The Sarnia Saints hosted the Churcher’s College senior rugby team from Petersfield, a market town in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire, England.
Sarnia was one of their third stop in their 2013 North American summer tour. The team previously visited Chicago and Cleveland and on Saturday will head to Toronto area and play against the Aurora Barbarians and Team Ontario U18 team before returning home.
“Were having a great time” Churcher’s College coach Ben Seal said. “We game across the border and the weather improved, it’s less humid and colder which we like. Our hosts have been marvoless here, it’s been great.”
Interesting to note that Coach Ben Seal came to Sarnia in 1991 as a player.
“It was odd to see the scheduling.” Seal said “I thought I played those guys, I was sure of it and I had to check, our plaque is still in the bar.”
The Churcher’s team ages 15 – 17 arrived with their four coaches on Thursday in Sarnia and on Friday enjoyed a day swimming at the lake and a BBQ at the Suncor Rec Centre.
“It’s really enriching for our kids to meet kids from another country and most of our kids were able to billet one or two of the guests” Sarnia Saints Club President Chris Groombridge said.
Before arriving in Sarnia Churcher’s College was 1 – 1 in Rugby play. Churcher’s defeated the Illinois Tornados 17 – 7 in Chicago and lost to Celtic RFC 19 – 3 in Cleveland.
“It’s different, it’s always different interpretations and you try to understand the breakdown and get our heads around it. We’ve had a couple of problems there but hopefully we are getting there.” Seal said
On Friday night Churcher's College improved their record to 2-1 after defeating the Sarnia Saints U18 team 41 – 5.
“I’m pleased, they played it well, the best so far on this tour.” Seal said “I thought Sarnia was incredibly competitive and fought hard the whole game. Yes it was a good game of rugby.”
The Sarnia Saints U18 team was formed two weeks prior to Friday’s game.
“We have a mixed team from each of the high schools and most of them never played before until this year. It’s good to play sports with guys from other teams and you just get more out of it.” Groombridge said
As Churcher’s College travels to Toronto on Saturday, the Saints are back in action on Sunday. Due to flooding of fields in London a last minute change was made and Sarnia will now host the team at Germain. Time not confirmed.