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The Crusader Maroon rugby team travelled to Brandon June 1 & 2nd to participate in the Manitoba Provincial High School Championships. On Friday, the team played Minnedosa and despite a slow start the Cru took over the game with solid play in all phases of play. The semi final ended with the Cru earning a birth in the title game with a 31-8 victory.
In the final, the Crusaders took on the Souris Sabres in what promised to be an exciting game with lots of offensive firepower on both sides. The Sabres had made it to the final with a convincing 29-7 rout of St. John's Ravenscourt and had put together an undefeated season up until Saturday afternoon. The talented and well coached Souiris team had only allowed a few tries all season and had dominated most of their opponents. The Crusaders took the challenge seriously and the senior laden team stepped up, denying the Sabres the ball for almost the entire game preventing the Sabres from showing their offensive teeth. With no sustained possession and facing the hard hitting and hard running Cru, the Sabre defense tired by the mid first half and the Cru began to put tries into the zone. By the end of the second half the Crusaders had left little doubt to the strength of their game and won the Provincial Championship with a lobsided 31-5 victory. The Sabres only score came on the last play of the game.
Blair Mattes scored two tries and Matt Hanks, Jake Hooker, Mackenzie Cook all added one each. Kicking duties were well performed by Conor Lesperance and Mark Mahon while Johnny Van Elslander and Doug Fergusson were all over the field offensively and defensively. Eric Steeves used his speed to add exciting runs while all the forwards rucked very effectively on the hot and sunny day.
Congratulations to all of the rugby players for their hard work this season and a special thanks to our parents and fans that came to Brandon and/or supported us all season.