As the regular Alberta Rugby season got down to its last couple of games, the Calgary Saints were in need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. But with Canadian international Mozak Samson out with an upper body injury inflicted during last week´s Canadian Rugby Championship and several Division 2 players having to run double duty after their game against Lethbridge just before this one, the Saints were put between a beaver dam and a hard place.
The Calgary Canucks (The Beavers) ran in thirteen tries to the Saints two to win at Calgary Rugby Park by a big margin of 83-12. The Canucks played festive summer rugby with good, flowing use of some ample possession. They also stole a lot of ball from the numerous restarts to maintain a strong handle on the game throughout.
Canucks fly half Ruairi O´Farrell played with flair, taking the ball at top speed and repeatedly sidestepping his opposite backs to run in a hat-trick. He could have made it four except for some classy, unselfish play in the first half when he passed the ball for loose forward Hamish McDonald to take the points as they both crossed over the try line.
O’Farrell set up the Canucks fourth try when he broke away from the scrum in his own 22m. He then made a perfectly timed pass 10m out for captain and scrum-half Jake Bentley to score after 31 minutes. It was Bentley´s turn for a break away just three minutes later when he ran half the length of the pitch to put the ball down left of the posts. Despite the Saints defender jumping over him as he touched down, he appeared to get clipped on the arm by a boot which may have bothered him enough to come off later in the game. Just as the first half was ending, Trea Handle was set up to go over after a big, strong forward run by Logan Jones to make it 43-0.
Just as the first half was ending, Trea Handle was set up to go over after a big, strong forward run by Logan Jones to make it 43-0.
The Saints got onto the score sheet four minutes into the second half when centre #12 evaded three tackles to score out on the left. He missed his own conversion putting the score at 43-5. After eight minutes, Derek Arnold made one of his characteristic strong drives down the centre of the pitch, handing off defenders and passing the ball to O’Farrell to come through at speed and put the ball over the line for his third try.
The Saints, unhappy about the 50 points against, pushed hard after the restart leading to a try by second-row #5 and, with the conversion, the score was 50-12. It was the last score from them but the Beavers kept chewing on their line resulting in five more tries. Handle got his second of the game as did Chad Spence and there were winger tries from Nathan Pratt and Karl Rogers on the left and right, respectively. Full-back Connor Tweed scored on the last play to go along with his nine conversions and a 23 point game.
Final score: Canucks 83-12 Saints.
Next up, it’s Canucks versus Hornets in the last game of the regular season, on Sep 9.
For more photos of this and other rugby games, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography