Royals’ senior rugby season comes to a close
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Ross Royals saw their high school senior boys’ rugby season come to a crashing end Thursday on their home field when they were dropped 55-0 by the St. John’s College Green Eagles of Brantford in a CWOSSA AAA qualifying game.
“They’re a very strong team,” Ross coach Jim Granger said of St. John’s. “They’re well coached and they’ve got a lot of fifth-year guys that I’ve seen for a long time now. They spin the ball wide and move it and they organize really well on the stuff and it shows. They’re talented and they’ll do well at CWOSSA, I think.”
St. John’s joins District 4/10 champion Guelph CVI Green Gaels, St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener, Waterloo CI Vikings, Brantford CI Mustangs and Sir John A. Macdonald Highlanders of Waterloo at the CWOSSA tournament set for next Wednesday and Thursday at Brantford.
“We’re banged up like everybody and that’s a bad excuse,” Granger said. “We’re really banged up and it sort of showed in that game. They had the wind the first half and really took it to us.”
Although it was a disappointing final week of the season for the Royals with losses in the league final and the CWOSSA qualifier, the campaign was still a satisfying one. They finished tied for first in the D4/10 loop with GCVI with identical 4-0-1 records and the Royals won their semifinal 34-14 over the Erin Raiders.
“We had a good season,” Granger said. “We had a 17-all draw (in the regular season) with GCVI, we finished first and we were a couple of passes away from winning the D10 championship.”
Looking ahead to next year, the Royals will have to make a few adjustments to account for players moving on.
“We lose some key players for next year so that’s going to hurt,” Grangers said. “But our juniors coming up are really strong and the guys coming back have a lot of heart and stuff like that and a lot of talent. There’s lots to work with for sure. Hopefully we get back because we’re two years without having that (D4/10) championship plaque. I’d like to get it back in our house.”
Ross last won the league final in 2015. Erin won it last year and GCVI took the final this year.
St. John’s also won a AAA junior qualifier Thursday as they defeated the Centre Wellington Falcons at Fergus.
The Green Eagles move on to next week’s CWOSSA AAA tournament at Brantford where the junior field is almost identical to the senior field. The D4/10 representative is the Ross Royals while the Kitchener-Waterloo CVS Raiders are in the tournament and Waterloo CI is not. The other four are the same – St. John’s, St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener, Brantford CI Mustangs and Sir John A. Macdonald Highlanders of Waterloo