SFU Rugby lose season opener 34–7 to Surrey

While score may suggest otherwise, there’s a lot to be excited about for the men’s rugby team

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As stated by head coach Conan Cooper, this is a good platform for SFU Rugby's season. (Kelsey Nikl / The Peak)

On Saturday, September 15, the SFU Rugby team opened their season with a home game against Surrey. The team played a tight game, but a few mistakes made the difference in what would end up being a 27-point loss. The score, however, is not representative of how the game was played.

This is what head coach Conan Cooper had to say on the topic in a post game interview with The Peak:

“Early in the season a little bit of indecision and just making the wrong call at the wrong time because [there’s] a group of new guys back together again. We made three or four decisions that gave them the ball. One of them they ran back in and three of them they kicked penalties off,” before adding, “For sure that score did not match the play, the play was very even.”

Penalties certainly hurt the team, and Surrey was able to capitalize. In early season play, however, this can be expected as the team is still not in the full swing of things. As the season continues on, expect to see the amount of mistakes, and their severity, decrease.   

“We’ve had a lot of good practices, it’s been focused a lot on fitness and just getting new guys in. So what I’m seeing now already is some of our attack phases that we haven’t even practiced [are being brought back from last season] and there’s a better gel than I saw at the start of last season,” said Cooper.

While starting out the season with a loss is rarely a positive thing, it sets a base for the team to work on heading forward.

“This is actually a very good platform for us, because the new guys have now been let in and they’ve seen the system live. It’s one thing to practice it but to actually play it out with these guys live – now there’s a bit of bonding that’s happened, a little more understanding of how our structure goes as we play.”

The lone try of the game for SFU Rugby was scored by Matt Herbert.

Peak player of the game: Tachara “Magic” Makanza

It’s only right to give the player of the game to Magic, who returned to the rugby field after spending over two years out battling injuries. He seems sure to be a force on the field for the team all season. This is what he had to say on his return, via message:

“It had been over two years since my last ‘dance,’ and I was beginning to lose the feeling [of playing], so one can imagine how anxious and apprehensive I felt when I had finally gotten the opportunity to dance again amid my recovery from torn ligaments. Thankfully, fueled by passion and trust in my new family [with the Clan], within the first 10 seconds of play all [negative] thoughts fled my conscience and freed me from constraint. I’m more than happy to say it felt like home. Excited for the future.”