Knights drop the plate at Clearwater

Rugby: HTA boys narrowly missout on silverware at sevens tournament

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am

Holy Trinity Academy Knight Aidan Tilley runs through traffic versus the Bishop O'Byrne Bobcats on Saturday at the Calgary Rugby Union. The Knights advanced to the plate final of the Clearwater Cup where they lost to Western Canada.
Holy Trinity Academy Knight Aidan Tilley runs through traffic versus the Bishop O'Byrne Bobcats on Saturday at the Calgary Rugby Union. The Knights advanced to the plate final of the Clearwater Cup where they lost to Western Canada.
Remy Greer/OWW

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The Holy Trinity Academy Knights Senior boys rugby team had a full plate on the weekend.

A little too full, in fact.

The Knights’ push for silverware came to a halt in the Plate Final of the Clearwater Cup Sevens Tournament after being upended 28-5 by the Western Canada Redmen on Saturday at the Calgary Rugby Union.

“Western is a really good team, they have a lot of really good skill,” said Knights back Ben Brown. “We were both tired by the end of it and they just had a bit more gas in the tank than we did.”

For good reason.

The Knights packed five fast-paced 20 minute contests into a soggy Saturday in Calgary.

HTA opened its tournament in less than ideal fashion with a somewhat sluggish 40-7 loss to Bishop McNally, the eventual cup winners.

“We don’t start very fast. It takes us some time to get into games and sevens is a short game to begin with,” said Brown on the opening loss.

“We forgot that it’s a quick game and we needed to start fast.”

The Knights quickly learned from their mistakes and rebounded nicely in game number two, earning a 25-5 victory over the Highwood Mustangs.

“It may have been a bit of a mismatch, but it was more that we really wanted that win,” Brown added.

“We came out all cylinders firing and went as hard as we could.”

The 1-1 record gave the Knights the second seed in Pool B and set up a playoff date with Calgary’s Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats, the top-seed out of Pool C, in what was a terrific seesaw battle between two evenly matched clubs.

Knights scrumhalf Jazz Singh gave his club an early try after the boots of Aidan Tilley got HTA down the field off the opening kick-off.

The two Knights would combine for the squad’s second try as Tilley drew a defender and found Singh wide for a 60-yard scamper to the try zone.

The Bobcats had speed to kill as well and took their first lead early in the second half on a 50-yard try and added to their advantage with another long score to make it 24-14.

The 10-minute half was disappearing quicker than a Game of Thrones character as the Knights fought to get points on the board with time withering away. Brown would add a late try right before the whistle on the left sideline, but that was all she wrote for HTA.

The loss dropped the Knights into a date with the Bishop Grandin Ghosts with a spot in the Plate Final on the line.

HTA scored early and often and it was Grandin who was seeing Ghosts in the Knights’ 52-0 triumph.

“Grandin didn’t seem like they had a lot of energy for that one,” said Grade 11 Knight Braedan Bespalko, who scored three trys in the blowout victory.

“We were able to get different guys into the lineup, guys that didn’t play much in the tournament.

“That was our easiest game and we definitely weren’t expecting that.”

In the Senior girls division, the Highwood Mustangs won the Cup final by downing the Henry Wise Wood Warriors.

rgreer@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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