The Red Deer Titans Senior Men Division 3 team got the 2016 Calgary Rugby Union season off to a good start Saturday afternoon when they downed the Calgary Knights in convincing fashion during their home opener at Titans Rugby Park.
“It’s always nice to start off with a win, especially at home. Obviously, you get the fans and stuff here and they like to see the home team win. Even for the guys and their morale. I think they realized that it’s more competitive than they initially thought,” said Titans’ Head Coach Mike Berry after his team’s 59-5 rout of the Knights.
Berry said the win was a step in the right direction for the team, who were unhappy with their performance during a pre-season win in Drayton Valley a couple of weeks ago.
“For the last couple of weeks we focused on a few different things in practice, so it was nice to actually see the stuff come out in a game,” said Berry.
The Titans got on the board early and often in the early season matchup, which was the first league game for the team.
“It shows me the guys are learning, the guys are focusing,” said Berry.
The match got off to a great start for the home team, who only conceded one try during the game while managing to score eight of their own.
“Scoring and winning is always something that everybody wants to do. I think a lot of the scoring just shows that the guys are putting in the work, because the last time that we played in Drayton Valley we only had a couple of trys. This weekend we got a few more. It shows that the guys can actually play and they’re excited to play.”
Red Deer controlled the pace of the action from beginning to end. Their backs were finding the space they needed to score while their forwards did their part to help advance the ball, especially during rucks.
“Like I said, it’s nice to see the practice come out in the game. The offloads, the rucks, all that kind of stuff — we struggled the last game and we tried to break things up a little bit this week,” said Berry.
The Division 3 Men’s Titans next match will take place May 13th at the Bow Valley Rugby Club in Cochrane against the Bow Valley Barbarians.
Berry said the team will be using their two practices this week to re-evaluate this weekend’s performance and prepare for Bow Valley.
“It should be alright. We’ll get two practices in and organize some of the missteps and what-not.”
Kickoff on that game is 7:45 p.m.
The Division 3 Men weren’t the only Red Deer rugby team to emerge from last weekend’s contests victorious.
The U13 Boys Titans group got the ball rolling on Saturday’s big season-opening day with a 33-5 win over the Okotoks Lions U13 team before the U15 Boys team stepped up to a huge 54-22 decision over Okotoks to complete the weekend sweep for the club.
The Division 1 Senior Women’s Titans did not complete their scheduled match with the Calgary Saints due to a game cancellation. The women will instead get their season underway this Saturday afternoon when they host Calgary’s Hornets RFC at Titans Field. Kickoff on that game is at 3 p.m.