A small but enthusiastic crowd huddled together to support the UKC men’s rugby team play in the Division Two finals last Sunday. The four-degree weather and spitting rain didn’t stop the devoted fans from cheering on their classmates against their rivals, the Dalhousie University Tigers.
At first and second place in the league, the neighbouring schools had an ongoing rivalry. King’s won 2012 championship but lost to the Tigers this year 12-5.
UKC approached their final game with confidence, and even though they knew it would be a challenge, the team had high hopes.
“In many ways we picked up where we left off from last year,” said coach Rory MacLellan, “We had a great knowledge base and leadership group on the team, and the guys knew what it takes to be successful.”
King’s came out strong at the beginning and Sam Campbell scored a try for UKC within the first 10 minutes. Despite the cold, the boys fought hard and managed to hold Dalhousie off for the rest of the half.
By the start of the second half, both teams were soaked and covered in mud. Dalhousie came out strong and managed to score within a few minutes, and a successful conversion put them in the lead.
King’s kept the ball in Dalhousie’s end for most of the second half. Unfortunately, time was running out and their efforts fell short. Dalhousie scored another try before the end of the game, resulting in a 12-5 loss for the UKC boys.
“It was a tough loss, especially since it was against our rivals, Dal, but overall it was a great season and a good group of guys. I’m excited to rebuild next year and hopefully get another chance at the championship,” said Drew Findlay Black, a rookie on the team.
With many players graduating this year, it was an unfortunate end to the season and a tough goodbye, but the team had no regrets.
“It’s hard to see some of the mainstays of the team finishing their careers this year, but the great thing about King’s rugby is that guys really care about the team legacy, and I think the graduating guys left a legacy that the younger players can really latch on to,” McLellan said.
Despite the number on the scoreboard, the team finished their season with pride. Friends on and off the field, the team’s chemistry was obvious when they sang their cheer in the rain one last time.
“We’re a bunch of loudmouth bastards, we’re the King’s rugby team!”