Ross, GCVI senior rugby boys tie one on
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – Two teams trying to atone for their 2016 seasons in the District 4/10 high school senior boys’ rugby league remained tied atop the league standings as the Ross Royals and Guelph CVI Green Gaels battled to a 17-17 standoff Thursday at Ross.
While the Gaels lost all six of their regular-season games last year, the Royals had a good run to head into the playoffs tied for first with the eventual champion Erin Raiders with a 5-1-0 record. The Royals were bounced from the playoffs with a 17-14 loss to the Centre Wellington Falcons in the semifinals.
“The first meeting we had, that was the first thing we talked about,” Ross coach Jim Granger said. “We always set goals at the beginning of the year and we didn’t get the job done last year. We didn’t play our best game. If we get beat and play our best game, any coach can handle that. But if you don’t play your best game and it’s in the semis, you’re not going to win in this league.”
Following Thursday’s stalemate, the Royals and Gaels have identical 3-0-1 records.
While the Gaels rallied from a deficit to tie the game, GCVI coming on at about the same time rain started to fall in the second half, the Royals didn’t leave their own field disappointed.
“It’s real encouraging,” Ross captain Quintin Kleppe said. “We played extremely well against them.”
“I asked my guys to compete and they actually competed and did everything I asked them to do,” Granger said. “We just didn’t get the outcome we wanted. That’s just a hard-fought rugby game.”
Both teams knew they’d been in a battle for the first time in league play this season and chances are they’ll meet again in the playoffs.
“By far our toughest (game), other than tournaments,” Granger said. “They’re well coached and they’ve got a bunch of gamers out there that I’m nervous about before we kicked off. I thought we minimized them pretty well and we ran our game plan. I thought we made some pretty big mistakes that we can fix, but that’s two teams in a tie game.”
“Hands down, this was our biggest challenge,” Kleppe said. “GC and CW, they play very similar — smashmouth. It’s a tough tie.”
Both teams also left the field knowing what they needed to work on for the next time they meet.
“You get exposed a little bit when you play good teams like this,” Granger said. “I think they out-rucked us, but we can tighten that up a bit and if we clean up some balls and run our game plan a bit more, then we would’ve done a bit better. But I’m happy with the outcome. That’s two good teams.”
“We got a card because of breakdown penalties,” Kleppe said. “We play again on Monday and then the next whole week, we’re just practicing breakdown.”
Seamus Harvey had a try and a convert for Ross while Chris Kelterborn and Josh Gordon each scored a try.
Simon Chaves had a try and a convert for GCVI while Josh Tran and Devyn Struyk added one try apiece.
Erin 33 Centennial 5
Danny Webber had a try and four converts to lead Erin while Jacob Jones scored two tries and Nathan Macaraeg and Pat Ellison scored one apiece.
Curtis Anderson had a try for Centennial.
Erin 24 Wellington Heights 0
Hannah Beaumont hit for two tries and two converts for Erin while Danielle Tutt also scored two tries in the game that was rescheduled from last week.
Ross 62 Guelph CVI 0
Jasmine Ing hit for a try and four converts for Ross while Victoria Liebig scored two tries and Courtney Ing added a try and two converts. Contributing one try apiece in the game played in pouring rain were Kennedy Queen, Maddie Gundy, Hana Stone, Emily Frasson, Kiersten Bell and Aliesha Lewis.
Bishop Macdonell 51 Wellington Heights 0
Christina Nadalin collected two tries and two converts for Bishop Mac.