Titans claim provincial gold

For the first time in 14 years, the Red Deer Titans men’s rugby team is able to claim the title of provincial champions.

The new Calgary Rugby Union Div III City Champions put the finishing touch on an undefeated season last weekend, rolling to a huge 67-5 win over the Edmonton Leprechaun-Tigers RFC to clinch their first Rugby Alberta provincial title since 2002.

“It was a goal that we had set up at the beginning of the season, so to go through and see the goal is always nice,” said Titans Head Coach Mike Berry of the win, which put the Red Deer side at a perfect 15-0 in league play on the season.

“That isn’t a bad stat all in all,” laughed Berry.

Saturday’s victory in Calgary came on the heels of a 30-15 win over the Calgary Knights RFC in the CRU 3rd Division City Final two weeks ago, a huge win over a team that had the ability to really challenge the Red Deer team.

The momentum from that win may have contributed to the Titans’ dominating performance in Saturday’s provincial matchup against the Edmonton Rugby Union champion Lep-Tigers.

“We had come up with a game plan, the guys stuck to it and I know the Tigers had adjusted some players because they had two games that day,” Berry said.

Still, the Titans started clicking right from the opening kick-off and within the first two minutes they put their first try on the board. They followed that up with another one 10 minutes later and never looked back.

By half-time, Red Deer had a 39-5 lead.

“Our set piece was quite effective, tackles were made when they needed to be made. The second half had quite a few more penalties than the first half, which slowed things down a little bit,” said Berry.

He added that the Titans’ bench came up big to keep up their great play, even after a couple of injuries.

“A lot of it was just the basics we focused on and executing things when we wanted to and I think when it came down to it the guys executed well.”

Quick ball movement and fitness were also huge factors in the win, Berry said.

“Because we were a little bit fitter than they were we could run around and use our fitness and speed and capitalize on it versus just playing up the middle and trying to bash the big guys.”

He added that it was a great day not just for the senior men’s team, but for the entire Titans Rugby Club, many of whom came out to support their boys in purple.

“The alumni, the old boys, the women’s team, a lot of the younger kids like the U18s who are up and coming. So it was great as a whole because even people who were watching the game might want to get involved next year which is great for the club as a group.”

The Red Deer Titans RFC will begin registering new members in February.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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