The Grade 8 rugby team completed its fall season on October 17 with 20 players traveling to St. George’s School in Vancouver. Under lifting fog that became glorious sunshine, the game kicked off with SMUS clearly suffering from “ferry legs” and making a slow start against big and talented opponents. Despite letting in a few early tries, the team battled its way back with some solid passing and support play. A few tactical adjustments then had immediate effect, as a second half try involved multiple phases in a sweeping 70-metre sequence.
However, on the day, although everyone tried their best defensively, the size and strength of a number of St. George’s players proved too much. Nonetheless, SMUS did manage another fine team tally, again featuring slick passing and good support. The likes of prop Ethan Ko, flanker Tucker Forbes, fly-half Ethan Hersant and fullback Alex Calderon stood out.
Overall, the team has made fine progress. The players and coaches look forward to resuming practice in February prior to the start of Sevens competition in the spring.
The Grade 9 team hosted an ISA Sevens competition with six schools competing in two divisions. In the top flight, named for Canada Sevens star Nate Hirayama, SMUS, with Jim Newman, Quinn Ngawati, Bryce Forbes and Bryn Haydock providing much of the necessary heavy lifting, won all four of its games to claim the title. A nervy, opening round 12-5 triumph over Shawnigan was followed by more comfortable decisions vs Brentwood and St. George’s. In the finale, while Collingwood closed to within seven points early in the second half, a brace of tries from Felix Butterfield then secured the 39-17 triumph.
In the John Moonlight Division, SMUS lost its matches, but not before a handful of newcomers, all playing Sevens for the first time, turned in a gutsy effort. Well done in particular to Nick Considine, Max Olberg, Roy Oh, Jason Liao and David Li.
This week, in a return to the 15-aside game, the team travels to North Vancouver to meet Collingwood.