Under the direction of recently appointed head coach Aaron L’Arrive, and paced by hat-trick of tries from wing Ross McLean, the Comox Valley Kickers began the Spring season with an impressive, six-try, 30-12 win over the Saanich Aggies in Victoria last Sunday.
The Kickers dominated nearly all phases of play and played seventy percent of the match in the Saanich half. In the first-half alone the visitors registered five tries with out-side centre McLean finding his way over the line three times and with #8 Nathan Holley and wing James McKeachie adding singles.
Saanich, a new team in the league this season whom the Kickers defeated 68-17 in the Fall, managed to perform better in the second-half, tightening up their defence to hold the Kickers to just one try from fly-half Doug Wynd. Toward the end of the contest the home team scored two tries and a conversion to make the score more respectable.
“This was a good away-win for us,” said new coach L’Arrive after the game. “The Kickers stuck to the task and though they did perrhaps take their foot off the gas in the second-half, it was a good start to the new season.”
L’Arrive singled out his three-try scorer Ross McLean for special mention. “Ross is new to the team this season and in this game he took his chances well and was rewarded. Lock Shayne Stuchbery put in his usual dynamic performance taking the ball and making the “hard yards.” It was also good to see Eli Cummins back playing inside-centre. He was very creative and set up a good many of the tries. For his efforts the Saanich team selected him for “Man of the Match” honours.”
L’Arrive, who took over the Kicker coaching reins a few weeks ago has been playing rugby for the Kickers since he was fourteen. He joined the club as a Junior while still at Highland School. A club stalwart since that time, L’Arrive suffered a knee injury late last season and following surgery chose to hang up his boots and coach. “I have some fresh ideas that I hope to implement and which I think will make for a more enjoyable game for the players and for the spectators,” said the happy coach after recording his first win.
The Kickers Men’s team have a bye over the Super Bowl weekend before they take on Powell River on February 13th over in the Pulp City. The Kickers Women’s team opens its Spring season with a game against Nanaimo at Cumberland’s Village Park on Saturday Feb. 5 beginning at 10 a.m.
The Kickers Rugby Club invites all those who are interested in playing rugby to attend training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the club’s Fallen Alders facility on the Royston/Cumberland Road. Men and Women begin training at 6.30 p.m.
The Club gratefully acknowledges our sponsors: Bayview Chiropractic, The Butcher's Block, Central Rentals, Continual Palingenesis - Social Media Solutions, Investors Group, The Le Fevre Property Group, Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Wedler Engineering, Pilon Tools and Yummies & Gyros without whose support rugby would not continue to flourish in the Comox Valley.
Visit the Kickers Web Site @: www.kickersrugby.ca