Currently, Riverside’s boys Rugby Team are at the top of the North Fraser league and are undefeated. Their most recent victory was against Burnaby, winning 17-7 on April 21 for an away game. Riverside’s next game is an away game against Charles Best on April 28, at 2:45.
On March 31, 2022, the Riverside boys’ rugby team beat their greatest rivals, Terry Fox Secondary, on their own field. They beat them using their “Riverside Rapids” spirit and the skills they practice in drills at Gates Park.
Terry Fox and Riverside have always had a traditional rivalry in all sports teams, including soccer, volleyball, and basketball. It is always a competition for everything between the two schools. So, the win for Riverside against Terry Fox was monumental, both for the team and for the school itself. “Terry Fox is the only other team that matters,” said Coach Darren Mackenzie.
Riverside teacher and coach Abraham Kang commented that in January the boys didn’t know rugby that well and yet beat Terry Fox in the home opener, revealing the team’s passion and drive to succeed.
Riverside has a solid team this year and are planning to do their best for the rest of the season. According to Riverside grade 12, Benedict Haszar, team nerves were high going up against Terry Fox. “It wasn’t easy, they had a tough team, but in the end, we were able to pull through and win the close match between our teams,” said Haszar.
Rugby is a fast and physically demanding game, but provides a sense of action and great excitement. The game is a classic brawl between two large teams in the form of 15v15. The objective is to ground the ball behind the enemy’s “try line,” and to then enter the goal/score area. Students don’t need any previous experience in the sport to join. Playing for the team has many benefits and is described by Mackenzie as “a great experience and an opportunity to build individual and teamwork skills.” Ever since coach Mackenzie joined the team in 2017, the Riverside boy’s rugby team turned around seven years of losses to winning the championship in 2019, with a 13-1-win loss ratio.
The team practices two to three times a week with each practice taking one and a half to two hours. The team does all types of training drills for cardio, developing explosiveness, and improving their mental state. Those who play rugby know that there are risks and it is a physically demanding sport, but that’s also part of the fun of it.
Riverside’s rugby team brings together boys from all grades and has a history to be proud of. Come out and enjoy one of the home games. After tomorrow’s game, Riverside plays Gleneagle at home on Thursday, May 5 at 4:00 pm.