Junior Rugby Splits Opening Day Double Header
The Junior Boys Rugby Team is an army this year. Forty two players comprise two teams, and on Thursday we headed up the road to Shawnigan Lake School to test ourselves. We did well; our A team battled bravely against a much more experienced opponent, falling 21-46, while our B team, up on the top pitch, way out the back there, rampaged to a 38-24 win.
Most of the players are new. They are soccer players and basketball shooters and erg pullers, but they like the rough-and-tumble of rugby. Some have taken to it like they’ve been playing all along; they lean into it, weight on the front foot, eyes up and wide.
In our A game, Jack NG led the way on both sides of the ball. He marshalled his backline on attack and scrambled on defense, and scored our initial try, for which he added the extras. Also dangerous was Stephen I, who scythed through multiple defenders and linked well with teammates. Shawnigan, to their credit, were a well-drilled team who stretched us often and often had us grasping at shadows. At half time we were down 7-33. In the second half we found some rhythm; we organized our backline defense and were more robust at the rucks. We built some pressure and scored two more tries, one to steady winger Ewan H and another to prop Gavin VO, both converted by Jack.
On the top pitch, the Bs outmuscled their opponents in a back and forth contest that had the mums and dog walkers engrossed. The charging runs of Nicolas P and Nicolas P (yes that’s right) had us going forward often, and the quick feet of Noel P had the SLS defenders staring at clean heels. At times, the squad allowed the game to devolve into a game of skill, but once they simplified things they re-established their momentum.
In all, a banner day of rugby all round. Next week, we play five games over the course of Thursday and Saturday, the marquee game against SMUS on Thursday at home in Gillespie Field.
Mr Phil Smith