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(Posted 10:30 a.m., May 31)
Knights successfully defend high school rugby championship

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the St. Peter Knights senior boys rugbey team pose with the championship trophy after successfully defenong their NCSSAA title on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The St. Peter Knights senior boys rugby team is heading back to the OFSAA provincial championships after success-fully defending the National Capital high school championship last week.

The Knights managed to avoid the drama of last year’s title game, which went into sudden death penalty kicks, by scoring early against the Sacred Heart Huskies and keeping them out of the goal area and off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.

The match was not without controversy, however, as the second half was marred by a number of stoppages due to questionable conduct by the Huskies, including at least one incidental blow to the head of a Knights player. Fortunately, time was called before the situation got a chance to get out of hand entirely.

The Knights got on the scoreboard early in the first half on a try by Dominic Wheeler which capped several phases with the ball starting near midfield.

The early try was reminiscent of the regular season match up between the two teams which the Huskies won 14-12. That game came down to a missed convert attempt by St. Peter.

The Knights failed to convert their early try in the championship game which left the door open for the Huskies to steal the title with a converted try of their own. As things turned out, they would never get the chance. St. Peter’s defence and tackling were stellar and the Huskies didn’t even get close to the try line.

After the game, Knights veteran head coach LeeAnn Napiorkowski was asked to compare this year’s championship squad to last year’s side.

“It’s their passion and the support they have for each other. They’ve really bought into the notion that were a family. Before a big game, I always ask each player what are they playing for, and they all said my brothers, my teammates. They’ve formed a really solid bond and that’s hard to break,” said Napiorkowski.

The Knights finished the regular season with a 4-1 record. Their only loss was against the Huskies on May 16. They beat the Glebe Gryphons 19-5 in the semi-final to earn their spot in the title game. The Huskies received a bye into the final, thanks to their first place finish in the regular season.

The Knights will now head to the OFSAA AAA provincial championships in London which will be held from June 7-9.

The St. Peter Knights pose for a team photo following their win over the Sacred Heart Huskies in the NCSSAA senior boys rugby final on May 29 Members of the team include Liam Curran, Dom Wheeler, Zak Karim, Devon Connors, Pierre Hardy-Gouombas, Alex Issa, Connor Millenor, Tristan Oullette, François Therrien, Dan Aucoin, Brayden Gray, Blaise Rego, Liam Massey, Nick Andre, Jackson Bender, Ethan Cahill, Miguel Kabore, Peter Tran, Bobby Lachambre, Sam Henriques, Jeff Xia, Pat Bouchard, Sean Brownrigg, Liam Paquette, Kieran Blair, Phil Dionne, Josh Cochrane, Nathaniel Mulugeta, Jake Auclair, Adrian Poirier, Mike Tough and Ayam Qawas.. Fred Sherwin/Photo

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




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