In a triumphant return to the pitch, the King’s Men’s Rugby team bested St. Francis Xavier University by a score of 25-17. The Blue Devils travelled to Antigonish, N.S. to play a heavily-favoured X-Men side. King’s took control of the game early on and earned a lead when 2019 MVP Gabe Isenor broke through the STFX line for the season’s first try. Soon after, King’s doubled their lead when scrum half Dylan Aleck found rookie Sam Mairoino in the corner for a second try—Mairoino’s first in King’s colours.
Trailing 10-0 at the break, the X-Men responded quickly in the 2nd half, scoring a try and the subsequent conversion cutting the lead to 3. Following a STFX infraction, UKC’s Ryoma Mbuchi converted a penalty extending the lead to 12-7, before Isenor got free for his second try of the game putting the Blue Devils back up by 10. A late rally by STFX in the closing stages saw a try and conversion cut the King’s lead back to 3. With little time remaining, King’s No. 8 Josh Williams picked from the scrum and fought his way through the X defense to score a late try and seal the game for the Blue Devils.
The result comes as a dream start for new head coach, Geno Carew, who joined the Blue Devils staff in February of 2020, but hasn’t seen his side compete due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “We were really excited to win our first match and pick up an important four points,” says Carew. “It’s been a while since the team had any success and seeing the excitement in the core group was great.”
This was the only game scheduled between King’s and STFX this season, and thus counted for double points in the league table. The Blue Devils next play host to the cross-campus rivals, Dalhousie, on Thursday, September 16 at Graves Oakley field at 5 p.m.