Axemen perfect again

Journal Pioneer staff
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Host team captures second tournament title of young season

SUMMERSIDE – By the looks on the players’ faces, rain and mud on their uniforms, was just the way they liked it during the championship matches of the 18th annual David Voye Memorial rugby tournament.

The sloppy playing conditions didn’t slow down the host Three Oaks Axemen, who defeated the Bluefield Bobcats from Hampshire 29-0 on Saturday afternoon to win the boys’ title on the strength of a perfect 4-0 (won-lost) record. It marked the second tournament win of the young season for the Axemen, who also went 4-0 in winning RugbyFest 2014 in Rothesay, N.B., the last weekend in April.

“The fact that we’re able to run our game plan in conditions like this, and not make handling errors, says a lot about the boys and how good they are as rugby players,” said Axemen head coach James Voye in assessing his team’s playing in less than ideal conditions.

Although Voye prefers a dry field, the Axemen were able to control play through most of the game while playing very tight defence.

Offensively, Jesse Cameron scored a pair of trys to lead the Axemen in the final while Alex Rose, Dan Fingler and Brett Arsenault all had singles. Rose also kicked two converts.

“It was a good game, a good experience for the boys,” assessed Bluefield coach Mitchell Doiron. “They (Bobcats) played up to, and exceeded, my expectations, especially against a team like TOSH, which has been at the top of the league for years now.”

Bluefield hosts Three Oaks in a P.E.I. School Athletic Association Senior AAA Boys Rugby League regular-season game this week, and Doiron anticipated his players will learn from the tournament experience.

“They’ll certainly take something from it,” Doiron added.

Voye is pleased with the way his team is developing, especially with how his veterans are mentoring the younger players.

“The fact that we’re able to run our game plan in conditions like this, and not make handling errors, says a lot about the boys and how good they are as rugby players." Axemen head coach James Voye

“We’re looking for a strong season,” said Voye. “We go to Bluefield on Thursday (May 15), so we’ll be banging each other all over again.”

Undefeated showing

The Axemen won their two round-robin games – 48-7 over Westisle and 42-0 over Northumberland from Alma, N.S. – before blanking the Montague Vikings 27-0 in Saturday morning’s semifinal.

“We carried the play with possession, and played really tough defence,” said Voye in assessing his team’s play in the semifinal win. “It made it really tough for Montague to get any scoring chances on us.”

Offensively, Rose scored three trys to lead the Axemen while Cameron and Ryan Campbell also contributed single trys. Cameron added a convert.

Montague won its two round-robin games over Nova Scotia schools on Friday – 15-0 over Avon View from Windsor and 14-0 over Truro’s Cobequid Educational Centre.

The Bobcats finished in a three-way tie at 1-1 in Pool B with Lockview from Fall River, N.S., and Hants East from East Hants, N.S. Bluefield, which defeated Lockview 21-0 and lost 19-17 to Hants East in the round robin, was awarded first place based on the tiebreaking formula.

The Bobcats then edged the Colonel Gray Colonels in penalty kicks in the semifinals. After playing to a 5-5 tie, both teams attempted three penalty kicks, with the Bobcats making two and the Colonels one.

Gray defeated Horton High from Wolfville, N.S., 48-0 and North Nova from New Glasgow, N.S., 21-5 in the round robin.

jpsports@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: P.E.I. School Athletic Association Senior AAA Boys Rugby League

Geographic location: Bluefield, Rothesay, Hants East Northumberland Alma Nova Scotia Avon View Windsor Pool B Fall River Wolfville North Nova New Glasgow

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