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'(Posted 10:30 a.m., June 5)
Gloucester Gators win Tier 2 rugby championship in convincing fashion
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Sean Cunningham bulls his way through a pair of would-be tacklers as the Gloucester Gators downed the St. Joseph Jaguars 41-12 in the Tier 2 senior boys rugby championship on Thursday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Gloucester Gators senior boys rugby team capped off a perfect season with a near perfect performance against the St. Joseph Jaguars on Thursday to win the Tier 2 city championship.

The Gators gave up the first try of the match and were down 12-5 at one point before scoring 37 unanswered points to win 42-12.

Eric Franz lead the way for the Gators with a pair of tries, while Andries Selse kicked four converts and a goal kick for 11 points. Sean Ono, Scott Smith and Sean Cunningham had Gloucester's other tries.

St. Joseph drew first blood with a try at the three minute mark of the first half. Gloucester responded five minutes later on Franz's first try of the game, but the Jaguars came right back with their second try of the game less than three minutes later.

Franz's second try of the game at the 15:37 mark of the first half would tie the score after Selse split the uprights with the convert.

With the score tied 12-12, the Gators started to impose their will on their opponents as the tide, at least in terms of field position and ball possession, began to turn in their favour.

After the half, the Gators came out with renewed purpose and soon had the Jaguars reeling. Two quick tries by Cunningham and Smith and a convert by Selse would give Gloucester a 24-12 lead.

Selse's goal kick from 35 metres out midway through the second half put the Gators up 27-12. They would add two more converted tries for good measure before the game finally ended with Gloucester on top.

Gators head coach Todd Fortier was elated with his team's ability to stay mentally focused in the first half after they fell behind early in the game.

"After we got down early we just went back to the basics. Keep it in tight pound the ball in the middle and then send it out to the backs to do all the work," said Fortier in describing how they managed to take over the game.

The win caps a perfect season in which the Gators were 9-0. The team's record is a redemption of sorts for Fortier and several of the players who had to suffer through a winless football season last fall.

'(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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