P.E.I. got off to a respectable start in the Under-18 Boys Division of the Canadian rugby championships Tuesday in Calgary.
Team P.E.I. dropped a 12-5 decision to New Brunswick in a game that was not decided until late in the second half.
“I was pleased with the game overall,” assessed Team P.E.I. head coach James Voye of Summerside. “With a mix of P.E.I., Alberta and Ontario guys coming together to play their first game together, I thought they handled themselves really well.
“We pressured towards the end of the game and almost got a tie out of it.”
Team P.E.I. picked up some players from Alberta and Ontario who did not make their own provincial team.
Logan Plant of Summerside and a product of a strong rugby program at Three Oaks Senior High School scored P.E.I.’s lone try in the second half.
“It came off a couple of penalties against New Brunswick, so we were able to gain some forward momentum,” said Voye in explaining how the score developed. “We moved the ball real quickly, did a good job of sucking in some of the New Brunswick players and moved it wide, and had an overlap and scored in the corner.”
Voye was pleased with Team P.E.I.’s intensity and aggression.
“If we could have controlled our feet a little better in the rucks we would have taken a few less penalties, and that’s what really hurt us early,” said Voye as New Brunswick built a 12-0 lead at halftime. “The effort was there, the hard work was there and it definitely was a game we were capable of winning.”
Team P.E.I. will look to get into the win column against Manitoba today. Game time is 1:30 p.m., Atlantic time. This game is expected to be streamed live at http://www.nationalfestivalrugby.com.
“We are looking to be better than we were today (Tuesday),” said Voye. “We are only going to get better through the week.
“Manitoba is definitely one of those games we have our eyes on to having some success and being a close game.”
Team P.E.I. closes out the round robin against Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia on Thursday.