© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Arms and hands come at Mike Deighan of the P.E.I Mudmen in an attempt to bring him down during a game in the Nova Scotia Mens Rugy League division 3 championship Sunday at the Co-Op Field in Charlottetown.
One play often makes the difference and the P.E.I. Hunter's' Ale House Mudmen can testify to that after a 25-7 win over Pictou in the N.S. Men's Rugby League Division 3 championship game Sunday in Charlottetown.
With the Mudmen ahead 5-0 in the second half of a close, grinding game, flanker Anthony Migiro nabbed a Pictou turnover, chipped the ball over the heads of the Pictou defenders, ran down and tackled the Pictou player who grabbed the ball.
That forced the ball out to another Pictou defender who kicked it out of the visitor's end zone and into the waiting hands of fullback James Mallard.
Mallard then scooted past the right-side defence for a try. It made the score 10-0 and the Mudmen never looked back en route to a undefeated season (9-0) and a third division title.
"I just tried to run as wide as I could," said Mallard, who had three trys in the game.
For Pictou, which finished 5-4 on the season, and flanker John Kirby, the killing play came after Kirby's try made the score 20-5. The convert was good and cut the lead to 20-7
Pictou, Kirby said, had some life but the Mudmen marched down the field, Mallard scored again and ended Pictou's comeback hopes.
"We had scored and they came right back down the field (and scored). They played good rugby, a good rugby game," said Kirby. "We just didn't have the hands going (Sunday)."
The Division 3 title and perfect season means the Mudmen move up into the Second Division next season.
It's a tougher schedule against tougher competition and that's fine for Migiro, who said the Mudmen should have been there anyway.
"It's great for us. We belonged in Division 2 for the season. Now we proved that we belong," Migiro said.
The Division 1 Mudmen squad defeated the Saint John Trojans 39-19 on Saturday in Saint John, N.B., after being down by double digits earlier in the game.
It gave the Mudmen a 6-3 record and clinched second-place in the division behind Halifax Tars (8-1). P.E.I. will host a league semifinal Sept. 14 against the third place team, which is yet to be determined.
On the web at www.rugbyns.ns.ca.