The Mystic Collegiate Selects did the club proud in their match against the Lower Canada Voyageurs, showing lots of heart and commitment to come from behind and clinch a 31-21 victory.
The Mystics came out firing a bit too hard, and an early hit off the first kickoff saw the Mystics go a man down due to a yellow card. The boys in blue managed some stalwart defence with 14 men, but the Voyageurs made their numbers count and scored two converted tries to take a 14-0 lead from the first ten minutes of the game.
Once the Mystics got back to full strength, they managed to get some momentum going. Joe Hastry made a great run to get the Mystics on the board with an unconverted try, and the whole team put together a number of phases before Connor Shaw finished things off with a second Mystic try. Jamie Santo slotted the conversion to leave the Mystics trailing 12-14 just before the half.
The Mystics kept their momentum going into the second half, but conceded far too many penalties to make anything of their dominance. The Voyageurs took full advantage of the Mystic penalty count, however, and extended their lead to 9 points off a converted try. Despite this setback, the Mystics came back with a converted try of their own from Chris Frazier, leaving the game in the balance with the score at 19-21 to the Voyageurs after 60 minutes.
In the last twenty minutes, the Mystic forwards started to assert their dominance with a number of important turnovers and some great structured rugby. The continued pressure forced the Voyageurs to commit a number of penalties, and the Mystics took the lead with an unconverted try from Aaron Smith. The boys kept taking the game to the Voyageurs, and fought their way into the Voyageur 22 before being awarded a penalty with time running short. The Mystics went for posts to take an 8 point lead, but the goal kick hit the upright before being claimed by a Voyageur, keeping the Canadians hopes alive. Flanker Joe Hastry was having none of it, however, and managed to pounce on a poor pass from the Voyageur scrumhalf to give the Mystics a final converted try and a 31-21 victory.
It was a great evening of rugby to cap off four weeks of work from the Mystic players, who managed to improve on last year’s 22-22 draw to come away with a well-deserved W. Special thanks are due to Tom Clark, Kareem Afifi, Mike Bozza, Ken Park, Pete Haxton and Matt Christensen, who volunteered their time to ensure that the match and the trip as a whole went off well. A huge thank you is also due to our counterparts at the Montreal Irish Wolfhounds for hosting the match! Finally, we also have to thank GF Sprague Roofing for their support – they were a huge factor in making the trip happen.