Next Tuesday, the Senior rugby boys will battle Oak Bay in the annual Rees Boot Game. The SMUS side has been victorious the last two years and will be giving their all this year – one more victory will bring them up to tie with Oak Bay at seven wins since the tradition began.
“We like our chances this year,” says coach Eliot Anderson. The SMUS rugby squad includes heavy-weights Beau Parker, whose speed earned him a place on the national Under-17 team, and Johnny Humphries, who has also earned national team representative honours. Backing them up is prop Masaki Kunimoto whose experience in the front row will provide a stable platform from which a skilled backline will attack. As a whole, Mr. Anderson is confident in his players’ skills and strategic abilities but will look first to their defensive organization and tackling on Tuesday.
Already this year, the players have trained with Argentinean coach Marcello Loffreda and have been preparing for the upcoming season with training on the field and in the gym. The game is always a highlight of the athletic season and draws a huge crowd of students, parents, alumni and other members of the SMUS community.
“It draws a big crowd, and its an awesome atmosphere” he says. “It’s an exhibition game, but there’s lots of bragging rights involved and the kids put a lot of emphasis on its importance.”
Though the competition is heated, the traditional game is a commemoration of SMUS and Oak Bay’s shared love of the sport. The unusual trophy is a collaborative effort, as the bronzed boot it features once belonged to an Oak Bay alumnus and SMUS alumnus Gareth Rees had the trophy made. The game’s slogan of “friends through rugby” exemplifies the passion both these schools have for the game and makes for a competitive entertaining affair.
The 2nd XV will start the action at 4:30 pm on March 10, with the 1st XV taking over UVic’s Wallace Field at 6:00 pm. Admission is $5.00.
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