||CISAA - Championship
AA all the way!
SAC 1st Rugby Calendar
season-opener versus Crescent lead nicely into the CAIS National
Tournament where we out-scored our opponents 85 - 3, giving up
We took on UCC at home in a rather messy and well-fought CISAA League match,
with a strong finish.
St. Mike's and TCS came next, but
the last game of the regular season was between the two undefeated
teams in which AC proved to be the stronger running team. The
playoffs are, of course, a whole new season: we squeaked past a
tough UCC side in the Semi's, only to return to face undefeated
Appleby in the Finals. It took one of the most amazing displays
of teamwork and some incredible defence, but your Saints
emerged victorious as CISAA Champions.
OFSAA was a good experience, we were seeded 3rd, and
probably were about the #4 or 5 team there. We did well but
could not bring the intensity necessary to make the final 4.
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Sat Apr 14
SAC 36 @ Crescent 5
CISAA League Match
Mark Denton - 16 pts (1 try, 3 penalty goals, 1 convert)
Chris Houston - 15 pts (3 tries)
Rob Trocchia - 5 pts (1 try - on his first ever
possession in a rugby game! :-)
A phenomenal work rate from the pack and simply
spectacular tackling from the backs prevented Crescent
from having more than 1 consecutive phase of possession
until the second half. The pace of your Saints pick & go
game was the best I've seen in 23 years of coaching.
Crescent could not get their posts set fast enough to
stop us earning several metres on each pick. Our backs
looked dangerous almost every time they touched the
Fri Apr 20 -
Sun Apr 22
CAIS Tournament @ Crescent
SAC 13 vs Ashbury 3
SAC 38 vs Stanstead 0
SAC 28 vs Crescent 0
SAC 8 vs TCS 0
Your Saints repeat as CAIS
Champions. Well done boys!
Many thanks to Crescent for a very well-run tournament,
Wed Apr 25
SAC 30 UCC 15
CISAA League Match
Walid Siyam - 10 pts (2 tries)
Chris Houston - 10 pts (2 tries)
Justin Ford - 5 pts (1 try)
Mark Denton - 5 pts (1 penalty goal, 1 convert)
We should have worked much more as a
team in the pack and avoided loose passes in the backs,
we need to take far fewer penalties, but our defense was
amazing and our athleticism just far too much for UCC.
The highlights include several awesome runs from Chris
Houston and Walid Siyam and the excellent tackling from
the entire team. Brandon Benoit played his best game of
rugby thus far and Cole Sopik shone on defence.
Your Saints opened up a solid 13-5
lead in the first half and, although taking a lot of
penalties, were looking strong on defence and
threatening when we got loose. The second half saw UCC
put increasing pressure on us, closing the gap to 13-10.
We then roared back with out best effort of the day -
the forwards worked hard and strung together several
beautiful phases of pick and go play that ended with
Walid crashing the line for the try. UCC came back again
and with 7 minutes remaining it was just 18-15 in our
favour. In those last minutes Chris and Walid each
scored tries from spectacular break-out runs to
put the game out of reach.
A huge performance and excellent
effort from everyone. Well done guys.
Next up: We travel to St. Mikes next Wednesday.
Wed May 2
St. Andrew's College 67 @ St. Michael's College 19
CISAA League Match
22pts - Mark Denton (8 converts, 2 penalty goals)
10pts - Brandon Benoit (2 tries)
10pts - Yannick Harou (2 tries)
5 pts - Mackenzie Baker (1 try)
5 pts - Chris Houston (1 try)
5 pts - Jacob Kearly (1 try)
5 pts - Cole Sopik (1 try)
5 pts - Walid Siyam (1 try)
Wow - pick and go worked, hammer ball
worked, Brandon Benoit gets better every game,
man-of-the-match Mark Denton went an amazing 10 from 12
on kicks, had brilliant ball distribution, tackling and
rucking... Jacob Kearly had an amazing outing, Rahim
Ladak had his best game of the season being held up in
goal after one of many great runs, Kelsey Boland sold
dummies like ice cream bars at the tuck shop: cheap and
...and then the men on fire: Cole
Sopik and Yannick Harou who were simply awe-inspiring in
creating try scoring runs out of nothing.
The whole team earns kudos for great
defence, patience and professionalism. Even when St.
Mikes came back to tie it 14-14, we simply turned
around, stayed focused and played the game the way we
know we can. It was nice to get everyone on the field.
Next up: TCS, a week Saturday.
Time to recover from the many injuries we've sustained
Sat May 12
Trinity College 5 @ St. Andrew's College 39
CISAA League Match
SAC Scoring Mark Denton 1 try, 2
penalty goals, 4 converts (19 pts) Yannick Harou (10
pts) 2 tries Walid Siyam Try (5 pts) Gerardo Gonzales
Try (5 pts)
Your Saints were the dominant team for
the entire match. TCS had only a few good sequences of
possession and managed a single late try off one of
At times we had moments of excellent
individual athleticism, although too often those ended
in turn-overs, while at other times we played an
excellent team game with some lovely "hammer-ball"
(especially in the second half) and great work by the
backs. The backs put immense pressure on TCS gaining
ground on many TCS possessions. Yannick Harou was,
again, just too hard for TCS to contain, and Mark Denton
had another superb match on attack and defense. Kelsey
Boland did a great job directing traffic and
distributing the ball. Jacob Kearly and Rahim Ladak had
some stand-out runs, and all the forwards did a good job
of getting around the park. La pandilla mexicana were
all called into action, lead by starter Gerardo Gadsden
Gonzales who had an excellent pick&go try. Indeed, the
work rate of the entire team was again superb, with much
of the game played in TCS's half. We scored five
excellent tries, but on four other occasions we got to
the goal line only to knock-on, turn over the ball, or
give up a penalty. It could have been an even more
Our regular season finale will be this
Wednesday in a tough match-up at the other undefeated
CISAA team: Appleby College. In league play your Saints
have an impressive 172 points for and 44 against, but
Appleby has managed an unbelievable 236 for and only 13
against - allowing only two tries all season. With many
starters still injured and Cole Sopik out on a red card,
we will need everyone else to play their best game of
the season to come away with the win. So that's what
Wed May 16
SAC 6 @ AC 29
CISAA League Match
SAC Scoring: Mark Denton 6 pts (2
It was a great battle between two
undefeated teams. Appleby displayed some amazing and
well-supported open-field running – their centres and
full-back were very strong and their pack did a great
job of sealing ball at the breakdown, earning 17
penalties (but no cards) in the process.
Your Saints struggled to maintain
possession in the early stages, but defended extremely
well. Mac Baker made several spectacular try-saving
tackles to keep us in the game so that at the half
Appleby had managed only two unconverted tries for the
10-0 lead. The second half gave us the wind and the
slope. More importantly the forwards put on an amazing
display of hammer-ball for which Appleby had no answer
but to take more penalties. Mark turned two of these
into our six points for a 10-6 score midway through the
half. We had a couple of really good driving mauls, the
second of which had gone 30 metres before it was taken
down (without penalty). In the end, we could not sustain
the attack long enough to get far into Appleby’s half.
Fitness started to tell and missed tackles allowed
Appleby’s hard running backs to have several more long
runs, scoring 3 tries in the last 15 minutes.
SAC shout-outs go to:
Kevin Rush – great to have him back from injury. A
massive work rate, and a really good run in which he
broke out and literally ran over the Appleby full-back
before being caught.
Liam Joiner – who did an admirable job stepping up to
Carlos Guraieb – also stepped in to do a solid job at
prop and flanker.
Matt Roy – did a fantastic job playing in a new
position. Great pressure and tackling on defence.
The whole Pack – for some very professional looking
hammer ball. We need to work to sustain that in the
future, and remember that 2-pack is another option. The
maul is also there for us.
Kelsey Boland – his best game of the year (so far) as he
directed traffic and interfered with their #9
Rahim Ladak, Jacob Kearly, & Walid Siyam – all played
with great intensity and focus.
Your Saints finish the regular season
in 2nd place and take on UCC in the CISAA semi-finals at
home next Wednesday, 3 pm. Come out and cheer on your
boys. Go Saints!
Wed May 23
UCC 24 @ SAC 27
Yannick Harou - 2 tries (10 pts)
Brandon Benoit - 1 try (5 pts)
Cole Sopik - 1 try (5 pts)
Mark Denton - 2 converts (4 pts)
Mac Baker - 1 penalty goal (3 pts)
Wow. A much closer game than it needed to
be, but we know UCC is always a tough and dangerous
competitor. That must be why we enjoy playing them so
While we always had the lead and looked
threatening when we managed to move the ball out wide,
in close we were stymied by a good defence and little
lack of imagination and communication on our part. We
gave up way too many penalties and made too many
ineffectively high tackles, but we worked very hard, got
the pick-and-go game working well in the second half,
and showed good composure and tenacity under pressure.
Man of the match J.J. Mitchell was a
force to be reckoned with, winning several balls against
the head in scrums, making many key poaches at the
breakdown, having some lovely runs and making huge
tackles. Welcome back JJ!
Yannick Harou scored two tries and earned
countless yards (that's because we don't count yards in
rugby!:-) breaking us out of many tricky situations.
Mark Denton was, again, awesome on defence with great
tackles and steals, while also making several absolutely
beautiful passes to set up scoring runs from Cole Sopik
and Yannick Harou. Kelsey Boland had another really good
game with pinpoint passing and even winning a few loose
balls at rucks! The pack was led by strong running from
Walid Siyam, Kevin Rush, Rahim Ladak, and Jacob Kearly -
all of whom would have scored tries but for excellent
defence by UCC.
We did exactly what we needed to do, and
now return to Appleby for the CISAA Finals this
Sat May 26
SAC 12 @ AC 0
I have never,
in my 24 years of coaching, witnessed a more determined,
gritty, or well-coordinated, total team effort as
today's CISAA finals. It was truly awe-inspiring and
speaks volumes to the character and cohesiveness that
exists within this group of Andreans.
I will not name a single person in
this report because this was truly a total team effort.
Appleby have two Canada players and had not scored less
than 5 tries in any match this season. We knew that, to
win, we would have to play the game of our lives. Every
single player did exactly that. It was as close to a
perfect defensive game as I've ever seen:
Huge defensive pressure earned us an
interception try and a 5-0 lead only minutes into the
match. Appleby then applied massive attacking pressure:
three times in the first half getting to our goal line,
but each time being hit so hard that they knocked-on as
they tried to ground it. Our forwards played excellent
ball-control rugby, but Appleby's defense was also tough
and we were not able to mount any real attack. The
second half again saw Appleby start strong and control
play for the first 15 minutes, but your Saints' pressure
and patience was amazing. By the last 10 minutes it was
us who were threatening to score. The forwards
constantly drove mauls from lineouts and our backs
distributed the ball beautifully, coming close to
scoring on a nice box kick to the blind wing. As the
game entered injury time, it was Appleby who were back
on their goal line... We again put massive pressure on
their backs and earned a second interception try,
converted as time expired, for the 12-0 win, the
championship, and the biggest upset in many years.
What an honour to be able to stand on
the sideline of such a game. These are memories to last
OFSAA @ St. Mary's HS, Cobourg
OFSAA RUGBY TOURNAMENT SEEDING
2.Barrie Central CI
3.St. Andrew’s College
5.Thomas A. Stewart
6.F. E. Madill SS
8.Twin Lakes SS
9.Saugeen District SS
10.St. Mary SS
12.St. Christopher SS
14.Lester B. Pearson
15.Cairine Wilson SS
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