Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Mixed results for Titans

In a physically exhausting sport like competitive rugby, roster depth is of the utmost importance. The Red Deer Titans Second and Third Division squads were short of secondary manpower while experiencing mixed results at Titans Park Saturday, with the No. 2 squad jumping out to a big lead before hanging on for a 37-36 win over the Foothills Lions and the Third Division crew falling 58-10 to Banff in the final regular-season match for both local teams.

In a physically exhausting sport like competitive rugby, roster depth is of the utmost importance.

The Red Deer Titans Second and Third Division squads were short of secondary manpower while experiencing mixed results at Titans Park Saturday, with the No. 2 squad jumping out to a big lead before hanging on for a 37-36 win over the Foothills Lions and the Third Division crew falling 58-10 to Banff in the final regular-season match for both local teams.

“It was a little tight. We came out flying in the first half but our (lack of) numbers kind of showed in the second half,” said Titans Second Division co-coach Mike Berry. “We went flat a bit but held on for the win, which was nice.”

With the positive result, the Titans improved to 7-5-1 and moved into second place in the Calgary Rugby Union and earned a first-round playoff bye.

“We have a couple of rookies this year and other guys who have been here 15 years. We’re gelling as a big family which is nice to see,” said Berry, who moved to Red Deer from Ontario three years ago and was a Titans player until this season.

“We pulled out a win today and it’s nice to be going into playoffs in second place. This is a good league. Every team has beaten every team.”

Berry is confident his squad can move along with authority once post-season play starts.

“Our scrum has been dominant all year,” said the coach.

“We have some younger guys on the outside who are pretty quick in all defensive schemes. We’re one of the better teams in the league and have beaten every team so far, so things are looking good.”

Berry and Grady Bowd share coaching duties with both the Second and Third Division Titans.

The Titans III dropped to 7-5-0 with Saturday’s result and will play their first post-season game this weekend.

“We didn’t have any subs today, we were a little short,” said Bowd.

“We don’t like our seconds playing thirds if they have to play a full 80 minutes. When you have guys playing two games in one day, that’s a full 160 minutes which is quite a bit.

“We had some guys who couldn’t commit today and others who have gone back to school. That kind of set us back a bit.”

The Titans broke in a handful of players this year and also have a solid veteran presence.

“It’s a bit of both. We have five or six new guys this year . . . guys who are coming onto the scene for the first time, which is good,” said Bowd. “We had three to four players return to the team following the high school season and a few vets back from last year, guys with good leadership abilities.

“We started off a bit tough this season but once we started to work together and get some team chemistry we got stronger. We’ve declined a bit lately due to the commitment level of our players.”

Bowd, a Red Deer native who as a player competed in Australia three years ago and also played club rugby and for the Canadian Under-20 team while stationed in Vancouver and Victoria, is looking forward to moving on to the Calgary Rugby Union playoffs.

“We didn’t fare well today against a very good team and we’ll be playing for our lives next weekend,” he said.

Jent Hoekstra scored the Titans’ lone try Saturday, with Jock Bottfield adding a pair of penalty kicks.

Just Posted

Red Deer respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first central Alberta health professionals to receive the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. Since then, nearly 3.4 million doses have been administered and COVID cases are falling rapidly. Photo by Alberta Health Services
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall sharply

Red Deer cases almost into the double digits after topping more than 900 only five weeks ago

(Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council discusses strategies to restore integrated emergency dispatching

Red Deer city councillors discussed additional ways on Tuesday to try to… Continue reading

Local developers who are doing building upgrades or new construction will face less land servicing costs and gain some flexibility. (File photo by Advocate staff)
From left: Montana First Nation councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation councillor Shannon Buffalo and Samson Cree Nation chief Vern Saddleback were present during the painting of the Maskwacis Pride crosswalk. (Contributed photo)
Being gay made him contemplate suicide: Councillor in Maskwacis opens up

Maskwacis got a bit mote colourful over the weekend. Volunteers spent Saturday… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) celebrates with defenseman Victor Hedman (77) after Rutta scored against the New York Islanders during the third period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Kucherov shines, Lightning beat Islanders 4-2 in Game 2

Lightning 4 Islanders 2 (Series tied 2-2) TAMPA, Fla. — Brayden Point… Continue reading

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) defends during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Durant’s sensational performance sends Nets to 3-2 lead

Nets 114 Bucks 108 (Brooklyn leads series 3-2) NEW YORK (AP) —… Continue reading

New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Frazier snaps tie, Yankees come back to beat Blue Jays 6-5

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Clint Frazier snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Pornhub says it has removed all content uploaded by non-verified users. The sex website faced accusations it hosted illegal content. The company, which is owned by Montreal-based Mindgeek, says it has suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by one of its content partners or members of its Model Program. THE CANADIAN PRESS
International women’s rights advocates call on Canada to hold Pornhub to account

Jeanette Westbrook says being sexually abused as a child will haunt her… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2021 file photo, transporters Miguel Lopez, right, Noe Meza prepare to move a body of a COVID-19 victim to a morgue at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has drastically slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry talks about health care legislation he's backing in the upcoming session, in Baton Rouge, La. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and… Continue reading

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists through east Jerusalem, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs,”… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) vies for the puck with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Vets Pietrangelo, Perry contributing for Vegas, Montreal

LAS VEGAS — Alex Pietrangelo and Corey Perry had very different free… Continue reading

Most Read