Rugby re­turns to Con­cep­tion Bay North

The Compass - - SPORTS -

Rugby is beginning to make a come­back in Con­cep­tion Bay North af­ter a brief hia­tus. The sport en­joyed some suc­cess in the area dur­ing the mid to late 1990s. The Har­bour Grace Ma­raud­ers once fielded strong teams, which were very com­pet­i­tive with the best teams in the prov­ince at the time.

The team dis­banded be­fore the turn of the (21st) cen­tury and the rugby field be­hind St. Fran­cis School has been empty ever since.

At the beginning of the new school year Caleb Thorne and Randy Ralph, teach­ers at Carbonear Col­le­giate and both for­mer pro­vin­cial play­ers with New­found­land Rugby, formed a school rugby team, which has turned some heads early in the St. John’s Metro Rugby League sea­son.

The team trav­elled to Con­cep­tion Bay South Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 10 to butt heads with the Queen El­iz­a­beth II High Pi­o­neers, sur­pris­ing the home squad with a 31 - 0 victory.

An­drew Ralph led the team in scor­ing with 12 points on two tries and a con­ver­sion. Bran­don Par­rott and

Steve McDon­ald each scored seven points as they con­verted their own tries, while Greg Tay­lor scored one try for five points.

Pleased with his team’s per­for­mance, Coach Thorne pointed out, “what the Carbonear Col­le­giate Sen­tinels lacked in game ex­pe­ri­ence, they made up for in tenac­ity, team spirit, and tackling abil­ity.”

Two days later the Sen­tinels trav­elled to Mount Pearl Se­nior High to take on the Huskies on their home field. The game was very close and the tackling very hard as both teams pounded each other to gain an edge.

The Sen­tinels drew first blood on a try by An­drew Ralph. Ralph put the Sen­tinels ahead 7-0. A few min­utes later Jonathan For­ward scored the team’s sec­ond try, which Ralph was not able to con­vert.

Carbonear Col­le­giate en­joyed a sur­pris­ing 12-point lead. The lead did not last long as Mount Pearl re­sponded with a con­verted try and nar­rowed the

score to 12-7 at the half­time whis­tle.

The sec­ond half was a lit­tle one sided as the Mount Pearl Huskies took ad­van­tage of penalty af­ter penalty in­fracted by the Sen­tinels, which the vis­i­tors pinned in their own end for most of the half. The Sen­tinels lack of game knowl­edge re­sulted in nu­mer­ous vi­o­la­tions, which made them lose valu­able yardage. Ac­cord­ing to pro­vin­cial team coach Si­mon Blanks, “the fe­roc­ity of Sen­tinels tackling kept them in the game.”

Late in the match Carbonear Col­le­giate’s num­ber 8, Bren­dan Rose, was sent off for a danger­ous tackle, which left the team a man short. With three min­utes left in the game the Huskies tied the score 12 all on a try, which was not con­verted.

For most teams a score in the last min­utes would get play­ers down, but the Sen­tinels did not seem fazed as they kicked off the ball af­ter the Huskies scored. The kick was a quick one, which was quickly re­cov­ered by Ralph who ran the ball within 10 yards of the Huskies in goal. The Sen­tinels rucked the ball and drove to­wards the Huskies end with Greg Tay­lor touch­ing the ball down for a try with no time re­main­ing.

To add salt to the wound Ralph con­verted the try to end the game 19-12 in the Sen­tinels’ favour.

Carbonear Col­le­giate were sched­uled to travel to Mount Pearl again on Oct. 17 and 19 to chal­lenge O’Don­nell and St. Kevin’s for se­nior high school rugby supremacy. If they play as well as they did in their first two games of the sea­son, they could find them­selves in their in­au­gu­ral sea­son with a record of 4 and 0.

pho­tos cour­tesy of Frankie Ralph

LINE-OUTS - Sen­tinels’ Steve McDon­ald and Dwayne Maloney are lifted by team mates in a li­ne­out against Queen El­iz­a­beth II Pi­o­neers. The Sen­tinels rugby team blanked the Pi­o­neers 31-0 in their in­au­gu­ral match.

SEN­TINELS RUCK AND MAUL - Carbonear Col­le­giate Sen­tinels have fielded their first ever rugby team in the St. John’s Metro Rugby League. Play­ers are front row from left: Steve McDon­ald and Bren­don McCarthy. Mid­dle row: Adam Butt, Carl Clarke, Bran­don Par­rott, An­drew Ralph, Bran­don Par­sons, Rob­bie Rowe, Bran­don Gosse, Bob­bie Blun­don, Sea­mus O’Brien and Todd Nowak. Back row: Coach Kaleb Thorne, An­drew Chenard, Greg Tay­lor, Nick Ros­siter, Ben His­cock, Johnny For­ward, Dwayne Maloney, Bren­don Rose, Matthew McCarthy, Mark Cole and Coach Randy Ralph.

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