The Notre Dame Cougars battle for the ball in a ruck with the Frank Maddock High School Warriors on Wednesday night at Great Chief Park. It was the first game of the Central Alberta high school Rugby season for both teams. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Notre Dame Cougars Rugby pull out win in season opener

It was a lot closer than they wanted, but a win was a win for the Notre Dame Cougars Senior Boys Rugby team on Wednesday night.

The Cougars opened the Central Alberta Rugby League at Great Chief Park on the new turf at Setters Place against the Frank Maddock High School Warriors and the home side pulled out a narrow 25-24 victory.

Frank Maddock missed a convert with time nearly up in the match and handed Notre Dame a win in the process.

Head coach Tyler LaGrange said that with a young team, there has been a steep learning curve to start the season.

“We have a lot of new guys, so all we’ve been asking from them is 100 per cent effort all the time and they gave it to us. It was awesome to see. They had no quit and no fear– just had fun and they never quit for us, all the way to the end,” LaGrange said.

“We have a couple vets and a lot of brand new guys. A lot of inexperience. A lot of mistakes were made, but they supported each other through it.”

Tyson Thornton, Jake Goodwin, Leigh Pico and Ethan West all had trys for the Cougars in the win and Thornton also hit a penalty kick that made the difference in the game.

The Notre Dame Cougars senior girls opened the season with a lopsided 60-7 loss to Frank Maddock.

The Cougars will also host their annual Cougars Classic on May 11 and 12 at Notre Dame.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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