Mountaineers stung, mauled in rugby starts

MohawkMohawk’s rugby teams had a tough opening day in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association action on Saturday (Sept. 14) at Mohawk Sports Park.

The Seneca Sting, playing their first game, whipped the Mountaineers, 37-7, in women’s play. Kimmee Meigs led the visitors with four tries and a convert for 22 points.

Mohawk’s try by Reyanna Sangestino (Sault Ste. Marie) and conversion from Rachel Trabucco (Hamilton) were the last plays of the game.

Mohawk coach John Guilfoyle said despite the loss he’s very pleased with the people who have committed to the team, which is entering only its third season.

“Obviously there are a lot of things to work on,” said Guilfoyle. “But compared to last year we are doing well.”

He noted there are players on the team who have never played rugby before. He singled out Alexandra King of Pickering, who, in her very first game made six amazing tackles.

Meantime, the Mohawk men scored early and late, but the problem was what the Georgian Grizzlies did in-between.

The Mountaineers got a try from Billy Gemmell (Brantford) in the first minute to take a 5-0 lead. However, it was all Georgian from that point on, as they romped to a 67-12 decision.

Conan Valyear had three tries to lead the ground attack for the powerful Barrie squad. But Paul Marshall was the top scorer of the day, as he kicked seven converts and a penalty goal for 17 points. The Mountaineers finished on a positive note as rookie T.J. Cole (Toronto) got a late try, converted by second-year man Mark Sheridan (Simcoe).

Mohawk coach Bill Stuart admitted his team is a work in progress.

“We have players who hadn’t played the game before,” said Stuart. But, he said, there were some positives to take from the lopsided loss. “Our attacking plays were pretty good. We need to get guys more involved in the second phase.”

But as the score would indicate, the defense really needs work.