COLE HARBOUR, N.S. – The NRHS Nighthawks finally have a provincial rugby banner.
Playing at Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 1 rugby provincials, the Nighthawks beat the C.P. Allen Cheetahs 27-12 in the title game Saturday, to capture the school’s first rugby championship in its 15-year history.
Northumberland tries were scored by Parker Hickey, Bailey Pie, Spencer Creed, Josh Fraser and Mike MacGillivray, while Justin MacLennan had a conversion for NRHS, who in the previous two years had failed to advance beyond the semifinals at provincials.
“It’s definitely something crazy,” said Hickey, a Grade 12 student whose try put the ’Hawks on the board early. They tacked on another soon after to go up 12-0 and would never be caught, building a 27-15 lead until the Cheetahs scored a try on the final play of the game.
“We knew that this was the year for us to win it.”
The NRHS defence controlled the play as the ’Hawks steadily added to their lead. “We played hard on D and forced (the Cheetahs) to turn it over a lot,” Hickey said.
“It’s something we finally did for our school, our teammates, and the coaches. John (Rushton) and Bryan (Campbell) put it a lot of work and we finally got one for them.”
NRHS, who’d started the tournament by winning two games on Friday, defeated the Hants East Tigers 12-5 in their semifinal matchup.
The girls’ team at NNEC lost twice on Friday, including a 26-17 loss to the Horton Griffins, and advanced no further.
The Citadel Phoenix would beat Horton 27-5 in the championship game to claim the girls’ title.
NRHS 22, Citadel 10: Cole MacIsaac found the end zone three times to lead the Nighthawks past the Phoenix.
Mike MacGillivray had the other try for Northumberland.
NRHS 12, Sir John A. Macdonald 11: Parker Hickey and Matt Martin scored the majors as the Nighthawks earned a slim victory over the Flames.
Lockview 22, NNEC 17: Liz Francis answered had two tries for the Gryphons.