Lancers salvage tie with late try against Tigers
By Fred Sherwin
starting the high school rugby season with a 17-15 loss
to the Cairine Wilson Wildcats, the defending champion Sir
Wilfrid Laurier Lancers almost suffered the same fate against
the St. Matthew Tigers on Friday, if not for a converted
try in the dying minutes of their game.
Matt's Tyler Villeneuve passes the ball to
teammate Brendan Carroll just as he's being
tackled by Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Ashutosh
Upreti during junior rugby action on Friday.
Trailing 10-8 with only minutes remaining, the Lancers
managed to work the ball downfield and into the hands
of Noah Simpson who was able to score off a scrum on the
five metre line to narrow the deficit to two points.
was up to kicker Matt Carney to split the uprights and
tie the game. Carney had missed an earlier convert attempt,
but made good on a goal kick from 20 metres out in the
first half to get his team on the board. He had also missed
a late convert attempt against the Wildcats that would
have salvaged a tie in their season opener.
the obvious pressure, Carney cooly booted the ball through
the posts and prevented his team from suffering a second
game itself was a hot mess with both teams making early
season mistakes, making it difficult for either side to
generate any sort of momentum.
Tigers started out strong enough, generating a try in
the opening five minutes by Mitchell Laberge.
Lancers were able to cut the Tigers lead to two points
on Carney's goal kick 18 minutes later, but St. Matt's
answered back with a try from Julian Lindell in the final
two minutes of the half to go up 10-3.
the break, Sir Wil bounced back with their first try of
the game scored by Mohamed Moubarek.
Tigers had a chance to reestablish a five point advantage
on a goal kick from 27 metres out four minutes later,
but Brendan Carroll's attempt came up a couple of metres
Matts would get another opportunity to add to their lead
late in the game when Tyler Villeneuve scored a try off
a scrum on the 22 metre line. Unfortunately for the Tigers,
Carroll was unable to make the ensuing convert, leaving
the door at least partially open for a last minute Lancer
Tigers managed to prevent Sir Will from scoring on their
initial attempt by standing them up on the goal line,
but they coiuldn't stop Simpson's run off the subsequent
scrum. The end result was provided by Carney's right foot.
Lancers have 10 players who are holdovers from last year's
championship team. Head coach Eric Kukkonen is hoping
the team will return to championship form before the start
of the playoffs in three weeks.
Tigers playoff hopes hinge on how they do against the
St. Patrick's Fighting Irish and the Colonel By Cougars
next week. The Irish have yet to play a game, and the
Cougars will be fresh off their season opener against
the St. Peter Knights which is scheduled for Monday.
the high school rugby season is so short and the spring
started so late, it's difficult for teams to get in the
necessary practice they need to prepare for their games,
giving those teams that have already seen action a decided
advantage over those teams that haven't.
3:30 a.m., May 2)
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