Oz Tour Diary – Part One
The Robins' Academy are currently halfway through their trip of a lifetime down in Australia. There's been plenty going on for the boys and here we give you a behind-the-scenes look courtesy of part-one of our 'insider tour diary.'
Day 1 – The Arrival
The look on everyone's face on arrival and consequent allocations of rooms at the Academy would have certainly been a real sight for sore eyes. Lads in dorms of 5 and staff rooms either end of the dorms.
That was nothing compared to the wildlife that greeted the boys. Spiders, Possums, Parrots, Kookaburra's, Water Dragons, Snakes – even Cockroaches! The noise at first daylight was deafening. Welcome to the Australian Bush fellas!
Day 2 – The Long Walk to Narrabeen
With an early morning gym and conditioning session out of the way, the touring squad decide to partake in a gentle stroll to Narrabeen town. The advice given was that it was just 5 minutes down the road, follow the lake path and you can't go wrong.
Well, 4km later we arrived at Narrabeen town, gasping for breath and a bottle of refreshing water. Of course, 4km there meant also 4km back, so of the some boys jumped ship and got into a taxi whilst other brave souls did the walk back. Great team bonding session though! After another excellent meal, the boys hit the training field for another team session.
Day 3 – Big Session Day
The day started brightly with a nice comfortable, relaxing breakfast in the dining room before we were told that this was going to be a three session day! Gymnasium work was session one, this including SAQ, plays and wrestling. A top session was had by all and the lads had a real positive feel about themselves. The heat was really taking its toll though and the evening team run was a bit lack- lustre and flat due to fatigue, so the coaching staff called it a day and it was off to bed for the boys.
Day 4 – Semi Contact Game Against Wests Tigers – coached by a certain Drew Webster!
Today started with another gym workout for the boys who seemed to be working harder than usual for some reason. Maybe it was because the Manly 1st grade squad were strutting their stuff in there too. Must confess though, these Manly boys seem to have taken us under their wing a bit. Especially their strength and conditioning man called Donny (he's exactly like Billy, but more tanned and definitely has a different accent to Bill's).
It was then a light field session, with run through plays, then it was onto the bus to Leichardt Oval, the home of the Wests Tigers. We met up with Drew and the rest of the coaching staff, including the man mountain Paul Sironen. What a massive man he is! This was a special night for everyone concerned. Both sides integrated to do warm-up drills, then we played 3 x 20 minutes of semi-contact rugby league.
A fantastic time was had by all concerned. Rovers Academy scored two tries to one, but Drew was having none of it! The boys finished off with an integrated stretch, including the Balmain boys. Drew wound up our boys by stating that they always finish training by having a dip in the river which runs along the bottom of the training ground. It was close but no cigar for Drew as some of the KR boys jumped at the chance only to be told it was a wind up! Great day though.
Day 5 – Day Off (Rest Day) – well nearly
After an early morning conditioning session in the gym it was ‘R and R' time for the boys. On their day off the boys took time out to catch the sights of Manly along with the awesome sights that Sydney had to offer, including those picture postcards sights of the Opera House, The Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.
Day 6 – Beach Conditioning
The boys enjoyed a little lie in the morning, well aware of the gruelling session the coaching staff had in store for them down on Narrabeen Beach. What an absolutey awesome setting for training -playing conditioning games with the sound of the Pacific Ocean's surf breaking in the background! After the gruelling session the boys had lunch on the beach and a couple of hours ‘R and R'. The boys then took advantage of the waist deep lagoon to finish off their stretches with physio Dave!
The club would like to thank the following sponsors who all contributed to sending the young Robins on their trip:
* The Parasol Group
* JC Services
* Rovers Supporters Group
* Rovers' Ex-players Association
* Paul Luen
* Ian Kelly & Dave Fassioms
* And not fogetting Hull KR fans everywhere who have all made contributions at the many fundraising events!