Photo by Kayla Winsor
The Acadia Men’s Rugby Club wrapped up its regular season this past weekend, where both the first and second division sides found themselves in first place. Two hard earned wins were the fruits of some tough training in past weeks. It’s the first time in around a decade it’s happened, and it definitely didn’t come easy.
Homecoming weekend brought some unfavourable conditions and two tough Dalhousie sides looking to re-establish themselves in the league after a difficult start to the year. ARFC’s first division was up for the challenge, but looked disorganized after a bye week and allowed the Tigers to stay in the game. Disciplinary struggles kept Acadia in their own half for much of the second half, at one point playing with 13 men. However, the gruelling conditioning done in the bye week paid off and the lads defended hard, with notable physicality from Grenville Hamlet-Lines and his partner in crime Nathan Bingley. A two-try performance from the always-dangerous Connor Sheehan, despite some struggles for the backline to execute, kept Acadia in the win column. Dalhousie 7, Acadia 24.
Every club member knew that St. FX would come to Wolfville looking to redeem themselves after a lopsided defeat at the hands of the Axemen earlier in the season. ARFC needed to step it up a level from the homecoming performance against Dalhousie, and the boys did just that. The first division saw the backline attack with more pace, with the midfield dominating the gainline against an experienced X-men backline. Once again Acadia’s defence, something missing in past seasons, held strong. Forwards coach Axel Lawrence was particularly pleased with the efforts of multiple players getting their first opportunity on the ‘A’ side or subbing in at the end of the game, who kept the standard high. St. FX 0 Acadia 29.
The second division, aka the Killer Bs, saw a fantastic display of character from multiple club members playing after participating in the First division game directly prior. Both T.K. Kim and Scott McKnight deserve praise for both their effort and versatility playing big minutes all weekend, while Jayden McEvoy’s boot allowed Acadia to take advantage of any penalty opportunities. The First Division cheered as Cameron George’s big hits kept the fire ablaze for the Killer Bs. St. FX 15, Acadia 25.
ARFC should be proud of securing first place and home field advantage, but must remain cognizant that the work is not done. Whoever makes it out of the first round of playoffs will bring Acadia their toughest game of the year. The Nova Scotia first division final is Saturday, November 3rd on the Dyke Fields. Come support the boys as they push for Maritime Championship and a berth at Nationals in Victoria, British Columbia.
Eamonn Sullivan is a fifth-year Psychology major at Acadia University and a scrum-half for ARFC