CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – It was over early as the P.E.I. Mudmen shot out to a 24-0 lead and romped to a 103-7 victory over the Valley Bulldogs to open the Nova Scotia Senior Men’s Rugby League season Sunday in Charlottetown.
The Mudmen (1-0) benefitted from three tries from Sheldon Cudmore and two more tries courtesy of Brody MacDonald. MacDonald also converted five kicks, accounted for 20 of P.E.I.’s points and helped drop Valley, which moved up to Division 1 this season, to 0-2.
Cudmore, who scored twice in the first half for the defending Nova Scotia champs and added a try in the second frame, said despite the lopsided final the Mudmen were all business at Co-op Field.
“(This year) there’s a new system we’re trying. We had a lot of new guys in new positions so that worked out. We were thinking the game was 0-0 and we wanted to work as a team. I think we were successful and stayed focused,” Cudmore said. ”It was a good test for when we play the (Fredericton) Loyalists, the team we lost the Maritime championship to, next week.”
The Mudmen built the quick 24-0 lead within the first five minutes, but Valley showed some life with a good drive and thanks to George Crouch’s try and Daniel Thomas’ convert closed the gap to 24-7.
But three Mudmen tries and a convert in three minutes dampened the Bulldogs fervour as P.E.I. upped the lead to 34-7 and took at 58-7 edge into the half.
Valley never stopped fighting however, despite six Mudmen tries in the second half, and made the Mudmen earn every score.
And it’s moments like that for P.E.I.’s Charlie Waddell where keeping your mind in the game matters, no matter what the score is.
“(We) still had to stay focused. If you don’t, you get can hurt out there. They still play hard, they still tackle you with contact, they’re still very serious,” Waddell said. “Probably the first 30 or 40 minutes or so we accomplished what we wanted.”
Next up, the Mudmen play the Maritime champ Loyalists on Saturday in Truro, N.S., to kick off the Elite League season. The Elite League also includes Bellisle and the Saint John Trojans from New Brunswick, and Enfield and the Halifax RFC from Nova Scotia.