NZIS Taniwha 7s Rugby Team
November 2013 became the first time NZIS joined the international rugby playing schools in Jakarta. In the space of five tournaments spread over four months, these players transformed themselves and their school into something that everyone in NZIS can be proud of.
Initially because we only had 6 players, we sought to join with AIS and form an ANZAC team. Unfortunately that didn’t happen but we were able to forge a good relationship with our Australian neighbours.
However with the first tournament upon us at JIS, we managed to scrape together 8 NZIS players for the very first tournament. How the team came through with no serious injuries was remarkable. We finished a creditable 6th beating Global Jaya along the way. Itsuki however, can rightfully claim one of the funniest moments I have seen in sports when he joined the game against JIS, the ref said “ you cant play in glasses”…itsuki then said “ but I cant see”…with the entire sideline in hysterics including the opposition coaches, our advice “ just hold onto whatever’s in front of you”…the rest was a prized place in NZIS rugby history.
Out of 8 players, 5 had never played rugby before and 5 players were under 15 years of age, one was under 14 years, we were playing Under 18s. We survived and finished 6th, we moved onto SPH and we won the bowl final. Our next tournament at BIS, we finished runner up. We beat BIS 35 – 0, then we lost to the French school 5 – 8, then we had to come from behind to beat JIS 3rd team 15 – 10 in our semi, which meant we played the French School again in the final. We finished really strong but ran out of time losing a torrid battle 12 – 17. The result however was fantastic and the entire squad – all 9 players can hold their heads high. The start of 2014 saw us short of players as school had only started 3 days before and we only had 7 players for the Global Jaya tournament. The team however showed real courage and just lost to JIS A in the last seconds 13 – 18. The toll of just having 7 players at a tournament proved too big but they held on to beat JIS C to clinch third place. The final tournament was the SKYbattle tournament, which was an invitational tournament with clubs and schools throughout Jakarta. In atrocious conditions NZIS held their nerve and played smart 7s rugby to win their very first tournament. Many of the games were against teams, which comprised mainly Indonesian players and it was a great challenge for our players. Lionel Pandum was awarded one of the players of the tournament, this was just reward for a player who consistently all year had been outstanding for us.
This year, there is a real buzz around the team, we still have 8 – 9 players but they have a bit of experience now and the aim is to start a junior Under 13 team as well this year.
We have big hopes for the year and our seniors should leave nothing in the tank to achieve this.
Thanks to our seniors Gregor, our captain and Lionel, our go to man, Wisnu was amazing for us and hopefully we can keep Andrew for at least the first couple of tournaments. It is a big year for Katleho to grow as a player and plenty is expected from Rusley and Frank as our new plamakers. Itsuki needs to learn to keep his feet and Ruiri and Danny, our two youngsters, will be much better for last years experience. Whatever the results it has been fantastic to be able to offer these boys the chance to play for their school and work as a team.