The Brandon Barbarians Division 1 men’s team scored early and often as they dominated the Highlanders 62-24 in a Manitoba Rugby makeup game on Sunday at John Reilly Field.
Brandon, which was coming off a two-week break due to a forfeiture and having the long weekend off, scored 17 points in the first 10 minutes and held a 43-0 advantage at halftime as the Barbarians cruised to the victory.
"That was really nice," said Tyler Jury. "A long layoff and it was really nice to get a lead and work from there and not trailing. … We just got a few speed guys and the back line beat them a few times. Our forwards were pushing them around."
It was an all-around solid effort for the Barbarians as they were able to keep play in the Highlanders’ end for most of the first half, had some great defensive plays in the second half and ended up with five players scoring tries.
It wasn’t until the Highlanders got the breeze at their back in the second half when they were able to break the Barbarian line, but it was already too late.
Sean Common led the team with two tries, seven conversions and a penalty kick, while Clément Lepage, Sheldon Kowalchuk and Frank Jones all touched the ball down twice. Jon Fitzpatrick, the team’s head coach, supplied the team’s other try.
While Jury was held off the scoresheet, he played a key role defensively for the team and was glad just to be back on the pitch after being out with a separated shoulder he suffered in the pre-season.
"It’s nice to get back on the field and be back with the boys," he said. "I was a little gassed, but I feel I played pretty good. Little sore, but I think I played good. There are a couple things I wish I could have back (defensively), but I thought I did decent enough."
The win improves Brandon to 3-1, and the Barbarians will get a chance to improve that mark on Sunday when they host the Highlanders again at John Reilly Field at 2 p.m.
On Saturday, Andrew Ritchie kicked two penalties and three converts as the Barbarians Division 2 men’s team beat the Thistles 27-17 in Steinbach.
Braden Demontigny, Sean Erickson and Aaron Kaluzniak scored the tries for Brandon (5-1-1). The Wanderers couldn’t field a team on Sunday, resulting in that game against Brandon being cancelled.
The Division 2 squad will be back in action on Saturday when the Barbarians host the Saracens at John Reilly Field at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Barbarian women won their Division 1 opener by forfeit on Sunday when the Wanderers couldn’t field a team.
Their next game is on Monday, Aug. 18 when they take on the Sturgeon Creek Rowdies in Portage la Prairie at 7 p.m.