Rugby Mountaineers draw first blood in OCAA season opener

Josh Jones scored three first-half tries and Steve Johnston added two in the second half as the Mohawk Mountaineers opened defence of their Ontario Colleges Athletic Association rugby championship with a 48-5 victory over the Belleville Loyalist Lancers.

Chadd Elliot and Jeff Perssia also scored tries for the Mountaineers, who led 22-0 at the half in the game played at Mohawk Sports Park. James Cumpson had five conversions and kicked a penalty goal.

Mountaineers’ head coach Alex Paris said his squad put in a good effort even with some first game jitters. He noted that Jones was out of school for two years and having him back this year is definitely a plus to Mohawk’s back line. “Josh actually plays club rugby in Burlington and he spent three or four months in Ireland and played some club rugby there, so all that experience shows when he’s on the field,” said Paris.

The coach also said having Johnston back is definitely an anchor for Mohawk’s forwards, noting he made Stoney Creek’s first team (in the Niagara Rugby Union) this year and played a lot of competitive rugby over the summer. Despite the comfortable victory, Paris said his team still has a lot of things to work out before the Mountaineers’ next game on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Birchmount Stadium in Toronto against the George Brown Huskies.