The Sr. Men’s 2019 rugby season kicked off this past weekend at an unfamiliar location to most. Despite the venue change, this was a historic day for our club as it was our first official matches in the Marshall premiership. Though the opponent was a familiar one, for many this was their first test in the top league of Ontario.
With London taking the first match of the day. The 1 XV team kicked off at 1500 hours on a gloomy May afternoon. The two sides split the season series last year with London snapping the Centaurs unbeaten streak at home last summer. In front of a large home crowd the Centaurs wasted no time getting on the board early. Within the first minute, A. Wilson charged down a failed clearing attempt by the St. George skipper, guzzling up a loose ball and crashing across the line, 5-0 home side. From the onset, the Centaurs set the pace of play, the ball coming fast from the base of the ruck and the whole pack went to work. It also didn’t take long for the backline to realize the speed mismatch, with Woodley and Hughes having multiple long scampers. A few mistakes saw London earn some possession and territory, using their size and experience. Having said that, it didn’t take the Centaurs long to answer back after another long break, and by the half time whistle the Centaurs were in control, 24-12.
The second half seemed to slow the pace a bit, both teams still housing match fitness as the season gets going. With multiple Centaur debutants getting their first run-around with Blue, White and Orange. It is worth noting standout and MOM, J McNaughton as he displayed many talents including tidy ball in hand and off-load game. At the final whistle, the Centaurs took the game in a comfortable 43-26 win. As the holiday weekend approaches, the Centaurs will head into the bye week 1-0. Plenty of ironing and cleaning up to do prior to our next test.