Young core leads Wild rugby squad

High school team has improved from last year, as six seniors lead the way.

The Mount Baker Wild Rugby team gets in some practice before hitting the pitch for a tournament at Parkland Middle School this weekend.

The Mount Baker Wild Rugby team gets in some practice before hitting the pitch for a tournament at Parkland Middle School this weekend.

With only six students that will graduate at the end of the year, it seems as if there’s a youth movement on the Mount Baker Wild rugby team.

However, it’s those six senior students that have helped the team to a successful record, as they’ve won six of their last seven games.

Head coach Sean Sinclair said last year was a tough year, as the team needed to develop and learn the fundamentals of the game.

“Last year was a development year, try to get the fundamentals down with the boys—they didn’t win a game last year, but they did get the fundamentals down,” said Sinclair.

“So this year, with those six guys leading us, we’ve managed to start to actually really improve.”

Sinclair said he has noticed a few major areas where the team has gotten better.

“This year their rucking has improved,” Sinclair said. “The big thing is, in a tackle situation, they’re able to deal with it, make decisions really quickly, recycle the ball, and get it back out so that the backs can use it.

“Now the backs are starting to swing the ball out and starting to see the holes and the space to exploit it when necessary, which is great.”

Ben Freiss, a Grade 12 student who was on the squad last year, agrees.

“Our rucks are fantastic, our forwards are great. Our scrums are good and we have fast backs,” Freiss said.

Freiss said he has enjoyed the transition of going from a team that couldn’t win a game last year to a squad that has had success on the rugby pitch this year.

“All the seniors that have played last year and are playing this year—we’ve improved a lot,” Freiss said. “We know what we’re doing now and we’re teaching a lot of the kids that are new this year, so they know a lot too, and that’s why we’re winning.”

The squad is playing in a tournament this weekend at Parkland Middle School, with games on Friday and Saturday.