SUMMERSIDE – The Three Oaks Axemen are still perfect in 2014.
The host Axemen took control early and never looked back in the opening game of the 18th annual David Voye Memorial rugby tournament on Thursday evening. The Axemen jumped out to a 29-0 lead at halftime, and went on to defeat the Westisle Wolverines 48-7.
The win improved the Axemen’s record to 5-0 (won-lost) this season, which included a 4-0 showing two weeks ago at RugbyFest 2014 in Rothesay, N.B.
“The boys came out really fired up today (Thursday),” said Axemen head coach James Voye. “We haven’t played a game since the RugbyFest, and you get a little bored in practice and get hungry to play games.
“They came out ready to play.”
Play continues Friday
A total of 23 senior AAA-calibre teams – 12 boys and 11 girls – are competing in the three-day tournament. Round-robin play resumes on Friday at noon, and cross-over action begins on Saturday at 9 a.m. The girls’ championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m., followed by the boys’ final at 3 p.m.
Both Three Oaks teams will play Northumberland on Friday at 5 p.m.
“They are from the Pictou County league from Nova Scotia, and any teams that come from there are always hard-nosed and are going to hit you,” said Voye. “We have to be prepared for that.”
On the Canada Games pitch at Three Oaks Senior High School, Aiden Smith scored two trys while Jesse Cameron contributed one try and three converts. Alex Rose had a try and convert while Logan Plant, Ty Wright, Dan Fingler and Zach DesRoches registered single trys.
Brett Buote was credited with Westisle’s lone try. Elliot Watters kicked the convert.
“They (Axemen) played really well as a team,” assessed Voye. “There was a lot of unselfish play, and when they needed to make the right pass they made the right pass.
“That’s important because all 15 guys need to be working together for a good rugby game.”
One key for the Axemen was strong passing, noted Voye.
“Our backs can really spin the ball a far distance,” continued Voye. “When you have kids who can do that, it allows you to spread the field and have overlap all the time. It makes for a big advantage.”
One key contributor to the Axemen’s passing is inside centre Logan Millar.
“Logan really played his position well (against Westisle),” said Voye. “His (Millar) unselfish play allows for our speed to get to the outside. When he makes good passes, we are successful.”