men and allowing NZ only a minor to add to their score. Which created many opportunities for the midfielders to create many more forward entries allowing Barry, Ford, King and Foster to add 6 more goals in total for our final quarter and a win by 90 points. It was a brilliant team effort where everyone played their role on the field with great voice, backup and comradery.
Redtails 16-10-106 to NZ 2-4-16
A massive Thank you to our wonderful Sports Med volunteers – Lisa Morgan & Julieanne Prior. The work they do is greatly appreciated and invaluable to allow our players to get the best out of their bodies at training sessions, in the game and to recover afterwards.
Thanks to Coach- Rob Clarke and Assistant Coaches- Darren Talbot & Ian McAdam, Runner- Ian McAdam. These Team Leaders do so much more than just instructing the team how to play, they volunteer their time to help mentor, guide and assist these young men to navigate their everyday lives and to develop healthy lifestyles and positive outcomes.
Redtails 16-10-106 to New Zealand National Team 2-4-16
Goals Scorers:- Shawn Foster -4, Travis King -3, Dylan Barry, Geraden Kennedy, Copelan Ford -2, Luke Farrows, Cody Marriott & Jordon Armstrong -1goal each.
Best on Ground:- Patrick Doyle, Joe Roberts, Gareth Remfrey, Dylan Barry, Peter Nash & Shawn Foster.
(Written by Alecia Clarke)
Redtails NZ 2020
There are so many memorable and values times that occurred before and after the NZ trip.
At trainings prior to the trip it was great to see who was committed and regularly attended training and gave 110%. It was good to see the excitement build as the event grew closer.
It was exciting to see how all the boys all bonded and were focused on a joint task. Yes, they were there to have fun but were focused on the task at hand.
With such a variance in age range it was good to see the older boys mentoring, looking out for and guiding the younger ones.
I must say at first i questioned ( not that it was something we had control of) why there were so may days of touring and activities before the game but on reflecting on the trip I think it was fantastic as it gave the team, whom many are normally opposition to bond and form together as one. It provided them with positive, fun experiences which all built to the game.
The fun factor was certainly ticked with the Luge and White water Rafting which for many provided an experience they have never had before and certainly not something they are going to experience at home ( and personally gave me the opportunity to push my comfort zone to the edge and do something I thought I would never do.)
I believe the Mitai Maori Village Show and Dinner was a really valuable experience. It gave the boys the opportunity to see and experience the Maori culture first hand and see how proud they are of their culture and traditions. In many ways their culture and heritage is something the boys can relate to and hopefully took home some valuable messages of pride that they can develop and pass on.
Seeing the boys practicing their dance initially, there was a mix of pride and embarrassment but on the day, standing in the gurneys, representing their families, their town, their pride…. They performed the dance with such power and heart showing ‘who they are’. Every player took to the field proud of who they are and where they come from. They were honoured and proud to show case a game that they love. When they kicked the first goal, their celebration said it all. It was fantastic to hear the support and encouragement that they all gave each other on and off the field.
I loved when one of the boys was telling me that he was giving advice and guidance to his opponent and directing him in what he needed to be doing. This showed that it wasn’t just about winning a game, it was sharing the love of a game.
On a personal level having the opportunity to take Matt home and spread his ashes on the land he was born to is something I will never be able to show enough gratitude for. The support and compassion from the boys that knew was very humbling.
By Lisa Morgan
The Redtails trip to New Zealand was amazing on so many levels.
Jam packed from the get go with the run for the Auckland flight,
* Bus trip to Rotorua stopping at Matamata
* Mitai Maori dinner and cultural presentation .......Hangi - huge amount of food and incredible positive cultural presentation from the arrival of the warriors to the singing, games and night walk
* the search for a training area and how the guys pulled together working on their dance
* soaking in the Polynesian hot pools and looking out over the lake, the spa PR people wanting pictures of the guys