RFC shows more to sport than winning 0
Red Hawks scrumhalf Caitlyn Griffin puts the ball down for the ladies' Rugby Football Club's first score in the history of the club against the Brock High School Rugby Football Club at home on Tuesday, Oct. 2. HHSS lost 20-5, but their performance gave reason for cheers.
Don’t tell them they lost because they wouldn’t believe it.
With beaming smiles, arms above their head, the ladies Red Hawks Rugby Football Club (RFC) of the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School demonstrated the ideals of sport.
Despite losing 20-5 to the visiting Brock High School Rugby Football Club in Haliburton’s home opener on Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Red Hawks team screamed jubilantly.
It was as they won, but it was something more powerful that compelled their reaction. They felt victorious in their progress and their ability to the play rugby and to compete with another team. During the post-game cheers many of the Red Hawks players wished the game was longer.
Things started slowly for both teams, who traded offensive drives.
Brock though gained momentum with successive sustained runs.
After holding off Brock with repeated try line stands, the Red Hawks defence, who appeared to tire, allowed the first score from a quick draw up the middle off a scrum. Brock quickly followed with another score from a quick succession of passes down the side to make it 10-0 (as both two-point converts were missed).
Down by 10 points (two scores), Red Hawks scrumhalf Caitllyn Griffin scored a try from inside the 22-metre line. It was the team’s first try since forming as a club last year. Screams of joy erupted from the team in response to the record-making occasion.
For a second the Haliburton faithful had hope of a possible upset.
However by the second half Brock took control with a quick run up the middle for the opposition’s third try.
Brock added one more try and like the other scores the two-point convert was missed.
Red Hawks coach Chris Simpson was proud and believes this performance was due for the young varsity team that has had a tough season.
“That is a lot of encouragement for them. It lifts the spirit a bit. You can only take so much of basically being kicked … they played hard and they learned a lot,” he said.
Simpson credited the solid refereeing to referee J.T. Rowbotham, who also facilitated the slower pace and regular assistance to the two budding squads during the game.
During the handshake, the Red Hawks players took pride in the opposition’s remarks about being a clean team. Simpson said this was the agreement from the beginning.
“The deal is we play we play clean. We play dirty I pull the plug we’re done. We play our style of rugby regardless of what anyone else does. You know what? They held true so good for them,” he said.
With Monday to Friday practices at 7 a.m., the team is hard at improving and doing what they can to get to practice without any transportation provided.
He said the team would work on getting in and out of the scrums faster and learn to play their positions better, understanding where to be on the field.
The Red Hawks Griffin, who broke through for the team’s first try, had a giant smile following the game. It was for scoring, but, more importantly, how the team performed she said.
“This was our best game yet. We finally were able to communicate enough and get where we needed to be to stop that ball,” she said. “Going from losing horribly to just being able to get that one try is such an inspiration for the rest of the team. It’s really going to drive us in our practices.”
Griffin, who has had success in other sports such as wrestling, said the importance of the team concept is inherently integral to this sport. It’s evident she loves the sport and the team.
“It means a lot because [rugby] is such a team sport. Everybody really helps get that … it’s good for the whole team,” she said.
The team’s next home game is on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.