By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
Raymond’s junior varsity teams went a combined 5-0 on Saturday as the Comets hosted a JV Rugby Festival.
In typical Raymond fashion, the two JV teams played defensively-sound rugby throughout the day, en route to an undefeated weekend.
One Comets JV team faced a bit of early adversity, however, as coach Dan Bikman added W.R. Myers came out strong and challenged the hosts.
“One of our teams got scored on once by Taber,” he said. “Taber had a good group of kids and some hard-hitting kids and they really woke us up.”
Myers scored a minute into the game but to Raymond’s credit, the Comets responded quickly, and cruised to a 25-5 win.
And while it was certainly a positive that one Raymond JV team went 3-0 and the other squad went 2-0, Bikman added the weekend was about more than wins and losses. With so many players playing competitive rugby for the first time ever the coach added Saturday was a great opportunity to learn the intricacies of the sport.
“I call it learning the dance of the game,” he said. “There is a flow to it and spacing to it and an order to it. There’s certain spacing that’s effective and spacing that’s not effective. Kids at the beginning of their rugby careers really need to learn about that spacing.”
Rugby, a 15 on 15 sport, with forwards passing backwards and a ton of movement all over the field, is just a different kind of game, compared to basketball and hockey, Bikman added, which just adds to the early learning curve.
But Raymond’s JV players excelled at competition against southern Alberta programs they will see again when league play begins.
“It was just the overall ball movement that was good for a JV team, and I really liked when they got scored on and showed some composure,” said Bikman, who added some of his youngsters also displayed the leadership skills required for the sport.
Now, the season really begins, as Raymond was in Pincher Creek Wednesday for league play (scores unavailable at press time) before a big April 15 date at home with Calgary’s Notre Dame, for junior and senior games.