Brentwood College & Rugby Canada
While many of us Brentonians were enjoying our winter holiday, a very special select few headed down south to San Diego with the U18 Canadian Rugby team. Hanno F, Privett ‘21, Ms Laurel Calhoun, and Mr Doug Branchflower all took part in Canada’s appearances against team USA, and South Africa at the World Youth Rugby Festival.
Mr Branchflower - a man of many talents - took charge of the Canadian teams as manager. Ms Calhoun joined his staff, taking care of the boys, with endless ice and tape at the ready as athletic therapist.
Hanno who proved to be a never-ending force on both sides of the ball. He started at blind-side flanker on Canada’s Team White and had himself quite the showing in his time down south. In San Diego - where the Canandian teams took on the two American opponents (Blue and White) - the Brentonian had a pair of stellar performances, against two strong American sides. He even earned himself Man of the Match honours against the superior of the two American squads - USA Blue.
For the last two days of their American tour, the team traveled to the City of Angels to compete in the World Youth Rugby Festival against teams from across the globe. Canada White faced off against South Africa in what turned out to be quite the show for anyone who watched. “South Africa was the Showcase game” Hanno recalled. “They were big and fast, but mostly they were rugby smart.” Hanno, who grew up playing rugby in South Africa, knew this beforehand, and knew what a challenge it would be for Canada. He reckoned the South Africa match was his favourite, and one of his best performances. “They spoke Afrikaans to each other” Hanno explained, “and lucky for us, I do as well. I was able to understand their plays, and I could always tell which direction they were going.” Hanno capped off the Canada/South Africa match - and his international tour - with the match-winning try, to give Canada the lead in the dying moments of a tough battle.
Congratulations to Hanno on his U18 call-up, to Laurel for her undying medical support, and to Mr Branchflower on managing two successful Canadian teams. All three look forward to helping Brentwood to another successful year of rugby as well.
Jack NG, Ellis ‘21