Knights find the right link on pitch

Rugby: HTA plays its best game of the year in downing STS Spartans

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:28 am

HTA Knight Riley Westhaver pitches the ball off to Jazz Singh (9) who goes in for the try to give them a 17-0 lead in their 32-7 victory over the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans May 15 at STS
HTA Knight Riley Westhaver pitches the ball off to Jazz Singh (9) who goes in for the try to give them a 17-0 lead in their 32-7 victory over the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans May 15 at STS
Bruce Campbell/OWW

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The Holy Trinity Academy Knights have found a link to something they hope will carry them to the top of the boys Big Sky Rugby Union.

HTA inside centre Cristian Sprague and wing Ben Brown combined for four of the Knights’ six trys in their 32-7 victory over the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans May 15 at STS.

“I came out as more of a linking player today,” said Sprague, who was named the Knights Man of the Match. “I set the ball to the wing, linked for support and hit the gaps when they presented themselves... Myself and Ben when we link and we loop and we play for each other, we are nearly unstoppable.”

Sprague got the Knights on the scoreboard early when he smashed his way in for a try from about seven yards out.

They would up their lead to 10-0 when scrumhalf Jazz Singh went outside and dipsy-doodled his way into the try zone from 13-yards out.

Singh wasn’t done yet.

HTA would take a 17-0 lead into the half when Riley Westhaver made a perfect pitch while being tackled to Singh, who promptly scampered 33 yards for the try.

Knights coach Joe Buck didn’t want his team resting comfortable in the opening minutes of the second half. He told his squad it was crucial to put the first points on the scoreboard in the final 30 minutes to snuff out any Spartan rally. Mission accomplished when Sprague ran in from about 63 yards to put the Knights ahead 22-0.

“He picked up the ball and he finished,” Buck said. “That was crucial for us because we knew STS wasn’t going to stop working hard and wasn’t going away.”

Sprague, a former gymnast, has hit the weight-room the last few years. As a result, give him some open field and you need a tranquilizer gun to bring him down.

His trusty straight arm helped him romp to the 63-yard try.

The Knights virtually clinched the game when Brown went in for a 13-yard try minutes later to make it 27-0.

“I think Cristian did a lot of the work,” Brown said. “He passed the ball to me and I saw some open space, cut inside and I was able to get through two guys and put the ball down.”

See Knights on page 54


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