The number 12 ranked Sarnia Saints concluded their season with a tough road loss to number four seed Aurora Barbarians 55-3, on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Fletcher’s Field in Markham Ontario.
The Saints completed the McCormick Cup championship for the top sixteen club teams in Ontario with a 1-1 record having upset the #5 seed Waterloo a week prior.
For coach Todd Whitlock, a lot of positives remain from the season and the playoffs. “The scoreline was not truly indicative of the way we played. Every player gave a great individual effort, and the team worked hard throughout. We had multiple opportunities to score, and a solid 20 minute sequence when we really pushed at them. Credit to Aurora, they defended well, and when we turned the ball over they made us pay. They were very quick in transition, and had excellent team speed out wide.”
Whitlock continued, “Aurora is one of the top teams in the province. They are well coached, and well drilled. They have a solid, physical, forward pack, and great team speed from 11-15. They have representatives that have played for Ontario and Canada. It was a great opportunity for our players to test themselves against a classy club that has won this title in 2007, 2009 and 2010. They also have won the premiership, the league above us, consecutively from 2006-2010. After the match they were very complimentary of the way our guys competed for 80 minutes. For our players it was a great way to see what the next level looks like, and where they are with their individual skill and fitness, and as a team to re-assess where we’d like to head.”
CEO of Rugby Canada, Graham Brown stated, “Sarnia should be very proud of their efforts today. To finish top 8 of the club teams in Ontario is a great accomplishment. It’s a positive for the game.”
Whitlock concluded, “ We’ve had a good year. We finished fourth in league play. We had a good showing in the Cup. In the community we participated in two MS fundraisers, and as a team had a great tour to Europe. The guys deserve a rest. It’s been a long season that began 6 months ago. Hopefully the players reflect on the positives of the season, and do what they need to do to begin preparing for 2013.
We appreciate the support from the community and our media partners.”
Photo provided by Megan O’Neil