P.E.I. drops final two round-robin games

Jason Simmonds
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At Canadian rugby championships

CALGARY – It was a disappointing end to the round robin for Team P.E.I. at the Canadian rugby championships here Thursday night.

The Island squad dropped a 34-14 decision to Saskatchewan to complete round-robin play in the Under-18 Boys Division at 1-3 (won-lost). Teams will now be reseeded for the playoff/relegation round, which gets underway on Saturday.

“It’s a game we eyed before we got out here that it’s a game we can compete in,” said Team P.E.I. head coach James Voye before the game.

Earlier Thursday, Team P.E.I. played a tough game against undefeated Nova Scotia (3-0) in a 15-0 loss.

“We came out real strong,” assessed Voye. “We controlled the play for the first five minutes.

“Off the kickoff, we were able to run the ball through seven phases of play and almost scored five or six minutes into the game. A handling error is what cost us from getting in.

“The last time we played Nova Scotia they beat us by over 40 points. I’m really happy with the result.”

Key point

A key point came early in the second half when it looked like Team P.E.I.’s Ty Wright had scored a try to get back into game.

“That would have been a huge turning point in that game,” said Voye. “It would have made it 15-7, and we turned down some opportunities to take kicks at the goal later in the game because we were down 15-0 and just didn’t want to just score.

“We came out real strong. We controlled the play for the first five minutes. Off the kickoff, we were able to run the ball through seven phases of play and almost scored five or six minutes into the game. A handling error is what cost us from getting in. The last time we played Nova Scotia they beat us by over 40 points. I’m really happy with the result.” Team P.E.I. head coach James Voye

“If we would have been allowed to get that try, we would have taken some shots at some penalty kicks, and may have been able to pull out a bonus point.”

If a game is decided by less than seven points, the losing team picks up a bonus point.

Against Saskatchewan, Brandon Adams and Alex Rose scored trys while pick-up Alex Halvorsen kicked two converts.

With Friday being an off-day, Team P.E.I. is planning to do some touring and play tourist.

Assisting with coaching

Dean Plant, who played on the inaugural boys’ rugby team at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, is assisting Voye with the coaching at the nationals. Plant lives in Red Deer, Alta., and is the uncle of Team P.E.I. player Logan Plant.

“He offered to come and stay for the week with us, and he’s been a huge help,” said Voye. “Dean has played all kinds of rugby, and he even had a couple of stints with Team Canada years ago. He definitely has a lot of experience and knowledge.”

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Organizations: Team Canada

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Summerside Red Deer

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