The Ladysmith senior AA boys rugby season has just begun, and spectators can look forward to a solid mix of veteran and talented players, says coach Peter Kis-Toth.
“Ladysmith has a good rugby program … so they tend to do quite well on the Island,” he said.
The team is made up of players in Grades 9-12 and has several seasoned players returning to the field, including captain Hunter Lloyd (centre), Quintin Ogden (fly-half) and Mike Needham (centre). All three players have rep team experience.
“They’re quite good players,” Kis-Toth said.
Kis-Toth is looking forward to working on game development as the season progresses.
“One of the major things is to get a good defensive structure, as well as developing basic skills — tackling, running with the ball and passing,” he said.
The team is taking off for a trip to California this week, on March 15, to compete in the Fullerton High School international rugby tournament and spend some time enjoying the sights and sounds of the Golden State before returning March 21.
At the tournament, they will play against four different teams; however, they won’t be able to size up the competition until they arrive.
“We have no idea what we’re going to face down there,” Kis-Tosh said.
Though the BC Secondary School Rugby Union season officially began March 5, the Ladysmith team has been in practices since January to prepare for the tournament.
The team had originally fundraised for a two-week trip to the United Kingdom, however due to unforseen circumstances with teacher job action, the trip was rerouted to California.
The Ladysmith senior boys rugby team placed second in the North Island division last year, and Kis-Toth is confident the boys will be able to pull it off in 2012.
“I expect us to do it again, but we will have to work very hard to do it,” he said.
Helping that development along is the fact that Brentwood-College, the Island’s strongest rugby team, is fielding a team for league play this season.
“[That’s] going to be good for everybody,” Kis-Toth said.
The team’s next regular season game will be against Cowichan on March 27 at 3:30 p.m. at Ladysmith Secondary School.