Early Tuesday morning, day and boarding students crowded into the Timmis/Bolton common room with house parents and faculty to watch three SMUS alumni play Japan in the Rugby World Cup.
Students came in between classes or during spares, and a few physical education teachers allowed their classes to take a break from their own athletic achievements to observe some of the finest players on the international stage.
Three former SMUS students are playing on Team Canada. Victoria-born Mike Pyke ’02 and David Spicer ’03 have both put in 160 minutes of play in the Rugby World Cup. Ed Fairhurst ’97 is also on the team.
Canada and Japan played their Pool B match at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux, France. Japan took a 5-0 lead early on, and still had it at half-time. Faces were tense as Canada headed back onto the field, until Pat Riordan managed to touch down. When Canada captain Morgan Williams sent a cross-field kick to unmarked wing DTH Van der Merwe, who strolled over the line and nailed a crucial try, things were looking good.
After Pritchard kicked the conversion from the touchline, the score was 12-5 for Canada. With the end in sight, Japan mounted an assault on the Canadian line. When Williams was penalized, Japan won a few more minutes of play and ended the match on a draw of 12-12.