Burlington Centaurs travelled to Fergus Saturday to take on a gritty Highland RFC club looking to capitalise on their opening day victory against Guelph. The 2nd XV came up against a strong Highland scrummage in the opening half and struggled to assert any authority or gain any momentum from the set piece. What followed was a scrappy affair made more difficult by the testing conditions. The Centaurs took the lead somewhat against the run of play when after an offside penalty was quickly taken by Jordan Tanner who fed Irish out half Brian O’Driscoll who sold a neat dummy to score next to the posts. O’Driscoll converted his own try to give the Centaurs a 7-0 lead. Zach Dundas dummied of a quick tap to sprint between the posts for a 7- lead. Further pressure later in the half would tell as Zach Dundas defied his years to cut incisively through the Highland defence and sprint clear to score under the posts. O’Driscoll converted to make it 14-0. The second half saw Highland gain momentum which was rewarded with a nice try in the corner by the left wing. The Centaurs would consolidate however and late pressure saw lock Craig Nicholson dive into the corner to finish off a nice move in the right corner, which would complete the scoring, Centaurs taking it by 19 points to 5.
The first XV were keen to build on an outstanding display against Waterloo the previous week but stuttered at the start, setting the tone for a sloppy first half display which would frustrate the coaching staff and the players alike for the opening 40 minutes. The highlight was a nice move by the Centaurs backs setting up Matt Woodley on the outside who beat his winger to score a fine try, which was converted by Denny McCarthy. Highland got on the scoreboard with a penalty after consistent indiscipline form the Centaurs finally took it’s toll, leading to a 7-3 lead for the Burlington team. A stern team talk by coach Jon Goldie followed by a number of choice substitution seemed to get the message across and the Centaurs took control in the second half leading to tries by centre Brian Woodley and Denny McCarthy, the latter converting 3 out of 4 tries on the day. The error strewn performance however continued in the second half exacerbated by the worsening conditions as wind, lightning and driving rain took it’s toll on both teams’ efforts to play fluid rugby. However the Centaurs persevered for their bonus point and were rewarded at the end with a penalty try after Highland brought down the driving maul for a second time near their own goal line. Final score, Burlington 26, Highland 3. Next week the Centaurs play Hamilton Hornets in a local derby match which is always fiercely contested and the boys know they will have to up their performance somewhat if they are to prevail.