Morale boost for Red Hawks rugby team
By Darren Lum
Published Oct. 10, 2017
The Red Hawks varsity rugby team left the field this past Thursday, Oct. 5 with their hearts full and their heads held high after competing with the top team of the Kawartha Senior Girls Rugby League.
Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was respect for one another and the game. Maybe it was the tenacity this team has shown this past season. Whatever it was, the team showed their character to compete.
In front of a small gathering, who lined the sidelines to the Gary G. Brohman Athletic Field, the Hawks obviously lost on the scoresheet to the visiting Cobourg Collegiate 27-5, but they never lost their drive to the end.
Hawks coach Carson MacDonald loved his team’s effort against the league’s top team.
“That was the No.1 team in the league. I think it was a good outcome, considering what they scored against some of the other teams,” he said.
The league leading team has been dominant on both sides of the ball scoring 148 points and only allowing 61 points.
Cobourg is undefeated in five games (4-0-1) while the Hawks are winless in four games.
The Hawks had a slow start. Tackling was poor and there were mistakes. Cobourg took advantage, scoring 22 unanswered points in the first half.
The visitors added five more points with a rushing try to make it 27-0 after the Hawks showed signs of resiliency, as they had successive attempts to break across the try line for a score. A team with less drive and spirit could have packed it in and called it a game. After all, there was less than four minutes left in the game.
However the Hawks mounted a charge that got them deep into the Cobourg side. Captain Kailynn Sikma ran the ball, drawing four tacklers. She stayed up, maintained possession after the initial contact and passed it to Chloe Samson, who took the pass in full stride and then dove for the score, shrugging off tacklers with her as she ran to the try line for the team’s only five points of the game.
The cheer they let out was long in coming, as the team had two other scoring chances that didn’t happen.
MacDonald knows his team can get better.
He said lately overall attendance for practice has been down, which has led to difficulties with players, who don’t know their assignments and understand the plays. He believes this will improve.
The team defence, he said, was strong not withstanding a few ball handling errors. Errors from a lack of experience and knowledge of the game continues to hurt, he said.
Hawks captain Hayden Mara continues to be a strong player for MacDonald.
“She’s super valuable to the team,” he said.
Unfortunately, her aggression got her sent off the field temporarily because of a yellow card. Despite her absence for a few minutes, the Hawks came very close to scoring, being just a few yards from a try, which came before the Samson score.
The home team was short to begin the game. Down two players, one to illness and the other, captain and scrumhalf Freya Moran to an appendix watch.
HHSS is at the bottom of the league standings that includes eight teams after four games.
Just above them are the Wildcats of I.E. Weldon, who they will play in their next home game on Tuesday, Oct. 10. The two played one another on Sept. 26. The Wildcats shut out the Hawks 17-0. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.