Day 15 Saturday 3rd August 2019.

Day 15 Saturday 3rd August 2019.

Early morning call at 6:45am. First port of call – the TV to check on the test. Well done Rory Burns, an undefeated century has put England in a strong position.

I go to see the girls off – they are meeting at 7:55am for an 8:00am departure with their games at 9:00am and 11:45am. 8 of the girls are a little late arriving and look tired. As we said at the start, ‘successful touring is hard work.’

Mrs O’Sullivan works her magic with the bus driver and manages to book a coach to take the girls into Cairns after their matches for a bit of ‘retail therapy’ – I’m sure they’ll feel a lot better after that. The fee for the coach will be paid for from the central tour fund.

The boys have more of a lie in with their coach departing at 10:45am for games at 12pm and 1pm. They are in breakfast between 8:30 and 9am.

Two of the boys had been out of their room and in another boys’ room at just after 11pm. The boys whose room it was were also guilty of ‘telling a fib’ to cover it up. We decide that they’ll be on ‘laundry duty’ after we return from the games and will have to wash the two rugby kits so that they are clean for when we arrive in Sydney.

Will Steadman comes over to see me, he is still suffering from a tight chest and is wheezy – he is asthmatic and if not treated carefully then a cough/cold can change into something worse.
We decide it’s best to get Will checked medically. We go in a taxi at 9:45am to the Cairns medical centre. There is such a large queue that they close the walk-in section and tell us we need to go to Cairns A&E. A taxi takes us but it’s the wrong hospital and we make a 5 minute walk to the hospital around the corner.

We have a triage assessment at 10:30am and wait to be called. We go in to see the doctor at 12:40pm. They consider an x-ray to check for pneumonia, but in the end feel that he has caught a flu virus that is spreading through the area. They take tests and discharge us. They will phone with the results in an hour.

We are back at the hotel by 1:15pm. Will goes to bed. The girls arrive back from Saint Monica’s shortly afterwards. The hockey had played really well before going down 3-1. The netball had been well beaten by a strong side. Matters were not helped with the girls experiencing something that many teenagers struggle with – an early Saturday morning. Unknown territory for most of them! As such, the first two quarters of the game were not their best. However, their performance in the second half of the game was excellent and showed real improvement in particular from Grace Andrews. Arianna Yadollahi and Lucy Steadman both had good performances, showing real determination to fight back. Leah Hyatt meanwhile continued to impress with her positive attitude and provided the entertainment – she was so focused on marking her opponent that she forgot to watch where the ball was and ended up with it hitting her on the back of the head. As she quite rightly explained to her team mates, “Well, still stopped them from getting the ball, didn’t I.” Fair point, Leah!

The girls take the coach back into Cairns for some much needed ‘retail therapy.’
I ring to check on progress at the rugby. The under 16s won 12-7 and at half time the under 18s are trailing 19-7.

After about two hours I receive a call from the hospital-there’s good news and bad news about Will.

“What’s the good news?” “He hasn’t got the flu virus.”
“What’s the bad news?” “He’s suffering from something much more serious……..Man flu!”
It can be treated with paracetamol and plenty of water.

I go to Will’s room to let him know and he’s just devoured his externally ordered pizza and chips-it looks like he’s well on the road to recovery.

The boys return at about 4.30pm. The under 16s had won 12-7. Joe Hawkins-Cole had just recovered from a fractured wrist and was keen to be able to say he’d played on tour. An assessment confirmed that the wrist was good and Mr Thomas and Mr Cullen introduce him off the bench with 10 minutes to go and the scores level at 7 all. With only a few minutes left on the watch Joe dives over to score what turns out to be the winning try but in the process an attempted tackler slides in with his knees and makes contact with Joe’s ribs and back.

Joe has to leave the field and is in such pain that Mr Thomas decides he needs a medical assessment and takes him to hospital. Thankfully, the examination reveals nothing worse than bruising and back spasms. Certainly the injury is not bad enough for him not to be able to tell everyone who asks “How you did it?” That “It happened as I was diving over to score a try.”
The under 18s were playing St. Augustine College and eventually went down 24-12. They produced a creditable performance, but the view of the coaches at both games was that the boys looked tired-hardly surprising really, with us trying to pack so much in to such a short space of time.

Last night’s ‘night owls’ are duly despatched to the launderette with the rugby kits. The washing goes well and there is a timer on the washing machine that lets you know when it’s finished-The drying machines prove much more complicated for some. Once loaded, surprise, surprise, you need to push the ‘start’ button. This second step proved too much for our nocturnal miscreants-well their brains were clearly suffering from sleep deprivation and they sat watching an inoperative dryer for half an hour only to be alerted to their error when another resident came along and asked them how much longer they would be as he needed to dry his clothes-a check of the washing confirmed that they still had quite a while left!

The girls return from their shopping extravaganza full of smiles-retail therapy can be a cure for all sorts of aches, pains and tiredness.
We arrange to meet in the foyer at 7pm to walk to the ‘Brothers’ restaurant. We enjoy the same buffet as last night and certainly all get value for money.
Mrs O’Sullivan settles the bill, which is again just over £1,000, from the Central Tour Fund and we return to the hotel by 9pm. There is some free time before an 11pm curfew. Shortly afterwards the staff check the rooms and all is quiet.

The cricket is on in my room and England are collapsing, but Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad ensure we have a first innings lead of 90.

Back home Gowerton are playing Llanelli in a vital game-I hope the lads are on top form.
Tomorrow we fly south to Sydney for the last leg of our trip.

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