Monday, September 24, 2012

Ashbridges Bay North: Rugby Ontario

Two @RugbyOntario teams fought a friendly game on the #Toronto field at Ashbridges Bay North during the past weekend. The Markham Irish in green and Balmy Beach in blue met in the Beach area as part of the senior men's league schedule which ends in championship games in late October.
Founded in 1949 the current roster of the Rugby Ontario Union has over 9,000 players in 71 clubs. Players wear very little in protection with a uniform consisting of a team t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes and I'm guessing a cup. There were plenty of scrums, rucks and mauls on the spectator benches while on the field balls are thrown, kicked and grabbed while players tend to jump on each other or push each other around. I was amazed when I saw players being lifted high in the air by their teammates as they try to intercept the ball - it makes for some exciting sports action.

The Men's Senior League is designated Marshall and has 16 teams in two divisions (Premier and Provincial). Premier has the top 8 clubs in Ontario and this year they include Aurora, Balmy Beach, Brantford, London, Markham, Oakville, Stoney Creek and Toronto Scottish.  

The Provincial division also has eight teams with a roster that includes Barrie, Brampton, Kingston, Niagara, Oshawa, Peterborough, Sarnia and Waterloo. They do the switcheroo at the end of the regular season and drop the bottom Premier team into the Provincial and move the top Provincial team into the Premier division.

See more bone crunching action after the jump.

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