Gropers continue golden run
THE Coffs Harbour Old Gropers may be returning to town today a little worse for wear after a big weekend of celebrating their tournament victories in the New Zealand capital of Wellington.
Competing in the World Golden Oldies Rugby Festival, the Old Gropers remained undefeated in their three matches for the week, with Friday's scalp being a local club that boasts Jonah Lomu and Tana Umaga among their ranks.
Captained by Steve Wirihana, the Gropers set up Friday's victory by playing a near perfect first 20 minutes, running into what the locals call a 'strong breeze', but was more like a gale-force wind.
Putting on four tries in the first stanza of play victory was virtually assured by the main break.
In the second 20, with the wind behind the Gropers' backs, a try apiece was scored before the Coffs Harbour team put some icing on the cake scoring another two tries to blow the scoreline out to an impressive 35-5 victory.
The game became heated at times but both teams showed good sportsmanship and finished up enjoying a fairly heavy after match function.
The World Championships have been a great experience for the Gropers.
The team performed beyond all expectations on their first major tour, playing some good rugby and making many friendships along the way.
With three games played over five days and any number of social functions to attend, most of the 150 teams that participated agreed that the tournament was demanding.
There were some major injuries suffered by other teams, including brocken legs and arms, but fortunately for the Gropers minor cuts and abrasions were the worst cases that medical staff had to treat.
Fresh from their success, the Gropers are already speculating that the team will reassemble in Edinburgh in 2008.