The Weekend in Review - Game Updates
This past weekend, the Clan has put up a great show on the field and brought home a couple of good, well-deserved wins.
Have you missed any of the games? Catch up with our weekly reports by our great coaches!
The Clan had the chance to avenge their loss 2 weeks ago against the Druids on a hot and windy day at Airways Park. However, it was not to be as they ran out 48-41 winners in a free flowing and entertaining match. Both sides scored some spectacular tries, none more so than one of Conor Pullin as he tapped and went from a penalty and half way, beat a multitude of defenders, and carried a couple over the try line in a fantastic display of determination.
Just 1 point separated the sides at half time, but - not for the first time this season - the Clan started the 2nd half poorly conceding 2 very soft tries thus handing the ascendancy to the Druids, forcing the Clan to chase the rest of the game. While the fight was admirable, another close loss filled with plenty of positives just isn't enough when winning is all that matters.
Standouts for the Clan were Conor Pullin who scored twice and regularly broke the Druids defensive line. Avery Vandenberg, who was thrown into the starting line up late Thursday for his first start for the AC side ran the Clan attack well and asked plenty of questions of the Druids defensive line. Workhorse Jordan Yuskow put in another solid shift of hard graft - carrying strongly and hitting more than his fair share of rucks.
In his popular 2002 song ‘Lose Yourself’, rapper Eminem points out that in life sometimes you only get “one shot…/one opportunity.” Fortunately for the 2017 Clan 2nd Division Men’s team (aka the super2s), on Saturday July 15th they had a second chance at defeating an always tough LA Crude squad. The first match against the Crude back in May ended in a humbling 57-0 loss for the 2s. A mulligan was in order and the 2s took full advantage - ‘seizing the opportunity’ to get their first home win of the season much like the Rabbit character in 8 Mile does during the crucial freestyle rap battle scenes later on in the movie.
Flanker Darcy “red or yellow?” McKay opened the scoring with an unexpected point-and-shoot drop goal from about 10m. Let that sentence sink in for a second, I’ll wait… The Clan continued to string together productive phases in Leduc’s end which led to Mike Adibe slotting a penalty from 30m out. 6-0 Clan.
Fly-half Arnold Yu, who I hear hosts a mean Bachelor party, sliced through the Crude defence for a nice 60m run which led to a good scoring chance but the ball was spilled near the goal line and the score remained 6-0 at half. The message to the boys at half-time was to keep up the high pressure defence and methodical possession game which had kept Leduc scoreless throughout the first half.
Early in the 2nd frame, 8-man Sean 'banter’ Murphy bounced off multiple Crude defenders en route to the game’s first try. Adibe converted to make it 13-0 Clan. With the score 13-7, winger Elias ‘mind over’ Mawa broke the game open in the 65th minute with a superb burst of speed which left 4 or 5 would-be Leduc tacklers cartoonishly strewn all over the Airways eastern touchline.
The game ended 27-14 for the Clan super2s. Most of all, this was a win earned thanks to a huge defensive effort by all 22 players; especially the relentless tackling of Tom Stubbs, Darcy McKay, Derrick De Leon, Arnold Yu, and Aiden Vandenberg, among others. Wing/Centre Curtis Lizotte was excellent in his first game back from a broken hand. Chase Goebel and Kal Souleiman at prop were also very impressive.
Still a lot of areas to clean up in the weeks ahead but a nice reward for a team that has been on the wrong side of a few close games previously this year.
There are those that say there are no losses, you either win or you learn.
Well, it appeared that our illustrious 3rd div squad was cramming for the Provincial Finals on Friday night with a devastating 38-0 loss to the Druids, and were granted an opportunity to learn countless lessons throughout the game.
The squad has been extremely tight-knit this year, but has fallen off on practice time and discipline as of late and the effects showed themselves in dramatic fashion on the pitch. A scattered, shallow and formless offence was not able to get the ball to the outside thanks to a formidable push up put on by the Druids defence. And our D wasn't able to contain their ball from moving through their backline for big gains (albeit, a back line that saw 4 players start in the next day's First Div game...)
Positives can be taken from the game though, as we counter-rucked really well, and special notice should be bestowed up on Chris Forbes for being a significant presence at every breakdown.
We had the honour of hosting some great new talent from the U-18 team in Lucas and Luis. Thanks so much guys! We'll come back better and stronger.
On Saturday July 15th, the Clanswomen division 2 team hosted the Drayton Valley Riggers and the result was a foregone conclusion as the Riggers had to default the match due to having to bring in players from other squads in order to field 15 players. From the opening minutes, the ladies decided to put on a clinic in dynamic attack. Right away, it was apparent that the Clanswomen had gelled in set piece and open play, often working together to offload and keep phases moving down the field.
More impressive than the final score of 73-22, however, were the people playing their first game in a new position. Garner Mori played an excellent game at scrum-half distributing the ball well and taking advantage of running lines when they opened, eventually running in a try from over 50 metres in the 2nd half.
Another impressive performance came from Karey Thomson who, in her 2nd ever start in Sr. rugby, put in a solid 80mins as hooker. Other notable performances came in from Klara Gorman at fly-half who had an impressive day kicking, and Roya Abolghosmei and Kelly Eve Soucy, both of whom played impressive defence over 80mins.
As these players continue to develop and hone their skills, there is no doubt you’ll be hearing about them in premier games to come.