By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
In sports, you win some, and you lose some – unless you’re the Raymond Comets rugby teams.
Whether it’s sweeping through the province and taking a title in 15s or winning a 7s championship, the Comets have made winning seem routine.
And on Saturday, at a 7s tournament hosted by Chinook High School, Raymond looked well on its way to another undefeated weekend.
“It was good until we hit LCI, and they laid a whooping on us,” said Raymond coach Dan Bikman. “We beat Vulcan, Chinook and Fort MacLeod, and then we lost to LCI six tries to one.”
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute’s strong collection of backs proved to be too much for the Comets, and stunned a Raymond 7s program that hadn’t lost a game in quite some time.
“They beat us in every category that we could be beat,” said Bikman. “I tip my hat to them, and our kids could definitely be better but it’s a wake-up call for us. I have kids in our program that have never lost a rugby game before.”
The 7s team will have a crack at LCI this weekend at another tournament in the city.
“I like the test and I like the challenge for our team,” said Bikman. “I was super impressed with LCI, and we get to play them again this weekend with a chance to change the outcome or narrow the gap.”
Speaking of gaps, Raymond’s senior varsity 15s team built up quite a gap last week in league play against Chinook, as the Comets crushed the Coyotes 84-7.
“It started tight, Chinook came out and played good defence and hit us hard,” said Bikman. “It took us five minutes or so to score and find our footing and after that we started to roll.”
The score might have been lopsided but the coach was impressed with the game Chinook brought to the table.
“They played good D and they did score on us but our system just managed to find some holes. We did manage to get 10-15 breakaway runs but then there were probably 40 others where we didn’t get scores.”
That’s where scores in rugby contests can be a little misleading, according to Bikman, who praised Chinook’s coaching and the commitment its players had to tackling.
Raymond won the JV contest as well, as Bikman estimated the score was somewhere in the 40-0 range.
The JVs and SVs continued league play Wednesday against Winston Churchill High School (score unavailable at press time).
This weekend, the senior 15s team will be in Edmonton, where the Comets will see big city teams such as Harry Ainlay, Bishop McNally and Sturgeon.
“It just gives us a chance to look at who is strong up there, gives us a good opportunity for some team building and play four games in three days.”