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Tour a positive experience — Calow

The Bermuda Under-17 rugby tour to England was an eye-opening experience for coach Patrick Calow.

Calow took a 26-strong squad for the weeklong trip where Bermuda played against a variety of club sides.

The team lost three of their four games, but despite that Calow, who is the Bermuda Rugby Football Union's youth development officer, said the experience had been a largely positive one.

“I think it's only since I've had a couple of days to really sit and digest it a little bit that I realise it was a pretty special trip,” Calow said. “At the time you're really focusing on what's in front of you, making sure we make the most of the opportunity.”

Heavy defeats at the hands of Old Albanians and Wimbledon bookended the tour, with a loss to Brighton and the solitary win over Teddington sandwiched in between.

While there were frustration for Calow in certain elements of the performances, his side's willingness to play until the end and the lessons they learned balanced out the downside of losing.

“It took a long time for the guys to wake up to the weather,” he said. “It really took them some adjusting, and no matter what training we did, we could not prepare them to feel that cold, wind and rain.

“While that's frustrating, from an experience point of view, for them to actually be completely out of their comfort zone, where they had to be there for each other was good.”

Old Albanians, who are a feeder club for Saracens, and Wimbledon, proved to be Bermuda's toughest opponents, but Calow believes that will only benefit the Island's players. Old Albanians, meanwhile, produced a standard of rugby that pushed Bermuda to breaking point.

“Wimbledon were strong, and it was very much a case of losing the first half, but we won the second,” Calow said.

“While that's a real positive where they [Bermuda] finished strong, the bad thing was that the whole first half was a shock to the system.”

Eye-opener: Bermuda Under-17s learned plenty from their four-game tour of England

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Published April 10, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 10, 2015 at 1:59 am)

Tour a positive experience — Calow

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