Womens Weekend Wrap Up July 27

Burlington Centaurs Ladies welcomed a tough and talented Fergus team to Sherwood Forest Park on Saturday July 27th looking to reverse what was a comprehensive league defeat three weeks ago in Fergus, albeit with a thinner squad. With almost a full complement of players for the first time in a month, coach Jonny Goldie started with his strongest XV, looking to match up physically against a tough Fergus side. This proved to be the case as Burlington took the game to Fergus from the start, forcing handling errors early on with their aggressive blitz defence. Into a stiff first half wind, the Centaurs ladies kept the ball in hand but struggled to make the decisive break required against an organized defence. The Highland side used the wind to their advantage scoring a converted try after 10 minutes of desperate defence by the Centaurs. Burly would reply with a well worked try on the short side from the outstanding No. 8 Ahink Hussein taking the score to 7-5 at the 20 minute mark. More tactical kicking from Fergus would pin the Burlington side in their own half for the next 15 minutes, the overstretched defence finally breaking for another Fergus try, which was converted, taking the score to 14-5 just before the half. Burlington would immediately counterpunch once again after good work from the forward pack turned over ball and from the ensuing penalty, Ahink Hussein would cross for her second of the day under the posts. Killeen Leitch would add the conversion for a half time score of Burlington 12 – Fergus 14.

The second half scoring started right after the whistle after Centaurs confusion at the kick-off allowed Fergus to gain possession and a few phases later they were over the try line once again in a somewhat easy manner. True to type however this is a team full of heart, whos heads never go down and they were to rally in the second half, with full-back Leitch using the breeze to control territory whilst the blitz defence snuffed out most Fergus attacks deep in their own half. Man of the match Ann Andre who was seemingly everywhere, had a stormer, winning the breakdowns and returning loose kicks gaining yards every time she had her hands on the ball. Ably supported by fellow back rows Littlejohn and Hussein in the loose and a dominant front row in the scrummage, the Ladies forward pack slowly took a stranglehold on the game which resulted in tries for the athletic Ketsia Kamba and the always aware Katelyn Carey who had moved to scrum half for the second half. Killeen Leitch would add one conversion bringing the Burlington side to within 2 points as the clock ran down. With the Fergus scrum-half in the bin for repeated infringements Prop Aislinn McNally would take advantage to crash over for what would be the winning try with 3 minutes remaining. The Fergus side would be unable to gain any forward momentum in the frantic final few minutes as Burlington’s blitz defence repeatedly knocked them backwards and an exhausted but happy bunch of Burlington Ladies welcomed the final whistle and a well-earned victory to end the 2019 league season in style.

Final Score: Burlington Ladies 29 – Fergus Ladies 26

Senior Mens Weekend Wrap Up July 6

Burlington 1stXV versus Oakville Crusaders July 6th

 

You, reader, are perhaps a person who has some history under their belt. As such, you would know about infantry square formations. They were quite unbreakable to pre-modern military, particularly when cavalry were employed. For nearly three centuries this would be the formation to defeat a incoming cavalry enemy. Form a square, fix bayonets, fire quickly, and stand fast. Indeed, a simple yet effective formation. The same could be said for the Crusader rugby team. Which, had remained undefeated by a Burlington Centaur team in the regular season for more than a decade.

Of course, the Centaurs had defeated one or another Crusader team over the years. “Not the starting team,” would cry onlookers. “Not all our starters,” the famous words of one, Mark Winokur, headmaster of the Ontario Arrows. So, as the game kicked off on July 6th in the year of our Lord 2019 the Centaurs had yet to defeat a Crusader team in many years according to the leading scientists of our profession.

The Crusaders, Napoleon; the Centaurs, Wellington. Like many peninsular battles the game kicked off to a fanfare of spectators. The crowd decidedly pro-Crusader being that it was their Alumni Day; with a great number of Centaurs in attendance. Indeed, it was the making of a great day of importance.

The Crusaders sported a young team that, despite the heat, managed to produce surprising line speed throughout the game. However, Burlington would strike first in the form of modernity as one Graham Dobbs powered over the try-line. Interestingly, sooth-sayers on the sidelines in the form of one Mark Winoakur had predicted a poor showing from our beloved Dobbs. The MacMaster Alum proved our magic stronger as shortly after he would go on to make astounding defensive plays against an aggressive Crusader backlash.

As the game continued, it became clear that the Centaurs had fallen into poor repertoire with the reffing society of Ontario as call after call would be lobbied against us. Alas, the answer to poor reffing is of course to score points. These came in the form of Zach Shurtleff, Brendan Bryan, and Daniel Mathie; who would all put points on the board and keep the enemy at bay.

This is the story of the Centaurs, who broke an infantry square; before thought impossible. It is the story of a team that has come from relegation to be apart of the highest form of rugby in the province. This is what breaking the square looks like in modern days. It is the good spirit of a club that understands that community and excellence go hand-in-hand. The Centaurs do not trade in mercenaries and carte blanch warfare such as the French or the Crusaders. Rather, the Centaurs are the thin Blue line that stands against the tyranny of a rugby culture gone awry. As such, they are rewarded with the laurels of winning; being the best.

In the Peninsular War, breaking a square formation by cavalry was unheard of. If infantry stood strong and did not flinch in the face of a cavalry charge they would prevail. The Crusaders formed a square and they put their best men in the front line, and yet, they flinched in the face of a Centaur charge.

On July 6th in the year of our Lord 2019 the Burlington Centuars prevailed over the Oakville Crusaders 21-14.

 

Burlington Centaurs 2nds XV

The story of the Burlington Centaurs Seconds team is not one of defeat , but rather a defiant resistance to a team who believes they are above the rules.

Allow me first to elucidate. The Oakville Crusaders are the largest team in Canada. Simply put, they have the most bodies to throw at the breach that is the sport of rugby. Alas, this past weekend the Crusaders were unable to pull together a 4ths team which left our own Berties out of a game. However, these Crusaders were able to cobble together a team to defy our Burlington Centaur Seconds. Indeed, they threw everything they had that rated below first team at us. Yet, with such a strong team how did they not score more? This humble narrator investigates.

You see, there is a trick to the Crusader magic. This magic lies within the corruptible young minds of the educational establishments that lie within reach. Rather than train a rugby player; they train the little things. Hit a man while he is down, lugubrious play, and heckles from a safe distance. Luckily for the Burlington Centaurs there is a strong base of older players who are used to this type of play, who are readily available to crunch those who defy the letter and the law.

Easily brought to mind is one John McPherson, who when brought to the scene of injustice is swift and unforgiving in his judgement. As well, it is important to point out that the game was started with great experience in the front row that held steadfast until veterans Tim Morton and Mark Chesser were taken out of the game by freak injury.

Alas, one could complain about referee or opposing team, but why curse the darkness when one could light a candle. The game, in this case, was illuminated by expert defense from Quintin Kleppe, Brock Kelly, and Danny Brotman. Indeed, it could have been a runaway horse in terms of the score, but with a seldom seen enthusiasm this team turned the tide.

Of course this could be the point at which this author could eviscerate the Burlington Centaurs, however, it is not that moment. Instead, the opposite, what this person saw was extreme fortitude in the face of an untenable situation. Every player comes up against this once or twice in their career. A game in which they cannot win. On the big screen it is often seen when some player realizes this. They toss the ball away, take penalties to get out of the game, or worse chastise their own players. However, as Burlington took on points there was an aura of calm determination. A call to arms: that though things seemed grim there was a chance, or a way. In this aspect Burlington outclassed their opponents who, in traditional Crusader fashion, railed against the rules and played outside the gentlemanly nature of the sport.

Personally, I congratulate the Burlington Centaurs Seconds team on their loss to the Oakville Crusaders some 35 points to 5.

Club Contours – Emily Gastaldini

Burlington Centaurs Club Contours with Emily Gastaldini

Monthly there will be a profile of a Burlington Centaur player who has represented the club in the spirit of the sport of rugby. As well, that their efforts have made the club greater as a whole. It is important to recognize these players and members for their dedication to the Burlington Centaurs and the rugby community at large. It is my hope to shine the spotlight where perhaps the light had not shone so bright before on those who are well deserving of illumination.

Throughout history we have looked to athletes as the measure of one’s
community. Olympians in ancient Greece came from the furthest city states to
compete for laurels that would force the gods themselves to take notice. Little has
changed in present day. The world in inundated with sports news and features on
particular athletes of note endlessly. However, this novice writer would argue that
there is a greater spectacle: recognizing greatness in an athlete before the world at
large takes the hint.

In this case, our conversation highlights the exploits of a player just in the 3rd year
of their career; one Emily Gastaldini. Who, on June 22nd , scored a hat-trick for the
Burlington Centaurs women’s team against Stoney Creek.

“You can’t get flustered,” she says speaking on the key to overcoming a penalty
gone awry. “If you keep your composure the other team doesn’t know what’s going
on,” she continues and in these words, Ms. Gastaldini’s journey towards becoming a
rugby player begins to crystallize.

There is a world in which Emily Gastaldini did not play rugby. Indeed, it took a
series of dark days to push her towards a career in a completely different sport.
Originally being a soccer player, rugby had not been the goal at the outset, but after a
prickly run in it was time for a change. Many being denied playing the sport they love
would simply turn away, or let it define them; but in this case it was a catalyst that
would lead Emily on a completely new path to greatness.

It would be remiss not to point out that this new path led Gastaldini in the
direction of Centaur legends Kaitlyn Carrey and Bill Clayton who were coaching at
Notre Dame where she would cut her teeth on the sport of rugby. Six months later
Emily would walk onto the Guelph practice squad. Guelph having arguably the best
women’s university team in the country, Gastaldini would be rubbing shoulders with
and rising above players who had been training in the sport for years.

Easy victories are not enough for this young player. There needs to be resistance
to really shine. Challenges are the currency in which Gastaldini trades in, and her
favourite teams to play are the ones that offer just that. Even when asked about the
most difficult part of being a rugby player the ideal of meeting a challenge is ever
present. Having a successful season at winger, it is no surprise to hear that she has her
sights set on learning new positions, but no half-measures will suffice; if she moved
to full-back it would be to “dominate the field at full-back.”

Just three years into her rugby career Emily is aware of the hurdles before her,
but is also optimistic about the skills she has already garnered. Previous training in
soccer has helped in identifying space leaving the field more akin to a “blank canvas”
than an obstacle course. As well, with being new to the sport comes its own pitfall as
rugby at the provincial level is often unwelcoming to new players, particularly when
the right names and handshakes are withheld.
Once the auspicious necessities are taken care of, under armor affixed, wrists
taped; there is just one simple thing to do before hitting the field: “I tell myself, I am
going to score.” Simple words that lead to extraordinary feats on the pitch have all the
makings of a great story. To think, we are only three years into said story!

“You can’t get flustered,” she said, “but, if I need to, I will look to the crowd and
find a focal point and focus.” With the women’s team heading to play offs and the
rising stature of the Centaurs in the Canadian rugby community these are wise words
of advice. Coming from an individual who has a bright future in this sport speaks
highly of her individual character and the team she chooses to call home.

Senior Mens Weekend Wrapup June 22nd

Men’s First XV versus Toronto Balmy Beach June 22nd, 2019

 

Men do not stand united against opposition simply because it is right, or that the sensation is pleasurable. Indeed, it is often the opposite. Sometimes standing against an opponent leads to much strife and injury. In the face of great odds many will simply shrug and stand aside, yet there are those brave few who will stand against a would-be onslaught not because it is easy, but because it is hard.

This is the story of the Burlington Centaurs Men who lined the field on the 22nd, Burlington’s Alumni Weekend. They faced off against the Toronto Balmy Beach, a team who has held position in the highest ranks of Ontario’s leagues for many years. Surely some months ago the idea of Burlington holding their own against the Beach would have seemed laughable. However, those laughing would have been outsiders to the Burlington clubhouse as anyone who has been present in recent years and had witnessed the evolution of this club would have clearly foreseen the result on this day.

With Burlington starting the match kicking to Beach the excitement began immediately as Nate Bryan would defeat his opposite number catching the kick off that mere seconds before had left his younger brothers boot. This opening moment set the tone for Burlington attack in the first half.

With strength in Burlington attack, Beach players sought advantage through other avenues; the less reputable sort. Luckily, Centaurs are well versed in this type of game and maintained cool heads even as a Beach player would cross the try line for the first points of the game.

The Balmy Beach proving themselves with strong set pieces, it would seem that Burlington was in dangerous territory. However, the game began to evolve. Something strange was happening on the field. Each Burlington player that ran with the ball seemed to be breaking the gain line. Evident as it took several Beach players to bring down one Brendan Gilbert on one of his more illustrious runs of the day. Players afraid of contact at this level of the sport? Impossible, one would think.

This change in the game would be further exemplified as Andrew Wilson would shrug off four defenders to score to the right of the posts. An easy kick for Brendan Bryan and the Centaurs would take the lead.

Beach would respond by making a steady march down the field, however the difference being that a singular Centaur was certainly capable of making his tackle on his opposition. Beach mistakes and cerebral Burlington play exemplified exquisite control of open play. Alas, a penalty in Burlington’s half would allow a convert and Beach to take the lead.

Once again Burlington began to assault the thin Beach line and the cracks were evident. A steady march up the field would see Jamie McNaughton bump two defenders to the ground before crashing in for a try. Giving the Centaurs the lead 12-8 at half.

As the whistle blew and Beach took possession of the ball it was clear to see that they had flash, but lacked the pure physicality the Centaurs had cultivated in their breeding program. This led to some frustration on the Beach side and some resulting chippy play.

Chippy indeed, but having no affect on Burlington forward momentum as one of the finest trys of the year was scored by Jordan Tanner who made a cheeky chip over the heads of Beach defenders, catching the ball, and scoring to the immediate left of the posts.

Despite a slew of mistakes, the Beach would manage to score some points some minutes later. However, their celebration was short lived as Burlington tightened the screws down once more and proved that continuous phase play will decimate a weak defense. After 5 minutes of Burlington continually punching the ball forward, A. Wilson would go over the tryline once more. With a smooth conversion it seemed that Burlington had won the second half and the game. However, it would be remiss not to mention a valiant return to form by the Beach team who would go on to score three more trys.

With missed kicks and too little too late, the Beach would fall short leaving the Centaurs victorious 26-23. A winning game that sends a clear message to any would be competitor: We, the boys of Centaurs, deserve to be here and will defy anyone who does not believe this to be true.

Men’s 2nds XV versus Balmy Beach 22-6-19

 

In the Royal British Navy experience was hard won. Some boys would join the service as young as 13 years old. They would be seen over by executive officers and raised in a system that was violent and unforgiving. Their survival depended on the experience of the officer in charge of training them.

In this sense, the Burlington Centaurs has very good officers. Facing off against the Toronto Balmy Beach the Men’s 2nd team’s work was cut out for them. A team with a combination of youthful innovation and experienced grit; the odds stacked in favour of the boys from the Golden Horseshoe.

With kick off came an intense interchange with exceptional intensity coming from Daryl Tharby, Kyle Wilkins, and Vikram Bhardwaj. Burlington responded with stalwart defense and proved to be unafraid on offence, a strategy that would lead to a try some 15 minutes into the game.

With Burlington on the upswing it became apparent that the Beach was frustrated and began retaliating within the loosest terms of rugby law. However, Burlington was undeterred and offered up a firm defense. With the Beach being in emotional disarray and fighting tooth and nail for any sort of foot hold in the game; allowed Burlington to push forward on the wing and score a try seeing Jake Omay push one over the line.

At half the Centaurs stood above with a cool lead of 12-0 over the Balmy Beach. However, with renewal of play a different story would unfold in the second half. Indeed, it would seem as though the Beach had had some stern words amongst themselves and had steeled themselves towards a further more effective offensive.

Burlington would strike first pushing lock Graham Smith over the line. As the Centaurs retreated beyond half it was clear the Beach was concocting revenge soon to be realized. With renewed belligerency, Burlington responded with strong defense led in part by our number 10 Ryan Matthews. Though there was a valiant fight, Beach would punch a try through to put them on the board for the first time.

Burlington again would rise to the call of defense, but would would be disappointed as Beach would march another try over the line. Strong defense and small mistakes would see another try making its way over the line again shortly after making the score 17-21.

Late in the second half Burlington would make a penalty kick rounding the score up to 20-21. However, player error with misplaced pick-and-go’s and a failure of senior players to adhere to a set game plan would lead to the Centaurs demise; falling one point short of victory.

This was an upset for the Burlington Centaurs Men’s 2nd team who have had an exemplary season thus far.

 

Womens Weekend Wrap Up June 22nd

Burlington Ladies welcomed local rivals Stoney Creek Camels to Sherwood Forest Park on a hot, sun bleached Saturday afternoon for their NRU league fixture with 2nd place up for grabs. Stoney Creek playing from the Bronte end took the initiative in the first 5 minutes repeatedly pounding the Burlington defensive line with their large pack, only to be met by stubborn resistance on their goalline from a gritty Centaurs team. The Centaurs Ladies weathered the opening storm without conceding points and on their first possession were awarded a penalty for a dangerous high tackle on right winger Emily Gastaldini from the Creek second row, which resulted in a yellow card. Burlington were quick to take advantage and from the resulting possession Katelyn Carey burst through the midfield gap to score a trademark try from 50 metres for the opening score, which went unconverted. The Burlington Ladies were playing the game at a quick pace and good handling skills saw wing Emily Gastaldini finish off a one on one to score in the right corner to make the score 10 – 0. Not to be outdone, Amber Aquin, returning to the lineup after injury broke through the midfield to score a 50 metre try herself which was closely followed by the brace for Emily Gastaldini after some nice interplay between the backs and forwards. The Burlington scrummage was exerting dominance and the pressure was beginning to have an effect on the less mobile Creek forward pack with gaps appearing in the centre and out wide as they struggled to cope with the pace. Creek came back into the game however after some sloppy Centaurs tackling in front of their own posts allowed the Creek no. 8 to scamper over for a try under the posts which was converted. An immediate response was required and materialized with first Terri-Lynn Jones crossing against her old club and  Captain consistent Katelyn Carey notching her second of the day on the quick tap penalty, out-witting the defence to touch down under the posts for her second try. Amber Aquin converted. Half Time Score: Burlington 32 – Stoney Creek 7

Pressure from the Creek side was expected at the beginning of the second half but failed to materialise as the Ladies continued their quick tempo approach and it immediately paid dividends with the backline once again showing nice hands to release Gastaldini who wriggled over for her hat-trick in the left corner. A stiff breeze behind meant centre Aquin could use the boot for territory when required and this proved a successful tactic throughout the half, relieving pressure on the Burlington pack who were working hard throughout the game producing excellent ball for scrum half Cassidy Smith. Emily Fretts was proving herself a nuisance in the loose with rampaging runs in the tight areas, always well supported by back rows Andre and Littlejohns who had equally industrious games in the hot conditions. The replacements rolled on after the 50 minute mark, enabling the Burly side to maintain their ferocious pace. The replacement front row of Baker, Emojie and Berrington continued the scrummage dominance, and although the lineouts were not firing on all cylinders this was a moot point as the Centaurs backline continued to dominate in offence, backed up by some ferocious tackling by fullback Killeen Leitch. This dominance was emphasized by further tries for Carey (1) and Aquin (2), the last of which sealed the victory at the final whistle. Final Score: Burlington 54 – Stoney Creek 12

 

Coaches Man of the Match: Ann Andre

Hat-tricks: Gastaldini, Aquin and Carey

Senior Mens Weekend Wrap up June 15

Hot fire and liquid resilience in the face of a determined and measured opponent is the the most simplistic way one could sum up the weekend showing at the Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club. The Burlington Men’s First team was in full attendance against the Stoney Creek Camels. Two teams with a long and storied history facing off. There is little more one would need to seed the imagination with tales of fanciful heroism and bravery. As a witness, it is my duty to record such feats as they were.

It would be a detriment to truth if this humble narrator did not mention the fine showing of the Camels. Indeed, in the first 20 minutes their attack was relentless. The lines that the Creek back-line were slicing would make Tony Montana blush. However, where there was strong attack there was also a stalwart and impressive defense. The Camels put up the first points, but it was plain to see that the Centaurs were unshaken.

After 25 minutes of fast Canadian rugby and two unanswered tries on the board the Centaurs managed to get onto the scoreboard thanks to the human Tomahawk Missile, Andrew Wilson. As the Centaurs retreated beyond half to allow kicking connoisseur Brendan Bryan to dust off his golden boot, it was plain to see that these boys of the Golden Horseshoe had the game under control. ‘March forward,’ once again was the call and some minutes later it was answered as A. Wilson would barrel over the try line once more.

As the half whistle sounded, there was a nod between the teams. A message from across the trenches: The game is on. As both teams stepped back onto the pitch it seemed as though the weather itself had decided to give this battle a wide berth. The second half saw the Centaurs with renewed vigor in their attack. The forwards dealt devastating short range blows, while the backs seized the opportunity to make impressive work of the space they were provided with.

In a moment of frantic energy, our Scrum-Half Zack Shurtleff punched the ball through the Creek line and made a 40 meter break for the try-line. The Creek Fullback all but defeated wrapped his arm around our stout 9’s neck in an attempt to stop the inevitable. Zack went down, but a penalty try was awarded and the thoroughly embarrassed Creek Fullback was sentenced to 10 minutes in the Bin.

In contrast, some minutes later in a dire moment, the Centaurs were on the back foot desperately defending against a Creek onslaught. They punched through and it seemed like open field for the Creek attacker. However, both Matt Woodley and Daniel Mathie managed to chase down and stop what would have been a game changing try.

Decisive action brings decisive victories; and as the Centaurs pushed forwards that is exactly what the crowd that day was treated to. Brendan Bryan would add a penalty kick, even further distancing the Centaurs from their foes.

Womens Match Recap June 8

On what turned out to be a perfect day for rugby, Burlington Ladies hosted local rivals Hamilton at Sherwood Forest Park, playing their first league game on home turf since 2018. Burlington played into a stiff breeze in the first half, choosing to keep the ball in hand and trying to gradually wear down their opponents. Hamilton had a gritty defence however and proved a tough nut to crack for the first 20 minutes as the Centaurs put together phase after phase of heads up rugby, only to be denied by some uncharacteristic unforced errors at crucial times. Finally however the pressure would take it’s toll on the Hornets and after some build up play from the forward pack, centre/flanker Ann Andre would cross for the first score in the right corner. No.8 Ahink Hussein was having a stormer against her former club, consistently turning over ball and making tackle after tackle in what turned out to be a Man of the Match performance. She would pop up for the second try of the half powering through some desperate tackles for the home side’s second try. The Ladies would continue their ball in hand approach as they gained in confidence resulting in fly-half Kiki McShortly scoring from the quick tap penalty under the posts. Cassidy Smith would slot the conversion to bring on the half time whistle and a scoreline of 17-0 in favour of Burlington.

Burlington turned up the heat in the second half producing a performance as good as any this season, eliminating errors and moving the ball from sideline to sideline resulting in a brace of tries for wing Claire Hawkins who finished off in style in quick succession in the right hand corner. The Hamilton side had a few opportunities in the Burlington 22 but were frustrated by the Burlington defence and in particular No. 8 Ahink Hussain who stifled their only try-scoring opportunity with a last gasp tackle in front of the posts. A wonderful break in the center of the field would see the Burlington fly-half McShortly sprint the length of the field for a delightful solo effort which would be converted by scrum half Cassidy Smith. Burlington’s dominance was now absolute and they put the seal on the victory with a pushover try just before the final whistle, No.8 Ahink Hussein touching down for her second try of the afternoon.

FINAL SCORE: Burlington Ladies 41 – Hamilton Ladies 0

Womens Weekend Wrap Up June 1

Burlington Ladies made the 2 ½ hour journey west to Sarnia on Saturday looking to build upon their credible tie versus Waterloo the previous week and did so, producing a hard earner victory to register their first league win of the season. The Sarnia Saints have made a slow start to the season and were looking to register a first home win against an improving Burlington Ladies squad.  The first half began with the Burlington side on the front foot, reproducing their game of possession and control from the previous weekend, and testing the Saints defence. With the Burlington pack creating momentum up front fly-half Katelyn Carey would take advantage to leave three defenders and a pair of shorts in her wake to touch down on the right hand side. Carey would double this tally 5 minutes later, bursting through the midfield gap and sprinting half the length of the field to score under the posts for her second try., which was converted by Claire Hawkins. Saints came back into the game shortly thereafter after a bizarre succession of 9 penalties against the away team on their goal-line, the passionate defence finally breaking on the 10th attempt to allow a score under the posts for the home team. The conversion brought the score to 17-7 and it was game on. Saints would score another out wide catching out the Burlington defence to bring the game to within one score. Just before the half however Laiken Littlejohn would steal a try after a scrappy lineout, pouncing on a loose ball to power over. Half Time: Sarnia 12 – Burlington Ladies 17

 

After the break, the Sarnia team would continue the see saw scoreline with the left winger outpacing the Burl defence before offloading out of a desperate Emily Gastaldini tackle to her inside support for the opening score. The remainder of the half was all Burlington however as Ketsia Kamba single handedly took hold of the game in loose play, breaking tackles and charging through opposition defence on multiple occasions to provide a platform for the backline. Direct running from Terri Burns and Laiken Littlejohn, compounded by ferocious rucking from the second row combination of Red Melon and Jade Breau would open up the defence once more to allow Captain Karey to scoot in for her 3rd and 4th tries. With the Burlington front row dominating the scrummage, and turning over ball at will, full-back Emily Gastaldini produced a delightful hop, skip and a jump to outwit the cover defence to score her first try of the season in the left hand corner. Gastaldini would convert her own score to bring on the final whistle and put the seal on an excellent road win for the Burlington Ladies, who continue to improve each week, a testament to the hard work and commitment they are showing this season both on and off the training field.

 

Final Score: Sarnia Saints 17 – Burlington Ladies 48

Womens Weekend Wrap Up May 25

Burlington Ladies travelled to Waterloo looking to build upon their fine performance versus London last week and did so, earning a creditable 31-31 tie in what turned out to be a thrilling game of rugby union. The Ladies got off to a flying start, dominating possession for the first 20 minutes, resulting in a fine try for outside centre Amber Aquin after excellent work by the powerful Burlington forward pack. Aquin converted her own score for a 7-0 lead. Waterloo came right back into the game however with a score under the posts after some poor Centaurs tackling in the midfield allowed a free run in. The try was not converted however and the score after 20 mins remained 7-5.  County began to exert a dominance behind the scrum despite many offensive tackles from American import Rebecca Trapp and added to their tally with three more tries to take a stranglehold on the game. Crucially however Burl would respond on the stroke of half-time. Getting back on the front foot, repeated powerful carries from Trapp, Aislinn McNally, Laiken Littlejohns and Ketsia Kamba finally provided a perfect overlap which was executed perfectly for Amber Aquin to barge over in the left corner for her second score. Half Time: 26-12.

Despite the scoreline, the half time feeling within the Burlington camp was that the game was within reach and they ladies came out strongly in the second half dominating the forward exchanges. Burlington captain Katelyn Carey would take full advantage, throwing a dummy and accelerating through a gap to finish off a wonderful solo effort in what turned out to be a Man of the Match performance. Not to be outdone, good defensive play then saw the indefatigable Laiken Littlejohns steal possession then turn on the afterburners running a full 60 yards to outpace the opposition cover and score under the posts. The conversion followed to level the game on the 60th minute. Like two pugilists exchanging blows Waterloo would pull ahead once more, their right winger outpacing the hesitant Burlington defence from 50 yards out to score in the corner. Not to be denied however the Centaurs Ladies rallied late and with fly-Half Katelyn Carey pulling the strings behind a once more dominant pack, soon to be married Amber Aquin would go over for an impressive hat-trick to secure a 31-31 tie.

After the final whistle, visiting coach Jonny Goldie said: “The girls are pumped. Any one of them could have been the MVP today as they all played a stormer. That performance illustrated a growing confidence within the group which is great to see. The girls are improving every game and most importantly are enjoying themselves whilst playing some excellent rugby. They have two happy coaches right here.”

Jonny Goldie

General Meeting May 28

 

As discussed in the last executive meeting, we would like to hold a General Meeting with the membership on Tuesday, May 28th after practice.

To review with the membership:

• Club Objectives for 2019
• Club Finance Update
• Breakdown of Division Registration
• Brief Division goals/recap
• Upcoming Social Events – volunteers required
• Sherwood Revitalization

Mens Weekend Wrap up May 11th

The Sr. Men’s 2019 rugby season kicked off this past weekend at an unfamiliar location to most. Despite the venue change, this was a historic day for our club as it was our first official matches in the Marshall premiership. Though the opponent was a familiar one, for many this was their first test in the top league of Ontario.

 

With London taking the first match of the day. The 1 XV team kicked off at 1500 hours on a gloomy May afternoon. The two sides split the season series last year with London snapping the Centaurs unbeaten streak at home last summer. In front of a large home crowd the Centaurs wasted no time getting on the board early. Within the first minute, A. Wilson charged down a failed clearing attempt by the St. George skipper, guzzling up a loose ball and crashing across the line, 5-0 home side. From the onset, the Centaurs set the pace of play, the ball coming fast from the base of the ruck and the whole pack went to work. It also didn’t take long for the backline to realize the speed mismatch, with Woodley and Hughes having multiple long scampers. A few mistakes saw London earn some possession and territory, using their size and experience. Having said that, it didn’t take the Centaurs long to answer back after another long break, and by the half time whistle the Centaurs were in control, 24-12.

 

The second half seemed to slow the pace a bit, both teams still housing match fitness as the season gets going.  With multiple Centaur debutants getting their first run-around with Blue, White and Orange. It is worth noting standout and MOM, J McNaughton as he displayed many talents including tidy ball in hand and off-load game.  At the final whistle, the Centaurs took the game in a comfortable 43-26 win. As the holiday weekend approaches, the Centaurs will head into the bye week 1-0. Plenty of ironing and cleaning up to do prior to our next test.

 

 

Senior Men/Women Opener Today – Venue Change

Senior Men/Women Season Opener Today!

Due to the rain the city has closed our fields . We are moving our matches to Notre Dame High School;

2333 Headon Forest Dr, Burlington, ON L7M 3X6

Women Kick Off @ Noon
Men 2XV Kick Off @ 1:30
Men 1XV Kick Off @ 3:00

Try Rugby May 15th!

Come try out a fun and exciting session of children’s rugby! No obligation required! If your child enjoys their time, the complete summer program is just beginning! Ages 3 to 12 are welcome to come out, non contact flag – ( U5 / U7 / U9), flag + intro to contact: (U11 / U13). We are a diverse, family-friendly volunteer-based organization, with a passion for sport and rugby, serving the communities of Burlington and Halton for 45 years!

We are located at Sherwood Forest Park @ 5270 Fairview St in Burlington, just off Appleby and Fairview. All are welcome!

More information and registration for the full summer program at http://centaursrfc.com/junior-rugby/ As always, looking forward to old friends and new friends alike! Our motto as always, “Friends Through Rugby, Friends Through Life!”

Senior Womens Head Coach Announcement

We welcome back Jon Goldie to the Centaurs as the new Women’s Head Coach! Jonny is a longtime club member and recently was the Canadian Men’s Head Coach at the Rugby Classic’s tournament in Bermuda with their historic win over the South Africa National Classics Team. The Centaurs are proud to welcome Jon Goldie back into the Centaurs organization and look forward to him leading the Senior Women’s Team in the upcoming 2019 rugby season!

 

Hiring: Senior Women’s Head Coach

The Burlington Centaurs Rugby Football Club are currently searching for a head coach for the 2019 season. The Burlington Centaurs Senior Women’s team competes in the Niagara Rugby Union A division. The Centaurs home is Sherwood Forest Park located in Burlington, ON.

Job Description

The Senior Women’s Head Coach will be responsible for, but not limited to:

  • To recruit potential players from high schools, colleges and universities
  • To identify and develop the talents of players
  • To promote Burlington Centaurs RFC through on-field performance
  • To create an effective game plan, based on the opposing team and available players
  • To execute the game plan on game day
  • To organize practice sessions that develop technical, tactical and mental aspects of the game
  • To ensure that coaching sessions facilitate team and athlete development
  • To create a positive and enjoyable team culture
  • To develop a coaching environment that contributes to athlete development on and off the field
  • To ensure the health and safety of the athletes at all times

The Head Coach will also have to demonstrate the ability to work effectively with fellow coaches, the club Executive, volunteers and captains. The Head Coach will work with the Director-Women’s Game to select the coaching staff.

The position of Head Coach will report to the Director-Women’s Game.

Qualifications

  • Level 1 Coaching Accreditation
  • Experience working with senior rugby teams
  • Knowledge and understanding of the development of the team and individual performance
  • Strong communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Able to work in fast paced and flexible environments
  • Demonstrates a positive and enthusiastic attitude
  • Demonstrates a coaching philosophy that aligns with the club and other teams
  • Personally Accountable
  • Excels in working in a team environment
  • Effective planner and organizer

Sad News- Trevor Knight

It is with sad news that the Centaurs announce the passing of past club president Trevor Knight. Trevor joined the Centaurs in the mid-70s, having come from Cinderford, England.

Trevor was a talented soccer player and had come to Canada to play for a semi-pro team. After he parted ways with soccer, Trevor switched to the sport of Rugby.

 

For the Centaurs, Trevor was a talented player and played in the backs in all positions. He was awarded the Endeavor Shield in 1980 and the Endeavour Cup in 1983.

He served as the Rugby clubhouse manager and served as Club president in 1987-1988.

Trevor was also a knowledgeable backs coach and through his direction the Centaurs won the Junior Provincial Championship.

Trevor worked in Burlington at Fisher Ludlow on Appleby Line before being transferred to Michigan.

After a game around the clubhouse you could always find Trevor with a Rye & Coke in his hand and he would be sure to greet you with an “Alight Son”.

 

Trevor you will be missed.

 

2018 AGM Recap

Thank
you to everyone that attended the Centaurs AGM held last night at the
clubhouse.

We
had a great season and we reached many of the club’s goals both on & off
the field. 

After
being promoted this season the Senior men finished a very strong 2nd
in the league and setting a club record competing in the McCormick Cup
semi-final game.  

Coach
Chris Kelly was recognized by the Burlington Sport Association for Champion of
Sport and Cam Hogg was recognized by Rugby Ontario as the Club Player of the
Year.

Moving
forward the club continues to grow especially with our Junior/Mini Division and
the Centaurs Rugby Academy thanks to the foundation being built by Alex Rappos,
Bill Clayton and Clayton Gillis.

The
Club also welcomes Jacob Smiley who will be working with us as our intern from
the Niagara College Sport Management Program.

Thank
you for the hard work and dedication over the years by club executive members
Jeff Ellis, Mark Chesser and Davy Jones who will be stepping down this year.
 

We
would like to congratulate and welcome the new 2019 Executive Members of the
Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club.

Please
feel free to reach out to us anytime to get involved with our great club.

“Friends
through Rugby, Friends through Life”

2019 Burlington Centaurs Executives 

Club
President – Nick Manz

Director
of Administration – John Guilfoyle

Director
of Finance – Peter Ratcliffe

Director
of Facilities – Andy Maunder

Director
of Games – Tim Morton

Director
of Social – Terri Jones

Director
of Senior Men – Dave Wilson

Director
of Senior Women – Rebecca Rosa

Director
of Juniors – Alex Rappos

Centaurs Hogg Wins Rugby Ontario award

This past Saturday, Rugby Ontario hosted there annual awards banquet. Our very own Cameron Hogg was the recipient of the Senior Mens Club Player of the year.  Congrats Cameron and well deserved.

Awards Banquet Wrap Up

It was a packed house this past Friday at the Burlington Lions Club. Centaurs, friends and loved all came out to celebrate a fantastic year for the club.

Ceri
Jones Womens Rookie Of the Year – Holly Baker

Women Most Improved – Olivia Cook

Women Coaches Award – Amber Aquin

Women Coaches Award – Steph Passmore

BOTY Award – Jeff Brownson

GIMP – Louis Hinshelwood

Rookie of the Year – Ryan Matthews

Ironman Award – Colin McLeod

Most Improved – Graeme Francolini

Berties Award – Lee Cranmer

2nd XV MVP – Kyle Wilkins

1st XV MVP – Cam Hogg

Junior Endeavour – Laiken Littlejohns

Endeavour Cup – Trevor Atkinson

Endeavour Shield – Alex Rappos