Junior Boys Rugby
Individual talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships, and with the season on the line against a worthy competitor, we were all going to lay it on the line. As Brentwood’s Colts had many hard-fought and gruelling games, many of which were rewarded with wins, the most crucial game of the junior boys’ season, one that determined a berth to the provincials, all came down against their arch rivals St Michaels.
Some bad blood has been spilled between the teams within this season. In our first game against them, we blew a big lead, eventually losing by a point. The provincial 7s tournament was no different, with SMUS dethroning us from winning a medal in the semi-finals, another close game. With a chip on our shoulder, we rolled into the haze of their small campus. The heat and dust of the sun pounded onto our black jerseys while we unloaded, and we knew it would be one grueling day for rugby.
With teams like this both armed with speed, size and talent, it was anybody’s game for the taking from the moment the game kicked off. However, our boys did not start off strong, and within the first minutes of the game, we let too many tackles slip by us, eventually letting them score an easy try. We hit them hard on the offensive end, but with a lack of ball movement and chemistry, we could not make any ground through their line. They were a well oiled machine, taking hits and getting back into the action like it was nothing. As the whistle blew for halftime, we were down five tries to none, our team dazed by the demolition SMUS’s colts caused us.
With both the opposition and the sun beating us down, things were looking grim, the door to making the provincials slowly closing. Our coaches, however, did not give up. With exhilaration and positivity, they breathed the life and competitivness back into us once more. As we walked back onto that dusty pitch, the game plan our coaches gave us stuck in our head. Mr. Bailey was stressing how “We need to fight fire with fire; we have the talent on this team that makes us good, but if we started to swing the ball out more and quickly rather than relying on (our most skilled players), the other team will be thrown off guard.”
And so we did.
We started to rely on each other more rather than our best players by passing out the ball. Soon we covered much more ground and, in small supplies, started to rack up a few tries. With a new mentality and atmosphere among our team, we suddenly became a wall compared to our tackling efforts in the 1st quarter, and we hardly let them by us at all.
There well oiled machine was soon breaking down on both ends, but in the adrenaline and sweat, time becomes a blur, and there was not enough of it to come up on top.
Even with a loss and losing the berth to the provincials, we held our heads high knowing it was a good season. The junior boys would like to thank our coaches, Mr Branchflower, Mr Bailey, and Mr Smith, for the great season they offered us.
Alex S, Whittall ‘19