The 23rd of July had the Centaurs back on the road to face the Toronto Nomads. The trek up to Fletcher’s is very familiar to some and new for others. Not always a tranquil place to play as a visitor; though, the Centaurs were ambitious to get back to their winning ways.
The 2nd XV kicked off at “the square” at 1330 hours and looked well organized in the first few minutes, managing to score twice on long phases of possession. The home team responded with a score after some great rugby of their own, and just like that the game was on.
Some line up adjustments from the coaching staff provided the spark to light the Centaurs flame. The pack was controlled by Rose & Ellis which exhilarated Mr. Tim Lammers to score his first ever try! The new combination of D. Jones and Z. Dundas in the halfback/stand-off positions opened up holes for the Centaur centers. B. Woodley and C. Sharpe diced up the opposition all afternoon and the back 3 of Mathews, Brotman & Howes attained benefit playing ‘follow the leader’, or in this case the ball carrier/battering ram.
With the Centaurs holding a slight margin at the half. The talk at half time was about improving the defence, but that’s not an easy task facing a gritty Nomads team. The Centaurs managed to hold off the Nomad squad and snatch their first win of the season, 34-14. Well played to everyone involved, the rugby looked fantastic, absolutely a total team effort. The long awaited “W” will keep the morale high as they face-off against Waterloo County next weekend.
The 1st XV took the field shortly after and were looking to avenge their first loss in over a year. The men needed a big win over the Nomads to hang on to top spot, and they showed that intent right from the opening kick. After an unsteady 10 minutes, it didn’t take long for the Centaurs offense to get rolling, some sleek handling by Giboney & Brownson provided an open lane for Atkinson to dot down the first points of the game, B. Bryan to convert, 7-0 visitors. After two informative training sessions, the forward pack held their own against the mobile Nomads side that was quick over the ball. Hard work offensively opened up gaps up the middle of the field which assisted T. Atkinson as he scored his second of the game next to the uprights. The field remained titled during the latter half of the first 40 as both Brownson and Gilbert showed power & pace scoring tries and securing the bonus point, 26-0 half time lead.
The 2nd Stanza saw both teams go to the benches, but it was the Centaurs who had more depth on the day. As the game continued to be expansive, supporting lines and work rate was paramount. Jones, Waring & Tanner score all very similar tries, being beneficiaries of following the ball and supporting their teammates. With the game becoming somewhat out of reach, the Nomads shifted their play in order to get some points on the board. Though the visitors defence bent, it did not break and with D. Wilson sealing the deal on a well-anticipated intercept, try off a lineout- the Centaurs were able to blank the home side. 52-0.
Full credit to everyone who played on the day, it was a good day to be Centaur. The 1st and 2nd teams are back on the road next week against Waterloo County. This will be the concluding weekend of the regular season and for the 1XV top spot and home field advantage is on the line. Well played to everyone involved, the rugby looked fantastic, absolutely a total team effort. The 8-1 record currently has them at top spot; yet, County is just 3 points behind and has put together their own winning streak. The Berties/3rd XV are scheduled next door at Crusaders Park.