The 2006 rugby season for the men’s A team started off with a bang–the banging of heads in an all-out brawl when the Dinos took on the Calgary Canucks Wed., Sept. 20. The game, a 12-10 loss for the Dinos, was a hard-fought match focusing on the power of the Canuck forwards and the speed of the Dinos backs.
The game was overly scrappy with many questionable plays observed mainly on the part of the Calgary Canucks.
“In a game where the Dinos tried to play rugby, they came up short due to the forward power and guile of the Canucks,” said head coach of the backs John Long.
Simon Chi, another Dinos backs coach said they came out with a young squad this year. He was impressed the team moulded as well as it did, considering the small amount of practice time available. However, with all these young players on the Dinos roster, they put up a fantastic fight against an older and more experienced team in the Canucks, whose players also play for the Calgary Mavericks.
“We’ve been building up to this for a few years, and now we’ve made the jump up to the senior leagues,” noted Todd McBride, coach of the forwards. “Now that the guys have had a taste, I think they are more than capable of competing in this league.”
This proved true on Sat., Sept. 23 when the A team defeated the Calgary Hornets by a score of 27-24 and the B team toppled the Red Deer Titans 19-14.
The Dinos A team started off poorly at the Calgary Canadian Irish Athletic Club. The Hornets scored a try in the first minute of play giving our boys a wake-up call.
From this shake-about the see RUGBY, page 31
Dinos rallied back and put up 15 unanswered points due to great defence, characterized by good rucking, hard tackling and good use of their post, guard and first defensive strategy. The Hornets still had some sting however, and scored some more tries through the strength of their forwards.
The Dinos bent but didn’t break and added a couple more tries to secure the win.
“The Dinos played the game plan well,” detailed Long. “They scored some fantastic team tries.”
On a northward journey up to Titans Rugby Park in Red Deer, the Dinos B team put on a stellar performance against the Red Deer Titans. The boys posted a 12-0 score at halftime and kept the pressure on to squeeze out a win. The efforts on the defensive front, basic rugby fundamentals of post, guard and first on the outside of the rucks –with some good wrap-tackles thrown in–characterized the win. Defense was key near the end of the game when the Dinos gave up seven penalties which should have driven the Titans into the try zone, but the will to win strengthened the Dinos’ resolve.
The first week of the season is always the hardest, but with the early success of both the A and B teams it should be an exciting season.