by Eliot Anderson
The much anticipated “Boot Game” kicked off under clear but cold skies last Tuesday evening. As the season-opening match between cross-town rivals SMUS and Oak Bay, the Boot Game carries a lot of weight for the players involved and is always an emotional affair.
SMUS opened by kicking off long and left and, with Oak Bay not clearing the ball effectively, the boys in blue went on the attack for twelve consecutive phases of play, culminating in a try and conversion from Tom Bridger. This seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game as SMUS had the majority of possession and were able to play their rugby inside Oak Bay’s half of the field.
A second try off some fantastic driving forward play went to hooker Brendan Thomson and was converted by Bridger to bring the score to 14-0. After a poor restart, Oak Bay was able to get their attack rolling and was rewarded with two penalty goals. However, the SMUS defence proved to be solid and they weren’t able to sustain the pressure. SMUS was quickly back on the attack and replied with a fantastic solo effort by Beau Parker to bring the half time score to 22-6.
The second half saw SMUS get into some penalty trouble and the team played a man short for close to 20 minutes. However, the defence held strong and limited Oak Bay to just one converted try while they were up a man. Grade 11 star Mike Fuailefau rounded out the scoring, running a strong support angle to bowl over the line for the last converted try of the day.
The final score of 29-13 for SMUS highlights the competitive nature of this game and brings the total series even, with seven wins a piece and one tie. As always, this was an exciting match and we look forward to seeing Oak Bay at SMUS on Alumni weekend!
You can review our play-by-play coverage of the Boot Game on Twitter.