Volume 12 Week 5

Monday, April 20


 

Posted Oct. 25

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

 

 

 

   

 

Senior Boys Rugby
Late try gives Knights first win of the season
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Jelani Paul breaks a tackle on his way to scoring the St. Peter Knights' first try against the Hillcrest Hawks on Wednesday. The Knights would go on to win the game 17-10. Fred Sherwin/Photo


For the past six years the St Peter Knights senior boys rugby program has been led by former Ontario team member Lee Ann Napiorkowski.

"Nap", as she is affectionately called by her players and students, eats, lives and breaths rugby and often refers to the teams she coaches as a "family".

With that in mind, Napiorkowski had to make a difficult decision in January to leave St. Peter and go to Australia on a teacher exchange program.

While Napiorkowski is in the land down under, Mike Waddell has taken over the team with the help of several of her former players including Billy Shaw, Harrison Lowe and Eric Donato.

The team went to a pre-season tournament in New Brunswick last month and was pretty much manhandled. The Hillcrest Hawks, meanwhile, went 4-0 at the RugbyFest and won the final.

Both teams had less than auspicious starts to their seasons with the Hawks losing 17-10 to the Colonel By Cougars and the Knights dropping a 5-0 decision to the Lisgar Lords. Neither team wanted to go down 0-2 when they met on the same pitch at St. Peter High School on Wednesday.

Things weren't looking good for the Knights when the Hawks converted a penalty kick in the opening minutes to take an early 3-0 lead.

After absorbing everything Hillcrest had to throw at them in the first 10 minutes, the Knights put together an impressive drive of their own, winning at least five rucks to move the ball to the goal line before Jelani Paul lost possession while trying to reach across the line for the try instead of setting up another ruck..

Paul would have a chance to redeem himself a few minutes later when Hillcrest misplayed a mark in their own end leading to a change in possession. Francisco Lazaro was the first man to the loose ball which evetually ended up in Paul's hands who carried it in from about 15 metres out. After the missed convert, the Knights held a 5-3 lead.

They would go up 10-3 early in the second half thanks to a solid run by big Ben Amoah who made his presence felt on both sides of the ball.

Just when the game looked to be turning in the Knighs favour, the Hawks soared right back and scored a converted try on their next possesion to tie the score at 10-10.

The Hawks would have two chances to take the lead, but their kicker missed both opportunities after making two earlier attempts.

The game would come down to an impressive run by John Shaw. After the Hawks were penalized on their 22 metre line, Shaw ran straight forward breaking a pair of tackles before placing the ball down in touch for the go ahead try and a 15-10 lead. Corey Constantini would add the convert to make the final score 17-10.

The win is hugely important for the Knights who must now face the Colonel By Cougars in back-to-back games next week. A pair of wins would put them squarely in the playoff picture.

(Posted 8 a.m., May 10)

 

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