It was a mixed result for the Ladysmith rugby teams in Port Alberni.
The senior boys took no prisoners March 31 and posted a 39-0 defeat of Alberni. The juniors had a tougher fight on their hands in a high-scoring affair that found themselves on the losing end.
Peter Kis-Toth, one of the coaches for the senior boys, was very impressed with his side, noting many of the concerns that popped up during training and exhibition were addressed in the game.
Kis-Toth said the back line performed well for the team with superb ball handling.
The forwards also showed great skill with ball retention after the tackle, something that had been a challenge leading up to the start of the regular season.
While the forwards proved their grit up front it was the back line that was responsible for all the points, said Kis-Toth.
The backs were able to commit extra defenders to tackles leaving enough space for the wing to break through the end.
“Their back line wasn’t very organized,” said Kis-Toth.
“So we exploited that.”
Defense was exceptional, too, said Kis-Toth, pointing to the 39-0 score.
Kis-Toth said many of the newcomers to the sport are fitting in well, while others still need to crank up the aggression.
Kyle MacDonald, coach for the junior team, said simple errors in tackling and ball handling dealt the boys at 39-28 defeat on March 31.
Port Alberni’s side, he added, had to aggressive runners at 8th man and in the centres who were responsible for most of Alberni’s points.
That, he said, is where poor tackling came into play.
“We didn’t contain them well enough. That was the difference in the game.”
Ladysmith was up 7-5 at the half and the lead went back and forth.
Alberni sealed the fate with two late tries.
MacDonald still pleased with a few aspects of the team’s play, noting rucking and ball retention improved in the second half.
“We lost a lot of ball that should have been ours.”
MacDonald said they are lacking speed in the back line and would like to work on better organizing the defence.
The women’s team also beat Port Alberni 36-7. Coach Dave Van Horn said the girls played a great game showing superb tackling and ball usage.
Both boys’ teams will be playing at home on Thursday, April 7.
The girls’ team will be in Shawinigan Lake on April 5.