Fri, Jun 21, 2024 2:32 PM

Rugby Dream Drives Golden Bay Pair


Jack Malcolm

Joining a sports team often means sacrificing some of your free time, but it's a whole new ball game for Angus Scotland and Gordie Langford.

The two Golden Bay High School students spend hours on the road every week, travelling to practice and play for the Waimea Combined Barbarians.

With training on Tuesdays and Thursdays on top of a game every weekend, the pair have been notching up the miles as they make the three-hour round trip multiple times a week.

Every second weekend, when the team plays an away game, the pair stay in Nelson after training on Thursday at a teammate's house before travelling on the team bus.

For Gordie (16), the decision to play in the team was the natural next step in his journey to wanting to play the game professionally.

Having played for the Takaka U15 and Nelson Bays U16 representative squad last year, he says he considered boarding at Nelson College, but it wasn't the right fit.

For Angus (18), also in his first year with the team, he wanted to play some "proper rugby" after playing in the local U17 age-grade competition last season.

With his parents not letting him play senior rugby for Takaka in the second division, he says it's been a natural fit joining the Barbarians.

"It's a really great culture. Everyone here wants to play.

"Right now, I'm playing it for fun."

But, having broken his hand in the build-up to the season and injuring his shoulder in his first game back, Angus hasn't had as much game time as he hoped.

For Gordie, who moved into prop from the loose forwards last year, making the team is the next step in his rugby journey.

While he's "slightly realistic" about playing professionally, he says he doesn't want to leave any stone unturned.

"I need to do a lot more in the weight room, and I've started a bit.

"It's quite a different game [at this level]. You're playing your own position instead of covering for people."

Angus and Gordie's parents share the duties of driving the two boys back and forth, and the pair wants to thank them for the countless hours they have spent on the road.

As for the missed schoolwork? They say they're doing a bit more homework than they've been used to, but it's worth it in pursuit of their sporting ambitions.

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