Seven-aside spring rugby began this past week, with 46 SMUS students competing in exhibitions against Victoria-area schools. All players involved in these matches improved significantly in terms of skill development and understanding of the game. Particularly impressive were: Ben Shaw, Will Kinahan, Darius Roudsari (Grade 6); Lucas Galloway and Connor Chan (Grade 7); and Matthew Hagkull, Ephraim Hsu, Tony Liu and Kieran Phillips (Grade 8).
The season continues with matches each Tuesday and Thursday through to the Victoria Day long weekend.
Junior Boys Rugby
Spring term rugby got underway April 3, with Claremont at SMUS for games.
The Junior match, despite being so early in the season and featuring two teams short on preparation, offered plenty of entertainment for the crowd. SMUS started very brightly indeed, recovering the opening kickoff and then putting the ball through multiple phases before Dimitri Boroto dotted down for a try. With Jonathan Sudul’s conversion it was 7-0.
The visitors, however, were not to be outdone, and claimed back two scores of their own to lead 12-7 before Felix Butterfield evened things up with a second SMUS try until a penalty kick, right on the stroke of halftime, gave Claremont a 15-12 lead.
In the second half, Claremont extended out to 22-12 before Josh Kahn again brought SMUS back in touch by rounding off a fine team tally.
The game remained very competitive, with the turning point coming in the final quarter when SMUS failed to execute a clean three-on-one break. What should have been the go-ahead score instead ended up 80-metres back down field, resulting in a 27-17 Spartans advantage. Claremont then added a final try in the last minute to win 32-17, perhaps a slightly generous scoreline, but still a well-deserved victory.
Senior Boys Rugby
The 1st XV contest did not quite pack the same punch, as SMUS (thanks to accurate passing and good support play) notched five first-half tries en route to a 40-17 win. Fullback Mike Baart registered 15 points thanks to a tally and five beautifully struck conversions. Captain Zach Kahn linked well from his openside flanker position, while Mitch Newman and Max Pollen displayed some neat footwork in midfield. Scrum half Carson Smith gave an all action display, while lock Aidan McCleary ran strongly.
An important week looms on the horizon, with SMUS hosting Dunbarton HS from Ontario on April 7. Then, the annual Boot Game against Oak Bay is set for April 9 at UVic’s Centennial Stadium, with the kickoff scheduled for 7 pm. Finally, a good number of the players will then take part in the Island Sevens qualifier on April 13.
The Junior squad is also set to meet Oak Bay next week, and then take part in the Claremont Scrumfest tournament April 10-12.