The Central Kings girls and boys both got the best of their counterparts from Horton as the Valley High School Rugby League kicked off the 2014 season April 15 at Acadia.
On a windy day that had a real impact on the play on the turf at Raymond Field, the CK and Horton girls took the field first.
Halftime saw the score tied at five apiece, with Rachel MacAlpine scoring for Horton, playing with the wind, and Dixie Tufts replying for the Gators.
After the intermission, Central Kings, with the wind, behind them, took full advantage, scoring two tries to upset the Griffins 15-5.
“It looks like this is going to be a fun season,” said Keisha Kane, a rookie playing her first-ever game of competitive rugby. Kane had both second half tries for CK.
“She was a real beast out there,” said her coach, Kyla Gillis.
Seeing the CK girls beat Horton was quite unusual, said Gillis, a Horton graduate.
“I don’t think the CK girls have ever beaten Horton before. When I was at Horton, we used to beat them by around 100 points,” Gillis said.
“(It was) definitely our best game in a long time. The rookies stepped up, and our senior leaders played the game of their lives.”
Horton coach Dave Galloway said he felt the Gators “played well” and deserved the victory.
“Some of my players might look at this as an upset, but I really don’t. Central Kings had a pretty good team last year,” Galloway said.
“The wind certainly didn’t help,” he said, adding that the Griffins “couldn’t capitalize on the wind when we had it in the first half.”
The CK and Horton boys then took the field, and the Gators, playing with the wind in the first half, scored early and often, taking a 27-5 halftime lead en route to a 37-5 victory.
The Gators spread the scoring around, with Matt Priestnall, Lukas Kane, Sam Jennings, Isaiah Crossland-Belle, Ben Best, Devin Winchester and Clayton Sawler all scoring single tries.
The wind made it a tough day for convert attempts, as Lukas Kane was good on just one of his seven attempts, the only successful kick in either game.
Liam Coldwell had Horton’s only try, scored on the final play of the first half with CK already ahead 27-0.
In other opening day action in the VHSRL, on the girls’ side, West Kings topped Avon View ‘B’ 26-5, the Avon View ‘A’ team blanked Middleton 42-0 and Park View topped NKEC 71-0. In the only other boys’ action, Middleton got by Avon View 19-0.
On April 17, King’s-Edgehill took on the Horton girls, handing the Griffins their second loss of the season with a 36-0 win. The CK girls team picked up its second victory, defeating Avon View 29-0.
The CK boys team was successful again as well, defeating Avon View 29-0, also on April 17.