Blues Hang on to Beat the Saracens in League Opener
Mississauga Blues RFC Opening Day Victory
The Mississauga Blues kicked off the 2018 rugby season in fine fashion, holding on for a 32-26 victory over Toronto Saracens.
The Blues started the scoring with a Jason Park penalty from 25 m out just 2 minutes into the game. The lead did not last long however as the Saracens bounced right back with a converted try to make the score 7-3.
The next 5 minutes kept trainer Amy busy as she had to deal with not one but two significant gashes to the head as forwards Dan Covello and Jackson Amos both left blood on the field for the Blues. Amy was able to stop the bleeding on the Amos cut but Covello's was too deep and he was not able to return, forcing an early substitution. Second row Andrei Korac came on less than 15 minutes after having put in a full 80 minute shift for the Blues Second XV and in a heroic effort, played the rest of the game. While Amy was patching up Dan, the Blues controlled a line-out from 5 m out and after a good push in the ensuing maul, sprung Jason Park loose for the Blues' first try of the game at the 13 minute mark. Park added the conversion giving the Blues a lead that they would not relinquish at 10-7.
The next Blues points came courtesy of a try by Jeff Hogle. The Blues scrummaged from the right side about 40 m out and worked the ball all the way to the other side through the hands of Jackson Mills, Joshua Maharaj and Park before Hogle took it the rest of the way. A very nice convert by Park from the left sideline put the Blues up 17-7.
After forcing a turnover at their own 22, the Blues' backs advanced the ball to the opposition 35m line before off-loading to big prop, Nick Spesivtsev who rumbled for about 34 m before losing the ball just before the goal line. However following the ensuing scrum, the Blues again turned it over and Jason Park spotted down the try to make it 22-7 Blues at the 33 minute mark. The Saracens responded with a try of their own just as the half came to an end, making the half time score 22-12 Blues.
Tries from asad chaudhry and Jackson Amos increased the Blues' lead to 32-12 by the 55 minute mark in the second half. The Saracens closed to within 6 with two converted tries of their own in the next 10 minutes, but the Blues' defence held firm for the last 15 minutes, earning the Blues the 32-26 victory. With 5 tries in the game, the Blues earned a victory bonus point, while the Saracens earned 2 bonus points in defeat.
A major key to the Blues victory was the strength of the scrum with Andrei and Chris Lewis coming off the bench to add to strong performances by the front row, Frank Kang, Christopher Sadler, and Nick, resulting in Frank Kang being named Blues' Man-of-the-Match.
The Blues Second XV also turned in a strong performance earning 2 bonus points in a narrow 29-26 defeat after trailing 22-7 at the half. The Blues were the beneficiaries of a lot of pace on the wings as Blues' tries came from wingers Kwame Sarpong with 2 and Timico Smith with 1 with fullback substitute Jackson Mills adding the fourth. A lot of character was demonstrated by the Blues as they actually came back to take the lead before a late Saracens' try gave the Saracens the victory.
The Blues now get the Victoria Day weekend off before hosting the Belleville Bulldogs RFC, Saturday, May 26th.