Durham rugby team returns with vengeance

The Durham College men's rugby team in action Loyalist Lancers on Sept. 26. Photo credit: DC Athletics

After 22 years on hiatus, the Durham College men’s rugby team is back on the field. The rugby team has returned with strong play, winning two out of its first three games.

In the most recent match Sept. 26, the team smoked the Loyalist Lancers in Belleville, winning 64-7.

The Lords opened against the St. Lawrence Vikings on Sept. 9, losing 41-29.

The team won its first OCAA match since 1996 against the Vikings on Sept. 22 in Kingston, 29-23. Since then, Durham has posted a pair of convincing wins, 64-7 over Loyalist and 68-34 against Sir Sandford Fleming.

“In the first game, we had a lot of jitters [because] we were still ironing out kinks. The second game we knew what to expect and knew we had a really good team. We just beat the best team in our division,” says Malcolm Hooper, a business fundamentals student and on-field captain.

“There is no expectation [because this is our first year together]. Every game that we win, it’s exciting. We were blowing people out of the water. People are confused. I tell the boys we have nothing to lose. Every time we win, it shocks a little bit more people.”

The team has only been together since tryouts, held during the last week of August.

Hooper says the team had a lot of things to work on and get organized. Some of the teammates didn’t know each other’s names. The team is still working on developing sets, as there was no reference to previous years. It was very much a trial and error process, says Hooper.

Hooper says the team this year is very self-motivated. It makes his job as a leader much earlier.

“I’m really impressed with the boys this year. We have a really good leadership squad. We only dress 23, but there are 33 guys that all do their part. Whether its keeping stats or getting the tee-for-kicks or water,” says Hooper.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a team, where everyone buys into the system like that. Every single practice, every single game everyone is fired up,” says Hooper.

What the team is looking forward to most this season is setting the bar for following teams.

The next game is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. against Algonquin at Thompson Rugby Park on Raglan Road in Raglan.