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Senior Boys Rugby
Knights lose heartbreaker to Nepean on late try
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

St. Peter's Andrew Sutherland-Deveen sheds a tackle during the NCSSAA AAAA/AAA championship game at Twin Elm Park on Thursday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

In a battle of Knights, the Nepean Knights upset the St. Peter Knights on a last minute try Thursday to win the NCSSAA senior boys rugby championship.

The winning score came just moments after St. Peter had taken a 14-13 lead on a try by David Pierre and a two-point convert by Matt Kiropolous.

After the try, St. Peter kicked the ball into Nepean's end hoping to keep them hemmed in and run out the clock.

Nepean, however, had other ideas and managed to quickly move the ball deep into St. Peter territory where they were the beneficiaries of a questionable call on when the Nepean player appeared to step out of bounds.

Instead of awarding St. Peter's a line out, the referee called for a Nepean scrum on the five-metre line which the west-end Knights managed to turn into the game-winning try despite an apparent knock-on that also went unnoticed by the official.

The loss was an emotional one for the St. Peter side which was hoping to move on to the OFSAA provincial championshops in Stoney Creek next week.

"This is devastating. The kids are just heartbroken," Knights' coach Lee-Ann Napiorkowski said after the game.

Nepean opened the scoring with a penalty kick from just inside the midfield line about five minutes into the game.

St. Peter responded on the very next possession, moving the ball the length of the field, culminating in a try by Liam Murphy. Kiropolous' convert woudl give the Knights a 7-3 lead. It wouldn'd hold up for long, however, as Nepean was knocking on the door 10 minutes later.

St. Peter kept Nepean out of the try area on their first incursion down near the goal line, but they gave it back on the ensuing scrum near the 22-metre line and the west end Knights capitalized on the second chance to regain the lead/

Nepean would add a second penalty kick late in the half to take a 13-7 lead into the break.

St. Peter had a great chance to score a try at the eight minute mark of the secand half when a Nepean player tried to touch the ball down after fielding a kick, but he didn't realize he was on the five metre line.

A St. Peter player dispossesed the Nepean man of the ball and managed to get it down to the one-metre line before getting stopped just short of the goal line. St. Peter tried to work the ball out to the left off the ensuing ruck, but once again turned it over ending the scoring threat.

Things weren't looking good for St. Peter as Nepean managed to keep them at bay for the better part of the next 20 minutes until the Knights finally broke through for the go ahead try and the win.

Despite the disappointing end to their season, Napiorkowski said her players have a lot to be proud of.

"They can hold their heads high. They played hard. They played the right way and they played with sportsmanship," said Napiorkowski.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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Posted Jan. 12



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