Centre Wellington runs into senior rugby semifinals
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
FERGUS – The Centre Wellington Falcons continued working on moving their game from a bruising straight-ahead style to a quicker outside game and it paid off with a 29-12 victory over the Centennial Spartans in District 4/10 high school senior boys’ rugby quarter-final play Tuesday.
“We’ve been working on getting them to move the ball as opposed to keep crashing it in the forwards so, especially in the first half, they were moving the ball wide and getting it out to the guys that can run,” Centre Wellington coach Steve Shier said. “We got a little sloppy and lackadaisical in the second half, but when you’re ahead that far, it doesn’t really matter.”
The Falcons jumped ahead early while the Spartans closed the gap a little by scoring both of their tries in the second half.
Centre Wellington figures it should use the speed of Bowen Wyminga to its advantage.
“That’s kind of been our focus,” Shier said. “You’ve got a weapon, use it, so get the ball out to him.”
Wyminga had two tries and two converts in the win while Jax Fletcher, Griffin Ireland and Connor Livingstone each added one try.
Trent Fleming and Wyatt Shantz scored a try apiece for Centennial while Cameron Clark had a conversion.
With the win, Centre Wellington advances to play the Guelph CVI Green Gaels in a semifinal match at the University of Guelph’s Varsity Field Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be an extremely tough game, very tough,” Shier said. “We’ll actually have to play better than we did today. I expect my guys to be ready.”
The Falcons finished the regular season in third place in the six-team league with a 3-2-0 record. GCVI and the Ross Royals posted identical 4-0-1 marks. Both GCVI and Ross yielded 29 points, but Ross was awarded first by scoring three more tries than the Gaels during the regular season.
Erin 31 Centre Dufferin 12
The Raiders went to Shelburne and came away with a bit of a surprise in the other quarter-final.
The Centre Dufferin Royals had finished fourth at 2-3-0 while Erin was fifth at 1-4-0. However, the Raiders had scored 14 more points than Centre Dufferin during the regular season and had given up two points less. Centre Dufferin had won the regular-season meeting 26-17 in the opening mini-tournament.
Justin McLaughlin scored a pair of tries for the Raiders Tuesday while Tafari McKenzie, Evan Ridley and Moses Santos scored one apiece. Danny Webber had three converts.
Brandon Anthony and Troy Henderson scored a try each for Centre Dufferin and Caleb Jonker had a conversion.
The Raiders advance to play Ross at Ross Thursday at 3 p.m.