Red Hawks Rugby rebound after resounding rout

The Boys from Haliburton are in the playoffs

By Terrance Gavan

A wild Jeckyl-Hyde performance put down by the Red Hawk rugby team in their final two games of the regular season.

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Louis Ferracuti brings down a Kenner Ram during rugby action on the Gary Brohman pitch last Tuesday afternoon. Photo By Terrance Gavan.

The Hawks lost 55-0 to rugby juggernaut Thomas A Stewart last Friday (May 13), but rose like the Mary Ellen Carter on Tuesday (May 17) to defeat visiting Kenner Rams 7-0 on the final play of the game.

The game-winning try came by way of a heady Josh Dennys’ kick, follow, and fall on the ball in touch – with the ref’s watch still beeping to signal the end of regulation time.

Greg Baumgartner booted the ball through the uprights for the two point conversion. The win propelled the Hawks into tomorrow’s Kawartha playdowns slated for Cobourg.

Head coach Chris Simpson said that his squad of young players showed class, heart and a ‘not in my house’ attitude to rebound from last Friday’s humiliating defeat.

Simpson allowed that Tuesday’s win was not “pretty” but thankfully artful performance does not figure into scoreboard dynamics.

The win leaves the Hawks 1-2-1 on the season.

Hawks tied Fenelon Falls 5-5 and lost another close encounter with powerhouse Brock Bulldogs earlier in the short rugby season.

Unfortunately, the Hawks will be without the services of Louis Ferracuti, an all purpose scrum back.

Ferracuti suffered a debilitating shoulder injury late in the game. “You know what Louie’s been an absolute animal for us this year and we’re going to miss him on Friday,” said Simpson.

“This was a good game we had plenty of penalties but we learn from our mistakes and we’ll be heading to the finals on Friday,” smiled Simpson. “This was a make or break game for us today and the boys knew it.

“It’s nice to be rewarded and it hasn’t worked out in our favor all the time for us this season, but today it did. And that’s nice for the boys, who wanted to play strong especially here at home. I think we had more penalties today than the rest of the season, but I think that’s in part due to the boys wanting to win so badly in front of the home crowd.”

Some good reasons to be happy then.

The Red Hawks came to the table with a few liabilities this year. The team did not have enough seniors to field a team this season and so the varsity rugby team is actually a mesh of junior and senior players.

The age factor was especially noticeable last Friday against that Thomas A Stewart team who field a team of upper classmen, rep league rugby players and two members of the All-Ontario squad.

“I think our pack was outweighed by at least 300 pounds in scrums against TAS,” said Simpson last Friday.

No excuses from Simpson though and no excuses fromn the Hawks. Just solid solid play last Tuesday against Kenner.

He says the Hawks coaching staff is very proud of the play of all the players this season. Including the Grade 9 and 10 players who are slugging well above their weight.

“You know what, as we told the boys at the beginning of the season, we’re coming into the year, we’re here to have fun and we’re here to play regardless of the outcome.

“So we’ll head to Cobourg on Friday and we’ll see what happens.”

We’ll have the results on line and in next week’s Voice.

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