1st XV recap

Burlington Centaurs clinched the NRU Division A title with a thrilling win over the Hamilton Hornets at Sherwood Forest Park on Saturday afternoon, securing a 45-21 and running in 7 tries in the process. Needing to win by 21 points over a tough and organized Hamilton outfit, the Centaurs got off to a perfect start with Zach Shurtleff latching on to a dropped catch and sprinting in from 50 metres to score under the posts which was easily converted by Paul Kelly. The lead didn’t last long however as Hamilton responded with three penalties and a try to regain the lead. The tit for tat nature of the game continued as strong Burlington pressure ended with Paul Kelly forcing himself over the tryline under the posts. At half time the Centaurs were up by 19-16 and the Division title seemed out of reach. With the wind behind them in the second half the Centaurs took full advantage, with fly-half kicking smartly into corners and playing the game in the opposition end. This strategy proved effective and led to further tries for Zach Shurtleff who completed his hat-trick in his new favourite wing position, and also for Nick Evans, Brendan Bryan and Denis Tomas. Hamilton were not going down without a fight however and with three minutes to go took advantage of a rare lineout in the Burlington half to score from the set-piece reducing the deficit to 19 points thus temporarily taking control of the number one spot in the division. The Centaurs however were not to be denied and in the final minute pressure on the Hamilton line lead to a mistake at their lineout which flank Louis Hinshelwood took full advantage of, diving on the loose ball to secure the final try and thus the game by a margin of 24 points, which was enough to secure the Centaurs their first NRU Division A title for many years.