Saturday, April 7, 2017
Fort Niagara State Park
Youngstown, New York
On a chilly April morning, your Burlington Centaurs Sr. men traveled to our southern neighbours for their second annual “Battle of the Border 7’s Tournament. Canadians and Americans, kids and senior players, spectators and athletes alike. All came together on April 7th, 2018 at Old Fort Niagara for a truly unique rugby tournament with competitive opportunities for all ages and experience levels.
Though the team lacked 7’s experience, GM Tim Morton knew through selections they had the right athletes and skill sets to have a successful day. The Sr. Men’s division was made up of two pools and the Centaurs were challenged with a 3-game round-robin, plus a semi’s and finals, if they went all the way. As fait had it, the Centaur’s could not have predicted a better start to their pre-season. They had completed the round robin with a perfect 3-0 record and only conceded a total of 19 points against. “A highlight for us was beating our crosstown rivals, the Hamilton Hornets 46-0 in our third game,” said Cpt Jeff Bronson. “Hamilton has always been a rival club and to put 46 points on them in 14 minutes with using all our subs was awesome.”
With the Centaurs having a perfect 3-0 record and the best points for / against in their division it was onto the semi-finals along with 3 other clubs. With ‘some’ luck the Centaurs were able to get pass the semi’s and into the finals. Their opponent was a stalwart squad in the Marshall Premiership, the Markham Irish. “As we analyzed the competition throughout the day. We kinda’ expected to meet-up with Markham in the finals, if we made it through, of course” Said Morton. The finals Kicked-off with the Centaurs somewhat on their heels playing defence for the first four minutes. The Centaurs relied on textbook ‘scramble’ defence and their grittiness caused an Irish turnover resulting in a long try, finished under the posts, 7-0 Burlington. Two additional tries were exchanged before half and with a Centaurs missed conversation prior to half-time whistle. Both teams retreated to their sides with the score 12-7 after the first 7 minutess.
As the Centaurs huddled and spoke at half-time. A few lineup changes were made to inject some pace into the match. These keys sub became clutch as the Centaurs opened the second half with two quick tries. With only 3 minutes left, the Centaurs were up 17 points and could smell the championship. They did not let up with putting away one more try across the line and though Markham was able to score with no time left it didn’t matter. The Centaurs were battle of the border champs 31-14. Throughout the day, It was the ultimate team effort as tries were scored by: T. Atkinson, B. Bryan, D. Jones, K. Waring and multiple tries were scored by J. Tanner, M. Woodley and new comer B. Gilbert.
“I couldn’t be happier with the effort and our execution,” spoke Cpt. Bronson. “Obviously all the boys were outstanding, but hat’s off to our sweeper, Gilbert. He had a great day both offensively and defensively.
The Centaurs brought some hardware back to Fairview Street and they hope the success continues throughout their 2018 Campaign. “We especially want to thank South Buffalo rugby for hosting the tournament and the Centaurs will likely return next year to defend their title,” concluded Morton.
Burlington Centaurs 2018 Battle of the Border 7’s Roster:
Jeff Bronson – Captain
Trevor Atkinson –Reggie Dunlop