Varsity rugby squad’s 15-0 loss to Jarvis is a learning experience, says coach
A midday shower did little to settle the dust on the field or Earl Haig’s jitters as they battled Jarvis Bulldogs in varsity rugby on May 4.
Losing 15-0, Haig State’s coach Gideon Weisman chalked his team’s poor defensive showing up to inexperience.
“We’ve got a developing team so each game is a little bit different,” he said. “There’s a lot of juniors this year and a lot of them are just learning the game, so there’s a lot of stepping stones.”
With a lack of experience, especially five regulars out of the line-up, the backs stood still while Jarvis won scrum after scrum, scooting the ball along the line to find the defensive lapses.
In the first half, Bulldogs centre Axel Roberts, appearing in only his third game ever, rushed through for a quick five points. Though Kasra Ghajar failed on the convert, Jarvis’ sidelines were energized.
Even Bulldogs coach Brandon Price commented on his rookie’s performance.
“Our outside centre is a real up-and-comer,” he said. “He’s got some raw talent and he’s worked hard this year. It’s good to see him coming along as he has.”
The rest of the team was also lauded.
“There wasn’t a lot of dropped balls from us offensively, and the defensive line held consistently which was great because they really didn’t break through our line hardly at all,” Price said.
Two more tries, with failed converts, would come in the second half from Sean Kelly and Qazi Ajal, even as Haig State stepped up their D.
Weisman noted the key play of Saif Radwan on the offensive front, and was impressed by the confidence in the face of his team’s deficit.
“I’m very happy with how some of the new kids are stepping into the sport,” he said. “It’s a really fast growing sport in the Toronto District School Board and I’m happy to see more people taking part.”
Though at future practices there will be more emphasis on mobility.
“I liked some of the support our forwards were giving. When we did get to pass the ball the backs executed that work fairly well,” he said. “I’d like to see more pressure, moving up with our backs and tackling.”
Though not much is known about the future of the playoffs, Price commented there’s no doubt his pack will advance.
“We’re still waiting to see what’s going to happen with regards to playoffs and all that stuff,” he said. “So far we’re 3-0, so they’ve been doing well. We’re confident we’ll get to the playoffs, should there be any.”