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By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit
Sunday afternoon’s family-friendly kick off for the FxPro Super Rugby match against the Crusaders attracted a record numbers of HSBC Waratahs fans to spend the day at Allianz Stadium.
Soaking up the sun, thousands of young fans and families enjoyed the lunchtime skills clinic and signing session, before taking their seats for what proved to be a thrilling curtain raiser, as Australia overcame the top-seeded New Zealand Rugby Sevens squad.
With a record 13,000 people in their seats for the sevens game, the curtain raiser clearly went down a treat, as did the main game that followed. Although the home side couldn’t manage a third successive victory, the crowd enjoyed an exciting 80 minutes of attacking rugby that saw seven tries scored and only one missed kick in 15 attempts at goal. Also a hit was the opportunity for fans to Get On Tahs’ Turf afterwards, with thousands taking to the pitch for the chance to meet the team and get their match program and HSBC Flash for Cash flags signed.
For many the fun started hours earlier, with the chance to test their skills in front of some of their NSW heroes before meeting the likes of Drew Mitchell, Lachie Turner, Paddy Ryan, Rob Horne, Damien Fitzpatrick and Bernard Foley for photos and autographs. And as ever, Tah man was on hand to join in the action. One group of youngsters enjoying themselves birthday boy Lachie and three of his mates, two of whom also shared the same first name as their NSW hero, Lachie Turner.
Last Friday also saw HSBC Waratahs’ fan favourite Adam Ashley-Cooper join around a hundred Chatswood juniors and their families for an evening of rugby fun and skills at Beauchamp Park. Having recently teamed up with the area’s local Volvo dealer, Scuderia Veloce, Ashley-Cooper was keen to take part in his local Volvo Skills Challenge. The event was one of a series that will take NSW stars to a host of junior clubs around Sydney and that earlier in the week saw Rob Horne spend an evening with the Narrabeen Tigers.
The events were part of the HSBC Waratahs’ Community Connection program, an initiative aimed at bringing players and supporters closer together through a host of school, charity and community events planned for NSW across the season.
Last month also saw Sekope Kepu ‘Do time to keep kids out of crime’, helping to raise much needed funds for Belmore Police & Community Youth Club (PCYC) and youth crime prevention programs. One of a number of high profile sports stars to back the scheme, Sekope ‘did time’ in a make-shift PCYC jail cell at Roselands Shopping Centre, relying on fans, family and team mates to raise ‘bail’ in order to secure his release.
Photos from all events are posted on the Waratahs Facebook wall, with full details of forthcoming events available on our website at www.waratahs.com.au/CommunityConnection
Sat Mar 19, 7:40PM AEDT
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney