Claremont’s Sevens Scrimmages
Thursday of last week, at approximately 12:25 in the afternoon, an assortment of Brentwood boys, grades nine to twelve, dashed from their respective houses trailing socks and rugby equipment necessary for the round of scrimmages being held at Claremont Secondary School.
By 12:30 everyone was organized, on the bus with a bagged lunch, and by 12:40 we set off. Earbuds and portable speakers brought music to the group of restless boys, who settled in for the lengthy drive, talking strategy, opponents, or simply napping.
On arrival we trailed off the bus, making camp in a corner of the lower field and beginning to warm up for the senior team’s first game against a formidable opponent: Shawnigan Lake School. Lineouts were organized, back rows made, and soon enough the first game of sevens was on! Brentwood battled hard when in possession of the ball but due to sloppy play and some lack of defensive commitment we came out of the first half down. The second half started with more intensity and we managed to score a try early in the seven minutes. The game ended with a loss, but sparked a conversation on the attitude carried onto the pitch, and a resolution to have more confidence in the future.
That future came fast and resolve did its work, as the next game starting with two quick tries scored through grit and team effort. As the game continued, the two teams went back and forth, playing a gritty and contact-heavy game, but Brentwood finished as the victor, an inspiring win that showed our potential. Quickly after the conclusion of that game we had our last chance to match up against Shawnigan, one we felt prepared for this time. A group of tired but determined boys walked onto the field to receive the kickoff, and start the game.
The Brentwood team had a fire that hadn’t been there in their first game, taking the ball hard into contact, not afraid to make big hits or tackles. As Brentwood pressed cracks began to show in the Shawnigan defence, leaving a gap wide enough for Ethan Y, Ellis ‘17 to slip through and score the first try of the game. Encouraged, the team regained possession quickly after kicking off to Shawnigan, and battled hard for the rest of the half, at two tries apiece. Unfortunately, Brentwood’s tired legs set in during the second half as we conceded two more tries to Shawnigan, but we gained respect through the discipline with which they played. The game ended with a loss of four tries to two, but as the team got back on the “bone-shaker” the mood was positive, as we look to build off of the experience gained at Claremont.
Keiran MH, Rogers ‘17