Green Gaels aim to keep senior streak going
GUELPH – The Guelph CVI Green Gaels vow to keep their feet on the pedal in District 4/10 high school senior boys’ rugby league play.
The Gaels, winless in all six of their league games last season, scored their third win in as many league outings this year when they toppled the defending champion Erin Raiders 38-0 at Varsity Field Tuesday.
“The guys are working really hard,” GCVI coach Gary Robinson said. “The guys have been practicing hard and doing the work they need to do to get the job done.”
“We’ve really come together as a team, not just as rugby players but we’ve really come together as a team – like a brotherhood,” GCVI co-captain Aaron Pacha said. “We’ve really worked on our chemistry and it’s showing on the field as well.”
The Gaels needed to work on their chemistry as many had not been teammates with one another before. Most had played on a sports team before, but few had been together on a rugby squad before.
“We all come from different backgrounds in sports,” Pacha said. “Not many of us have ever played this sport before (last year). We’ve got a lot of football players on the team and a lot of wrestlers which is our key to success, our defence, and a lot of that has come from our six or seven guys from the wrestling team.”
While the Gaels have averaged just under 40 points a game, it’s their defensive play that they stress.
“We’ve put in some structure so we’re working hard on defence to make sure we’re maintaining ball possession,” Robinson said. “We’re letting the guys run and just playing a nice flow to the game.”
On offence, the Gaels are a collectively fast bunch and they like to use their speed.
“We like to set the tempo,” Pacha said. “We like to set the pace and say ‘This is how we like to play and you guys can play our game.’ If we’re faster than every other team, we’ll outrun them.”
The Gaels aren’t concerned that there might be a letdown now that they’ve followed a 0-6 season with three consecutive wins.
“We won’t let that happen,” Robinson said. “We know there’s great competition in the district and we take it one half at a time.”
“Our team, we’ve got the mentality that we’re hungry and we always want more,” Pacha said. “Every time we’re on the field, you’ll hear us say we’re down by one. In my opinion, we’re 3-6 right now. We’re not 3-0, we’re 3-6 and that’s how we look at it. We have those six losses under our belts. That’s what keeps us winning. That’s what keeps us wanting. We’ve had such a history of losing and we don’t want that. We know what it’s like to lose and now we know what it’s like to win and we’re going to keep wanting more.”
The win over Erin left Robinson with mixed emotions. This is his first year at GCVI after guiding the Raiders to five league championships since 2003.
“Fourteen years at Erin, starting the program there, it was a tough one so it’s a bit of a bittersweet win,” Robinson said. “Erin’s resilient. They’ll bounce back and they’ll keep coming. They’re a great team.”
Spencer Bond scored a try and added four converts for GCVI in the win while Dylan Bauer, Simon Chaves, Trevor Keough, Samuel Steinhauser and Joe Tran each scored a try.
Next up for the Gaels is a Thursday meeting with the league’s only other undefeated squad, the Ross Royals. While GCVI has outscored its opponents 114-7, the Royals have scored 126 points and held their three opponents scoreless. Game time at Ross is 4 p.m.
Ross 22 Centre Wellington 0
Chris Kelterborn hit for two tries for Ross while Leo Finoro had a try and a convert and Josh Gordon added a try.
Centre Dufferin 12 Centennial 5
Brandon Anthony and Mitchell Mobbs had one try apiece for Centre Dufferin while Caleb Jonker kicked a convert.
Curtis Anderson scored the try for Centennial.
Erin 25 Guelph CVI 20
Jordan Tutt scored three tries for Erin in the close match while Malcolm Alderdice and Ryan St. Dennis had one apiece.
Will Ireland and Anders Larrauri each had two tries for GCVI.
Ross 29 Centre Wellington 7
Ross scorers were unavailable.
Caleb Willmets scored a try for Centre Wellington while Ethan Kosempel added the convert.
Erin 24 Guelph CVI 10
Hannah Beaumont led Erin as she struck for three tries and a convert while Riley Miller also scored a try and Danielle Tutt added a convert.
Leksi Dawes and Sarah Ramage each had a try for GCVI.
Ross 53 Centre Wellington 0
Jasmine Ing connected for three tries and four converts for Ross while the Royals also received tries from Maddy Gundy, Aniela Breen, Emily Frasson and Aliesha Lewis.