May 27, 2012

On a cool but blue Saturday morning the Crusader rugby team started out slowly against a tough and determined SJR squad who came to ruck and run hard against the Crusaders.  The Eagles, attempting to hold on to the Championship title committed many to the rucks to slow and steal the Crusaders ball, leading to some sloppy play and a feeling of frustration on the part of the Cru in the first half.  But after a halftime chat and a change of venue due to an injury, the Crusaders came on very string despite being down a man.  Quick ball, more committed rucking, tough runnning and quality recycling of the ball meant the Crusaders began to put the ball into the try zone.  Great kicking for touch and conversions by Mark Mahon and Connor Lesperance helped the Crusaders take control.  The Cru, led by the hooking of Claurence Diaz and the lineout play of Shane Thiessen managed to steal the majority of SJR's ball in set play, denying the Eagles any chance of a comeback or the opportunity to take advantage of the man down situation. In the end the Crusaders game out solidly on top with a score of 31-8, despite a half time tally of 12-8.

Douglas Fergusson, Jake Hooker, Mackenzie Cook, Quinn Horton, Matt Hanks, Nils Jensen, Blair Mattes and Brian MacDonald all ran the ball hard and the game was well managed by the ball distribution of the grade 10 scrum half Teagan Horton.

Congratulations to all the Crusader rugby players and coaches for all the hard work they put in to bring home a Championship banner.  The Cru now head to Brandon on June 1st and 2nd to compete for the provincial title against tough teams form Souris and Minnedosa.

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