The atmosphere was perfect for Edward Milne Community School’s first senior rugby match.
A water- logged field with a light drizzle set the stage for a running dual against the triple A Mount Doug Rams on March 29 at EMCS.
The Wolverines opened the scoring with a penalty conversion by Arnold Charlie. Shortly after, he completed another attempt opening up a 6 to 0 lead. Before half time the Wolverines were able to spin the ball to their shifty back line, which set up a Nick Pfeifer try. The score at half time was 11 to 0 for the Wolverines.
The Rams had one strategy, run the ball through the defensive line of the Wolverines. They caught the Wolverines napping after committing a penalty and were able to sneak the ball close to the try line. After repeated attempts, the Rams finally downed the ball in goal for their first and only try of the game. The conversion was unsuccessful resulting in score of 11 to 5 in favour of EMCS part way through the second half.
What followed were dozens of solo running attempts from the Rams, which were met by a wall of Wolverine players swarming the ball carrier. The Wolverines task was to steal the ball expediently, which they executed perfectly many times. Morgan D’Ganigian, acting as scrum half, was able to rifle a pass to his steady and sure-footed fly half, Zack Bryan. Bryan, following D’Ganigian’s lead dummied a ball to inside center Brenden David and then spun the ball once again to the sniper, Nick Pfeifer who dodged numerous tackles on the way to scoring his second try of the day.
Harley Ring in eighth man position, and most valued for his defensive contributions, scored the final Wolverines’ try of the game. He did so off a lineout by catching a short ball and dragging several Ram defenders with him as he powered his way across the goal line.
According to Edward Milne’s coaches, the Wolverines’ success came from their preparation and solid understanding of the game. Knowing that the Rams would predominately run the ball, Milne practiced relentlessly on stealing the ball at the breakdown (tackle). Kudos goes to the Wolverines’ forward pack for putting a stop to the offensive efforts of the much larger Triple A Mount Doug team.
The final score was Wolverines 21 to Rams 5.
Man of the match for the Wolverines went to Nick Pfeifer, who scored two brilliant tries. Man of the match for the Rams was Sooke-native Mason Swift, who played well both offensive and defensively.
By Jennifer Smith