After last night’s fantastic win against a big, strong and physical South Sydney side, with coaches saying it was the most physical game of all tours to date, it was straight into a recovery session in the pool at Penrith this morning.
Day 15 – Monday October 23
Neil Kilshaw and Physio Johnny Skinner put the lads through some gentle exercises in the water to help relieve their sore bodies.
The sessions in the pool are always fun for all, especially Kelvin Taylor, our self-proclaimed ‘Eddie the Eagle’, possibly mistaking the popular British ski-jumper with the Sydney Olympian ‘Eric the Eel’ with whom he shares swimming styles.
The session was shortly followed by our usual morning after match BBQ breakfast.
The bacon, sausage and eggs done Australian style on the BBQ are certainly a hit amongst the lads and staff, especially Ben Sims who went back for seconds and thirds!
Today was then an easy but action-packed day as we headed off to the iconic Bondi and Coogee beaches to relax in the sun.
First up it was Coogee beach, a popular destination for backpackers from around the world, for the lads to relax and enjoy the sun.
Some lay around on the sand and some played in the waves including one lad who picked up a little sting on his hand by a jellyfish.
To his credit he knew exactly what to do, as he nipped into the toilets.
When asked where he had learned the remedy he said that he remembered his mum once getting stung and that his dad helped her.
When asked whereabouts she got stung he said: “I’m not sure, in Ibiza I think.”
Next it was a short hop on the bus to the world famous Bondi beach, where once again the lads enjoyed building sandcastles and paddling in the water.
After getting injured yesterday and needing to wear a leg brace, much to his credit, Evan Bullen enjoyed the day with everyone else.
On Bondi, he limped up to the rescue tower to see the lifeguards who gave him a special beach wheelchair to use; the sight of Christian Kellett pushing him along looked just like a Lou and Andy sketch from Little Britain.
A few of the lads took the opportunity to watch some of the impressive athletes who were training at the open-air beach side gym. Their strength and power was really good to watch as they completed their exercises and it must have just been a coincidence that they were all glamorous looking females.
The next short bus trip took us to one of our favourite spots to train in the Dover Heights region. It has spectacular views of the city – the site where a Fosters Beer television advert was once filmed – and it gave us the opportunity to get ‘hands back on ball’ and play a few small sided games.
The teams were picked earlier in the day, with Ryan’s Rebels, Hardman’s Hornets, Richard’s Roosters and Marshy’s Moaners battling it out.
In a close competition, Shaun Ryan’s rebels finished on top but nobody knows how. He claimed to have three wins and a draw from the three games that his team played in!
The journey back to our base at Cables in Penrith included a couple of diversions, firstly calling at Watson’s Bay and the Gap landmark before visiting Harry’s Cafe De Wheels for a tiger pie (Beef pie covered in mash potato, mushy peas and gravy).
The old famous pie shop has been frequented on every tour to date and was once voted as one of the top ten places in the world to eat.
Ryan Horne was excited at the prospect of a pie, so much so that when he got to the counter he asked for meat and potato as if he was at his local pie shop in his native Leigh.
After the first three performances and great wins the lads are growing in confidence day by day.
Days like today, when the lads are relaxing, having fun and enjoying each other’s company are essential and have really strengthened the team spirit as we look forward now to what is normally the toughest challenge of every tour, the Penrith Panthers.