For the second game of the Men’s Division 1 season, Enfield RFC commuted into Spryfield to play Halifax RFC at Rockingstone Heights School. Enfield RFC looked to get its first win after a disappointing road game against the Fredericton Loyalists Rugby Club earlier in the month.
HRFC started strong, using their back-line speed to gain space. The number 10 from HRFC, Jon King used kicks to push Enfield back in their end. Enfield RFC had the first big chance of the game, with number 10 Jordan Sheppard kicking into space. HRFC’s winger was able to cover across the field and clear the ball out the back for an Enfield scrum. Scrum-half Mark Sweeney made a 9 pick and ran in for a try. Stew Cook kicked the convert to make the score 7-0.
Then the forwards for both teams showed that human refrigerators can play some mean rugby. Enfield’s front 3, Ryan Dickie, Mikey McNamara and Brandon Horne made some monstrous hits, while also contributing to the offense with crash plays.
Defending against HRFC ball carriers and Spryfield horseflies
Neither team could find a hole during the ensuing back-and-forth defensive struggle, until HRFC’s number 10 used his kicking skills to put a well-aimed ball out the sideline deep in Enfield’s end. Enfield RFC secured the ball after the line-out, but HRFC stuffed an attempted box kick and gathered the ball to run in for a try. HRFC wasn’t able to make the convert due to the strong winds, making the score 7-5 for Enfield RFC.
After the restart, HRFC sent a player through a hole at full pace. Stew Cook lined him up and made a huge hit, preventing a sure try. Then Stew showed what helped him earn a place on the Senior Men’s Provincial Keltic team, by slotting a penalty kick from 40 yards out. When the referee blew the whistle for half, the score was 10-5.
The second half began with dominant scrums by Enfield RFC’s pack. Players like Evan Dickie, Kyle Cigolotti and Tyler “Champ” Leblanc destroyed rucks and ran excellent offensive lines. Enfield’s backs had knock-on troubles, but recovered with superb defense. Alex “How is he still on his feet?” Malay, Sam MacDonell and Justin Dunn provided bursts of offense, pressing HRFC back into their own end for long stretches of play.
The deadlock was almost broken by Enfield RFC, but Alex “You looked so happy” Malay put the ball down on the wrong line. Everyone in the crowd agreed that it was hilarious. [Editors Note: In a long dialogue from 9 to 8 at the back of an attacking scrum, Sweeney also told Evan we were over the line and to ground the ball. We were on the five. What an idiot. MS] On the next phase, HRFC found a hole and went on a big run. Stew Cook, Chuck “It’s a Belly Shirt Now” Owens, and John McRae all made great hits to keep HRFC from scoring.
Enfield RFC’s lead held until the final three minutes, when HRFC took possession at Enfield’s ten-yard-line because of an intentional knock-on penalty. HRFC crashed the ball through Enfield’s defense and scored under the uprights. They also converted the try, making the score 12-10.
Honourary Assistant Coach Jack Heald inspired the team as they made their way to half to kick the restart. The verbal lashing seemed to work, as Enfield pushed HRFC back against their try-line. From a maul that stopped just short, Enfield’s forwards ran several crash phases. Luke Horne found a minuscule gap in HRFC’s goal-line defense, pressing the ball down for a last minute try. The kick missed just wide, but the game ended shortly the restart. The final score was 15-12, for Enfield RFC.