The conclusion to the Acadia Men’s Rugby Club season was a bit of a mixed bag.
The First Division hosted the provincial final in conjunction with the CIS women’s national tournament on Raymond Field against the St. FX X-men. Acadia spent the weekend volunteering at the event, building anticipation for the Saturday evening game throughout the team. The weather was poor, but it didn’t matter: this was our opportunity to capitalize.
The first half saw Acadia dictate the pace of the match, with an almost typical individual major score from constant threat Conor Sheehan and Daniel Simpkin’s stellar sideline conversation. St. FX scored a solo try off a long run from broken play, but things looked positive for Acadia going into the second half.
Credit will be given where credit is due, and commentary on the match would be incomplete without a nod to the St. Fx defensive line. The second half saw Acadia run phase after phase deep in the St. Fx half, with a X providing defensive stand that would eventually win them the contest. X’s backline would break through late in the game, and time ran out. Final score Acadia 20, St. Fx 29.
Directly following the First Division match, the Killer Bs kicked off their Nova Scotia final against the biggest team in the league, Cape Breton University. Using their size, CBU took an early lead, causing spectators to assume a blowout. ARFC had other ideas. Through spectacular attack from some first year players, and leadership from Captain TK Kim, the Killer Bs sent it to overtime. The comeback was complete, and celebration ensued. The Killer Bs were headed to Maritimes.
The following week of training saw the previously jammed Raymond field vacant, and the boys took advantage. Quality sessions led by coaches Axel Lawrence and Ryan Alguire, both ARFC Alumni, prepared the Bs for the final. While the First Division didn’t get a shot at UNB, the Bs did, and they delivered again. A strong team performance including man of the match worthy play by Tyren Desmond saw a decisive victory. After two overtime victories in weeks prior, the first Maritime Championship in Second Division history finally happened. In the true spirit of the game, ARFC hosted the Ironmen for the 3rd half at Joe’s Food Emporium at 11pm. What a story for the Killer Bs.
I stated the ARFC’s playoff run was a mixed bag. It’s true. We had a goal of sending our first division side to Victoria, BC for the second ever men’s national tournament. We didn’t accomplish that goal. This is fact, and it is still a very bitter pill to swallow.
Holding the trophy for the first time in Club history, the leader of the Killer Bs, TK Kim took the proverbial mic and addressed the team, coaches and some friends and family. In that moment of victory he didn’t speak about tries, or individual performances, or winning, or what have you. In that moment he expressed gratitude to our coaches and talked about how much he’ll miss playing alongside graduating players, who he referred to as friends. We may not have accomplished our goal, but we accomplished our purpose.
See you in August.
Eamonn Sullivan is a fifth-year Psychology major and scrum-half for ARFC