In the cool and dewy morning-conditions of November 5th, the Crusaders U16-7’s-team were not at their “best” for their opening game vs Toronto-Nomads. Several ball-handling errors and players becoming isolated, allowed the Nomads team to capitalize, with some well-worked opportunistic scores. The Cru managed a couple of hard-earned tries late-on, but finished on the wrong-side of the score-line at the final-whistle.
Game-two started with Cobourg-Saxons running-in three scores, which appeared to be the trigger for Crusaders to finally awake from their slumber. The Cru-boys took control of the game, with some great plays, but the time ran-out, before they could accrue sufficient points to capture the lead.
With two (albeit narrow) losses, the prospect of progressing to the final-stages of the tournament looked unlikely, but the boys showed some good-maturity, discussing amongst themselves what needed to improve, and took-charge of their own warm-up, in readiness for their third-match, vs Toronto-Scottish. So – Was it the lunch-break? Was it the sunshine, (now peeping through)? Who-knows? – but the Crusaders had re-found their form, and put-on an absolutely stunning-display, running-in several tries, to take the win.
The fourth pool-game turned out to be a forfeit-win for Crusaders, as Brantford-Jesters had lost a few players through the day, and rather than borrow some from us, decided to hand the win to Cru. Hence, with two wins, plus by virtue of securing the extra losing-bonus-points in the first two-games, the Crusaders boys’ surprisingly sneaked a berth in the tournament’s final-game…. A re-match vs the undefeated Cobourg-Saxons.
This time, under the now clear blue-sky and the warming afternoon-sunshine, the Crusaders played with terrific flair. Both EJ-Rerri and Harry -“you’re a wizard”- Shaw, making some great breaks, to clock-up a couple of tries each, and for Crusaders to hold a strong-lead at the break. The longer format (10-minute halves) for the final, took its toll, with every player pushing themselves towards exhaustion. Cobourg hit-back with a couple of scores of their own, but Crusaders, re-energized by the strong-players coming from the subs-bench, managed to regain-control, and cross-the-line for a couple more scores at the end, to seal the win.
Given the somewhat “shaky” start, the Crusaders players should be hugely-pleased with how they turned their fortunes around in this tournament, to be crowned “Rugby-Ontario 7’s Champions” – and proudly hoisted the Cup – Great job boys!
So that is “IT” – a “fantastic-end” to an absolutely “brilliant-season” for this age-group.
Let’s not forget what the U15/16-boys have achieved in 2016…..
In the 15-a-side format…
- Toronto Rugby Union Championship – League and play-off Champions
- Toronto Rugby Union Premiership – League and play-off Champions
- Rugby-Ontario Finals – Champions
In the 7-a-side format…
- Q-Meta Cup – Champions
- TIRF-tournament – Champions
- Toronto Rugby Union fall-7s-series – Champions
- Rugby-Ontario 7’s – Champions
Thank you to everyone who has made all this happen…..
- The great work from all the coaches – unerring effort, enthusiastically passing-on their vast rugby-knowledge and passion-for-the-sport, with a perfect balance of fun and professionalism. (all 100%-volunteers)
- The un-ending support and dedication from the parents, helping at the various events, being the impassioned spectators, as well as all the fetching and carrying.
- And of course the players, for all their tenacious dedication at training and games, their team-work, their willingness-to-learn, and the amazing effort on the field-of-play.
The U16-boys have had an absolute “bumper” year – And hopefully also gained so-much more – absorbing some of the key-aspects of this great-game:-
- The physicality ON the field, the camaraderie OFF it;
- The power of teamwork, and the synergy that goes with that;
- The reward for the hard-work spent improving their technical and physical skills;
- Taking the knocks, along with the successes, with equal-measure;
- Respect – for the game, – for their team-mates, – for the opposition, and for the officials;
- The making of some great-friends along this life-long journey that is Rugby.
- And (most importantly) having fun while doing it
Hopefully to continue for many seasons to come.
Rugby – not just a game, but a way of life – Go Crusaders!
Thank you – Enjoy the winter