North Nova’s Lukas MacDonald runs down field during the opening game of the NSSAF boy’s rugby provincials yesterday in New Glasgow. North Nova lost the game 22-14 to Citadel High School of Halifax.
NEW GLASGOW – Penalties, whether they liked it or not, hurt the North Nova boy’s rugby team in their opening game of NSSAF provincials.
Cooper Coates made five penalty kicks and a conversion to lead Citadel High School to their 22-14 win over the Gryphons. He had people wondering how he was making them, especially with the strong winds, but he only missed one kick in the game from approximately 40 yards out.
“We knew they had a good kicker, which was evident from his five penalty kicks today,” said Gryphons coach Joe MacDonald. “We normally don’t see that, but besides that I think we played good enough to win and weren’t outmatched.”
In the opening 10 minutes of the game Joji Imai scored the first try of the game for Citadel, with Coates kicking the conversion.
Cole Livingstone scored for North Nova minutes later after a long rush down field by Mark Vokey put them deep in Citadel territory. Darryl Wheadon made the conversion to tie the game 7-7, but before halftime Coates made his first penalty kick of the game.
Down 10-7 to start the second half, North Nova ended up down 16-7 when Coates added two more penalty kicks.
“We just told them to keep playing our game, move the ball forward, keep the ball in hand, support the overlaps and get the ball to our backs,” said MacDonald regarding what they were saying to their team.
It paid off as Wheadon scored the Gryphons second try of the day before adding another conversion to cut the lead to two.
In the remaining seven minutes Coates kicked two more penalties to cap off his 17-point game.
“You have to win at least one game to get through to tomorrow, so we talked to the boys about focusing on the things we did well,” said MacDonald. “We kept possession, rucked well and our lineouts and set-pieces were all good. Our backs all played well, so we just want to play our game and it will work out.”
Their effort continued in their evening game as the boys defeated Glace Bay 51-0.
Wheadon led with a try, one penalty kick and four conversions.
Jared Livingstone, Vokey and Lukas MacDonald all scored two tries, while Carson Dunbar scored one.
They finished second in their pool with a 1-1 record and now face Kings-Edgehill in Saturday’s semifinal at 11 a.m. at North Nova.
“We need to take it to them hard and make sure we’re focus for the game,” said Dunbar. “We have fast backs, so we need to be smart and make sure we’re moving the ball well and getting it to them.
“We’re happy we made the crossover. That was our goal no matter what our record is, so we met that goal, but want to have another good game tomorrow.”
North Nova 7 vs. Halifax West 5
Avon View 5 vs. CEC 5
Halifax West 31 vs. Riverview 0
Citadel 22 vs. CEC 12
North Nova 45 vs. Riverview 0
Avon View 15 vs. Citadel 5
North Nova 14 vs. Citadel 22
KES 12 vs. Hants East 8
Citadel 36 vs. Glace Bay 0
Dartmouth 27 vs. Hants East 14
North Nova 51 vs. Glace Bay 0
KES 10 vs. Dartmouth 5
Saturday, June 7
10 a.m. Girls semi - Avon View vs. Halifax West at NNEC
10 a.m. Girls semi - North Nova vs. Citadel at NRHS
11 a.m. Boys semi - KES vs. North Nova at NNEC
11 a.m. Boys semi - Citadel vs. Dartmouth at NRHS
2 p.m. Girls final
3 p.m. Boys final
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