Herbie completed his program in Australia by scoring 2 tries enabling his team Burleigh Bears to clinch the under 15s premiership title. For a 14 year old boy who is in his second full season of Rugby League to travel to the other side of the world and earn the respect of his Australian team mates and coaches alike in such a short space of time plus winning a premiership title was beyond all expectations in a emotional after game farewell the Australian boys were visibly upset as loosing Herbie who has made a lasting impression of everyone who he has encountered in the southern atmosphere.
Herbie became the first English schoolboy to have carried out such a achievement but his temperament allows him to take it all in his stride unfazed by it all. Herbie was a VIP guest of Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos, Sydney City Roosters, and South Sydney. He attended the South's training sessions and spent the morning with coach Michael McGuire and the Burgess brothers who are pictured with Herbie. Greg Ingles also spent time with Herbie.
At Sydney Roosters Herbie met up with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams. At the Broncos the likes of Sam Thraiday. Former St Pats Player Sam Tomkins spent time within Herbie in Brisbane giving Herbie his training top Sam spoke affectionately about St Pats.
Herbie has been invited back next year to play for Burleigh Bears in the tough competitive Queensland league. Four NRL clubs are showing great interest in Herbie he has also been invited by them to return next season and play for their under 16s this is certainly a Honour indeed as most of these players selected for these top professional teams are either state of origin or international players.
What did Herbie learn from such a demanding pioneering tour?
The Australian players appear to more switched on they are focused on the task in hand, they play and train to a rigid structure. they have quick acceleration in the first 10m each game was won by not more than 6 pts. making each game very competitive. Taking all into account Herbie was playing the year above he felt the tackling to be much stronger and the runners more powerful but he is fully aware because of the age gap this has to be expected, but in relation to skill Herbie felt the English boys were as skilful in some cases more skilful. Herbie felt that the Australian teams are prepared to battle it out with a game of patience, the will continue to plug away at certain areas until there is a breakdown. one thing for sure Herbie has had a marvellous experience everyone being so helpful and kind the competition was tough but off field Herbie and the English game had gained so much respect Herbie had certainly flew the English flag for Wigan St Pats and done everyone proud, He himself will have gained so much from this unbelievable journey. A short break then Herbie will look forward to returning to St pats to finish the under 14 season off.