Aldergrove's Nic Waterman tries to break through the Australian team's line in an exhibition game April 14 at ACSS. The Blue Mountain school from Sidney

Aldergrove's Nic Waterman tries to break through the Australian team's line in an exhibition game April 14 at ACSS. The Blue Mountain school from Sidney

Mud can’t stop senior rugby boys

Last week’s Totems rugby action had the senior boys heading out to GW Graham in Chilliwack. The match started out slow with either side being pressured in their own end. The Totems worked the ball within a metre with some hard crashing forward ball from Henri Donath and Dillan Peters. The ball was then spun wide and Jordan Nickel found himself in open space and charged for the line for the first try of the day.

Nick Waterman worked hard to recover the team’s restart and Connor Hunter put on a great display of footwork and turned the fullback inside out to put one right under the posts. The team rambled forward twice more in the first half, which saw both Connor Hunter and Alex Rivard dive for the line from the back of rucks.

In the second half the Totems really found their groove and started putting together a very physical and skillful attack. Led on by Alex Rivard’s hard work in the rucks, “crunch” of the day was given to him for laying out GW Graham boys anywhere near the Totems’ ball.

Doug Saunders enjoyed some excellent runs from the inside centre spot and put two tries over the line. Reid Ellis had a great chip over top of the defence which he dove on in the in goal area for a great try of the day. Man of the match, Ryan Swann did a tonne of hard work at the outside centre spot, both smashing opponents on defense and running some great angles to create the overlaps that led to Totems tries. Cody Nichols also had a a nice chip and chase try down the side line, and Jordan Nickel closed out the scoring of the day. Connor Hunter converted 5 out of 10 of the tries for a final of 60-0.

Aldergrove was also host to Blue Mountain Grammar school from Australia and played a couple rough and tough matches against them on Thursday. The west coast weather showed up and the games were played in a driving rain with no shortage of mud.

The first match was a 10-a-side game that some of the Walnut Grove boys who joined Aldergrove on tour last year suited up for. Cody Nichols had a great game at the scrumhalf spot and was awarded man of the match. He scored two of the Aldergrove tries from great chips over the top of scrums. Will Foss ran hard at the outside centre spot and made some vicious hits. Marcelo made some speedy runs down his wing. It was a back and forth game but Aldergrove came away with the win.

The ‘first 15’ match for the boys took place after two games had already been played on the pitch and it was starting to show some wear.

Blue Mountain came out hard off the opening kick and quickly smashed a try over. The Totems charged back and got Connor Hunter in range to slot a penalty kick. Amidst some very hard and aggressive rugby there was a great opportunity to see the comaraderie developed between some of the boys who have played on the other’s turf. Plenty of hands up after tackles and encouraging slaps to the back gave the game a great feel.

Josh Kwiatkowski was a machine on the day and Blue Mountain gave him man of the match for intense and relentless work. The Totems worked hard but the Aussies were able to put two more tries in before the half. The Totems held strong in defence in the second and tackles made by Kurtis Winder and Jason Esbensen were try stopping but Blue Mountain snuck one more in at the closing whistle.

The game came to an end and with both teams looking to be in the same brown uniform. Both teams enjoyed some much deserved burgers and socialising. Presentations by the captains clearly showed that both teams had made lasting connections with each other. Australia takes the win but chalk another one up for the true rugby lifestyle. Both teams put out a heartfelt thanks to the host families that made this all possible.