Last days in Rome :(

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Florence & Siena

Caitie, Fossy and Emma and Ethan n Asher + more ect… – Florence was incredibly beautiful with its striking sites like the Duomo Cathedral and ancient architecture. The leather markets were definitely a favourite amongst the tour – the cheap prices and bartering made the shopping a bit different in a good way!

Lucy- Siena was absolutely stunning. I climbed to the top of the Torre Del Mangia which was a massive bell tower. The piazza square was beautiful and much bigger than i expected, it was nice to walk around the square and have a peep in the shops

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London – Venice catch up

So far the experience from this trip has provided us with many memories. We have to leave the city, Venice and make our way through Italy in a 4 hour bus trip to Pisa. We are so exited to get to see all the landmarks and get the opportunity to explore another city, yay.- Maddie

Asher – Highlight of London was seeing my fam

Jay – Highlight of Venice was buying a captain’s hat

Zac M – highlight of London was nando’s

Zac A – highlight of London was seeing Big Benos

Jacob – highlight of London was going to the massive toy store Hamley’s.

Danny – Venice was v nice, v cool

Nate – highlight of London was Big Ben

Emma – highlight of London was the shopping

Jackson D – highlight of Venice was getting lost in the backstreets for a few hours

Maddie – highlight of London was the shopping on Oxford Street

Luci – highlight is going out to dinner with the terrific ten! favourites include Claudia and Tegan

Liv – highlight of London was the shopping in Oxford street and the highlight of Venice was going on the Gondola with the girls and Stefano!!

Saxon- my highlight of London was the musical we went to called Les Miserables, written by Shakespeare of course. It was very exciting and I was on the edge of my seat for the whole 3 hours… just extraordinary. Hi mum, hi dad.

Ethan- highlight of London was COL TRAIN just being a straight up legend and the look on Nate’s face after his friendly encounter with the Manchester city fans

Tessa- my highlight of London was all the Pret A Manger organic food, shopping in Oxford street and dinner with the terrific 10! and I loved Venice and the two gondola rides :)) 7

Tegan- my highlight of London was the terrific ten dinners with the girls and being able to say I’ve caught a tube around London Underground.

Claudia – the highlight of London for me was getting tonsillitis…. I loved the food and exploring the streets of such a beautiful city and finding Victoria’s Secret with my best friends (the terrific ten). Highlight of Venice was my birthday shared with Caitie :))

Nathan- the highlight of London would have to be Oxford street and Hamley’s toy store :). The highlight of Venice was wandering the streets and going on a gondola.

Georgia – the highlight of London would have to be the shopping in Oxford Street and having dinner with the terrific ten! In Venice the highlight would have to be exploring new places and discovering all the pretty little streets of Venice!

Josh – the highlight of London was the sight seeing and seeing Big Ben and Camden Markets.

Bridget- highlight of London was dinner with the terrific ten and the shopping on Oxford street

Zoe – the highlight of London was the shopping on Oxford street and dinner with the terrific ten ! The highlight of Venice was exploring the streets and the fun gondola ride

Kyle-The highlight of London was going to the hella dodgy markets. The highlight of Venice was the amazing canals and eating pizza and gelato

Jackson B – the highlight of London was going to the Hamley’s toy store. The highlight of Venice was going on a gondola and having gelato.

Shannon – the highlight of London for me was definitely going to the theatre to see Les Miserables! Despite our mixed reactions of the play, I personally thought it was amazing! Venice highlight was going on a Gondola with some friends

Krystal – Taking a Gondola on the Grand Canal in Venice was definitely my highlight of the tour. I also really enjoyed meeting the other team from Gowerton and going to the beach. The shopping in Oxford St was amazing with so many different things to do and see.

Bella – The highlight of London for me would definitely be Les Mis, it was so incredible! Also, having dinner with my friends and the freedom we were given. Venice was so beautiful, exploring the city and riding on the gondola were by far my highlights.

Lucy: the highlight of England for me was seeing the family. Italy is so amazingly beautiful I’m loving all the markets and having fun with the others on tour. But my highlight for Italy was finally being able to go for a swim!!!!!

Court- my fav thing was going on the gondola :)

Tiana – The highlight of England for me would have to be the Manchester game! The whole atmosphere was amazing. I’m not someone who likes watching soccer but I would definitely watch another game :D

Laura- The highlight of England was all the shopping, exploring around and the free time. Also playing netball against other schools was a lot of fun. The highlight for Italy was eating gelato and sight seeing! :)))))

Caitie- The highlight of England was all the shopping, especially Oxford Street and the Camden Markets as well as seeing Les Mis. :))))))))))))))))))

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Gowerton Netball

The Mater B Netball girls played Gowerton’s school netball team. After a shaky start they eventually found the form they had shown so clearly the day before against Burford. From the 3rd quarter they started to take control and eventually ran away with the game 25-12. It was wonderful to see how much all of the girls had improved – especially those who had not really played much netball before coming on tour. Special mention to Tessa, Luci and Zoe who had the least experience and who worked so successfully to play in unfamiliar positions and catch up on all the rules. Our shooters Beccy, Tiana and Shannon displayed considerable skill and our workhorses Tegan, Bridget, Lucy and fearless leader Olivia never stopped chasing the opposition and encouraging their teammates. The B team should be very proud of their successes on tour. They improved every game and bonded more in friendship and team spirit.

The game against Gowerton proved to be challenging for our undefeated A’s netball team. The other team consisted of girls handpicked from the local senior club, Treforest, to represent Gowerton school. The Welsh girls played tremendously, giving it their all when defending our GS Bella Caproni, and we were worried when the score was even at half time. But all the girls dug deep and their fitness, despite it being their 4th game in 5 days, wore out the opposition and so we managed to come away with a win 38-29. The defence in the Mater Maria Team lived up to expectations, thanks to Maddie’s well thought out plays and impressive intercepts and all the mid-court players tireless efforts.

Overall the team’s spirit and determination was the highlight of the tour. All the girls worked together cohesively and showed great sportsmanship in all the games. They thoroughly deserve their new title of being the only undefeated netball team that has ever been on a European Tour. Congratulations A’s!!!

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Gowerton Rugby Report

Mater came up against the might of Gowerton for their last game as they chased an unlikely ‘grand slam’ against a school we have failed to beat on the other six occasions the two sides have met.
The boys were sore as they prepared for their fourth game in 5 days, but were mentally up for it to become the first undefeated touring side. Gowerton played as they always do, tough, hard and fast, as we scrambled to contain both their forwards and backs, before two small lapses in concentration allowed Gowerton to go into the break 14 nil up. When Gowerton went up by 21 early in the second half, it looked like we were going to be playing for pride. After fighting for every line out, scrum and the brutal efficiently of the opposition at the breakdown, Don Amir made a one on one try saver holding up their biggest player over the try line. That was the turning point. Mater’s fitness began to show as we began to get some continuity in our forwards and our backs began to make line breaks. They couldn’t contain Jackson Borg. Jay Moltzen and Ethan Farmer were flying into the rucks. Zac McSweeney was suddenly the most dangerous player on the field. With 15 minutes to play, Josh Foster barged over from close range, and when Zac Anstee scored in the the corner a few minutes later (beautifully converted by Nathan Williams), it was 21-14 and game on. From the kick off, Nate Laing, broke the defence and ran 40 metres downfield. Mater got the pick and drive going, and Laing finished off what he started by scoring under the posts. It was 21 all, with three minutes to go, but it still wasn’t finished! The boys pushed up field once more and cool as you like, Williams slots a 30 metre field goal to steal the match! 30 seconds later, time gets called on an amazing 24-21victory.
In all our years at Mater, the staff have never seen anything like it. There would have been no shame in losing 21 nil against such a good side, but to win with so much riding on the game was unbelievable. We have our first ‘Invincibles’ touring team and the staff couldn’t be prouder. What began as an early training session on the sand dunes on Narrabeen beach in February, ended with perfection on sunny day in the south west of Wales.
Just about every player could have been up for man of the match, so we awarded 2
Kane McQuiggin for his outstanding leadership of the forwards and Nate Laing for his energy and work rate around the breakdown (and match winning try!)
As the sporting part of the tour ends, both the boys and girls have represented their school, their families and their country with distinction.

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Burford Matches Report

Mater Maria v Burford
The boys were feeling a little flat when the whistle began the game, but Burford were well and truly up for it. Mater were losing our scrums, line outs and were dominated at the breakdown before Burford went 5 nil up. Mater began to warm into the game and the set pieces improved. The ball was spread wide quickly off a line out and Jackson Dawe sprinted 50 metres to even the score. A Nathan Williams penalty nudged us ahead by 3 before Burford hit back sending us into the break 12-10 behind. Burford kicked an early penalty in the second half and with Mater running up hill and into the wind, we were frustrated by a lack of continuity and some little mistakes. Burford were strong at the breakdown and with 12 minutes to go, it was looking grim. Mater kept trying with Kyle Valla, Bryton Caldwell and Danny Smith suddenly gaining the ascendancy at the breakdown. The backs began to look dangerous and Zac McSweeney put Saxon over in the corner. Nathan Williams kicked a fantastic conversion to put us up 17-15. Three minutes later, the forwards marched us up the field before the backs put on a well trained move which put Taquin Fahey under the posts. In a frantic last few minutes, Burford kicked a penalty and threatened, but Mater were up to the challenge and held on for a 24-18 win. It was a memorable come from behind win, which now makes them the most successful touring team.
Man of the Match: Nathan Williams. He was tough in defence and guided the backs professionally. His kicking was also outstanding.
Next up we come against Gowerton, traditionally the toughest game to complete the grand slam!

Netball B team: Burford vs Mater

Yesterday the Mater B team made our way to Burford School to play the Burford B netball team. It was a really good and fast game with outstanding defence from both teams even though we have just learnt about defence. All the Mater girls played amazingly and we had some really good moments, we’ve figured out how to play and work together as a team which is starting to get us very far in our competition. The players that stood out were Shannon Moore in GS. She worked the court brilliantly especially with it being her first time shooting, she got 98% of her goals in which put us in the lead. The end score was 25-4 giving the Mater B team our first win.

Netball A team: Mater vs Burford
The A team has had a very successful tour. We have been able to come together as an experienced, talented squad and pulled away with two wins and a draw to the top teams in England.

Yesterday we versed the Burford A team and with skilled persistence and patience in our game we were able to come away with an outstanding result – winning 66-12. The mid court were able to take control and drive the ball throughout the centre third, which massively contributed to being able to secure the win. Shout out to Claudia Mete for playing an outstanding game and leading the team to victory. Not only through the efforts of the mid court but there were phenomenal efforts shown in the defensive circle. The defence players were undoubtedly one of the reasons we pulled through to win by such a large margin. They continually intercepted the ball, snatched the rebounds and blocked out the players from even having the glorious opportunity to shoot for goal. Not only through Maddie Hartmann’s guidance in the circle Caitie and Georgia followed her leadership and worked well in an unstoppable three way combo.

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Stratford-upon-Avon

Climbing trees ...

Climbing trees …

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