The Centaur’s Women were away to Fergus Highlanders who have traditionally offered up a very tough match for match for any visiting side. Fergus are rich in experience, numbers and individual strength /size.
With an almost instant switch from cool to warm conditions at the start of the match, the game got underway with an unexpected intensity that was great to watch. Both sides battled from end to end non stop with great defence on the line for both teams. Fergus opened with the first score which was followed within minutes by the Centaurs. The first half never really change on the change of scores and remained close throughout with half time reading 22 v 19 in favour of Fergus. The Centaur tries came from Katelyn, Amber and Cassidy, each deriving from some great individual skills.
In the second half, the Centaur’s impact from injuries started to take a toll as players and team structure had to be changed to accommodate losses. This resulted in the team loosing the edge in attack and having to spend literally the whole of the second half defending. Fergus then up their game by bringing on their entire bench who with fresh legs in the heat took advantage and ran in several tries to boost their score.
Despite the final score, the Centaurs first half display was with out doubt, one of their best and was commented as such by all who watched. It certainly took Fergus by surprise and come half time, the whole came was very evenly balanced. Sadly a lack of depth on the Centaurs bench was the unravelling for them in the second half, but the potential is bubbling and the start of season for Centaurs is against the toughest sides in the league however, when the Centaurs at full strength, they will certainly become a side to contend with.
Again, the difference between the last couple of season and the past two matches, which have been against two of the strongest teams in the league, is a vast difference and we are very much looking forward to the rest of the season. The Women’s next match is away to Brantford on Saturday 9th June.
Meanwhile your Burlington Centaurs Sr men’s’ teams traveled up the 400 for their first eastern conference clash against Barrie RFC. For those who made the trek to catch some rugby, both games provided a great display of some entertaining play back and forth.
The 2nd XV came out of the gate slow, but once they realized their defence was in tough, they started to up the tempo which helped them assemble many constructive phases of rugby. To their credit, Barrie’s offense was able to accomplish the same. This turned the game into a defensive battle. Daryl Tharby led the Burlington defense with some crushing blows to Barrie’s offensive line of attack. The Centaurs, were chasing but staying within a few scores for the majority of the match. Barrie took advantage of sharp kicking performance to keep the scoreboard turning over. The veteran presence of Tommy Jenkins, Daryl Tharby and Captain Kyle Wilkins helped create space for Jake Omay, Alistar Howes and Brock Kelly as they all racked up plenty of yards on the day.
Though the Centaurs were able to put down 5 tries, Barrie’s attack and ball distribution was too much for this Centaurs on this day. Final score 61-29 for the home side. The Centaurs are taking the positives into the bye week and understand they have to play a complete 80mins to be successful in this league.
The 1st XV took to the park with a bit of mixed line up, but safe to say they had the horses to complete the task and everyone on the park has been battled tested. With a few subs to burn the side looked legit.
Right off the hop, the Centaurs put Barrie under pressure, forcing sloppy attack. Some exciting rugby was played early as Jordan Tanner touched one down in the home team’s corner, 5-0 Centaurs. The visitors then scored again with some great phase play by the forwards, forcing Barrie to play catch up early on. To add to the drama unfolding Barrie struck back closing the gap to three points. Barrie’s scrum continued to put pressure on the Centaurs leaving them attacking from their back foot on many occasions and keeping the score close. The Centaurs back row was able to pick up the slack and debutant Colin Patterson impressed alongside Brownson and Hogg.
The halftime chat – maximize our phases, grind out in the scums, clean up the breakdown and maintain our line speed on defence might be a good way to win the game. Burlington goes into the first half leading 22-12.
The 2nd half saw the roster rotation continue as newly acquired professional Andrew Wilson punched in for a 40 minute shift. He brought his hard hat and lunchbox and his impact was felt immediately by both sides as his shoulders were on Barrie attackers early and often. The second half also brought effective team tries for the Centaurs, but worth a mention, Zack Shurtleff finished after an exceptional individual scamper. A great read on a pick and go, tackle allusion and he was off to the races out pacing the Barrie defenders for a 75 yard score… whoa !
There were a few tense moments towards the end of the 2nd half, Barrie ran a wave of phases at the Centaurs line for several minute’s scoring three quick tries to narrow the gap. The Centaurs however managed to settle and closed out the game with another score to seal it. Overall a stellar effort from the Centaurs coming out on top 44-29.
At 4-0 they are at the top of the standings, but only just, as the London St. Georges’ continue to keep pace. There are still plenty of tough road games to play. The Centaurs are off this weekend as the league is on bye, the action resumes June 16th at home when they host the Ajax Wanderers. It will be another big home stand as all Sr. Men’s team will be at home.