Rugby Mountaineers easily advance to OCAA final on Nov. 4


To the surprise of no one, Mohawk find itself in the final of the Ontario College Athletic Association rugby final. The Mountaineers routinely dispatched the Seneca Sting, 41-8, Friday in a semifinal match at the Mohawk Sports Complex.


Mohawk’s Zack Crocker outruns Seneca chasers. (Photo: Ron Bernardo)

More Photos >

Mohawk’s championship opponent on Nov. 4 (Sunday) will be Sunday’s winner between Humber College and Peterborough Fleming in the other semi.

Surprising, Seneca opened the scoring on Friday, putting up three points on a penalty kick 10 minutes into the contest.

It marked the first time this season an opponent has scored first against the Mountaineers who went through the regular season undefeated in seven games to finish in first place.

Seneca had five minutes to savour that small victory before prop Norm Fretz (Stouffville) crossed the goalline with his first of two tries. Fretz opened the Mountaineers flood gates.

Before the half was over, Mohawk scored four more tries, and like birth contractions, they came about five minutes apart.

In addition to Fretz, centre Brian Pearman (Stoney Creek), second row Jeff Perssia (Brantford), and winger Zack Crocker, scored tries with OCAA scoring champion No. 8 James Cumpson (Stoney Creek) booting three converts to give the Mountaineers a 31-3 cushion to start the second half.
Hooker Keith Garbutt (Stoney Creek) and back row Tyler Struyk (Uxbridge) second half tries for Mohawk.

Mohawk coach Alex Paris was generally pleased with his charges efforts, but noted the uncommon start. “We got scored on but they were able to refocus and really pick up the pace and pick up the pressure,” said Paris. He said the Mountaineers will need to come out hungry at the start of next week’s title tilt.

“We have to really emphasize that we have to be ready to play from the first whistle and play at that level, rather than have to pick ourselves up.”