September-25 saw the U16-boys compete in the TIRF 7’s tournament at Sunnybrook park. The games in the pool stages proved tough battles for the Crusaders team, who were initially a little too-casual in the tackle, and allowed the Aurora-Barbarians team to pull out an early-lead in their first-round game, but a stiffening-of-the-resolve gave opportunities to the Crusaders team to run-in a couple of scores to secure a late-victory. The Cru team showed a stronger defensive-line in their remaining pool games, pressuring the opposition hard, and stealing loose-ball to gain possession. Then running some fine support-lines, together with unselfish off-loads, to generate some excellent tries for the Crusader’s boys, who came away with successive wins over Toronto-Scottish, and Balmy-Beach – The highlight being a superb feigned-drift and delayed inside-pass by Nicolas Miquelarena, onto the charging Dimitri Kastilieris, for a sublime score.
By topping the pool, Crusaders U16-boys advanced to the final, which seemed-like a re-run from last-week’s Q-meta cup, with Crusaders facing Brantford-Harlequins (Jesters). A tough match up saw the Cru gain an early foot-hold, with a couple of fast-scores, but once again it was the tenacious defensive-effort that “won-the-day” – The Brantford team seemed to be gathering momentum, and a well worked move, saw a superb break from the Jester’s speedster, who out-paced the Cru-team to run 80-metres to what looked surely to be a “TSN-turning-point” try in the corner. But it was the determined cover-defence of the Cru-players, particularly Aidan Muldoon and Carter Horan, dragging down the attacker just inches from the Cru goal-line. With the Crusaders then able to regain possession at the ensuing scrum, to deftly spin the ball wide and execute a much-needed pressure-relieving break by Harry Shaw, taking play deep into the Jesters-half, which kept Cru firmly in the driving-seat. Following a late-try after a strong-run from the Jesters, Adam Dellow hammered in the final nail, with a lung-busting break from inside his own-22, to out-sprint the valiant chasers and dot-down the final score. Hooray…. Crusaders U16-boys proudly hoisted the trophy, and earned their “champions” T-shirts. A great “team” performance.
Thanks to TIRF, for staging a superb tournament weekend.