The Nanaimo Hornets came out buzzing in their first match of the fall season.
The men’s Div. 1 rugby club defeated the Castaway Wanderers 38-24 on Saturday at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park to begin the Vancouver Island Times Cup schedule.
The Hornets led 21-14 at half and poured it on the rest of the way.
Clive Stocks, coach of the Hornets Div. 1 men, said the team’s speed and conditioning will be a strength this season.
“We’re working really hard on fitness; it will be the key for later in games,” he said. “We’re also setting in some offensive and defensive systems so we’re working as a unit of 15, rather than just forwards working and backs working. It’s starting to come along quite well.”
The Hornets have been working with the Vancouver Island University rugby club, with the sides running the same types of systems and practising together. It’s meant great turnout at practices, Stocks said, and he’s encouraged by what he’s seeing at this stage of the season.
“Looking at the steps we’re taking from last year, getting some players back who haven’t played for us for a couple of years is really key to solidify the team, and we’re pretty confident that we’re going to do a lot better this year than we did last year,” he said.
GAME ON … The team visits the Port Alberni Black Sheep this Saturday (Sept. 19). Next home action for the Hornets is Oct. 3 against the Cowichan Piggies, when the women’s match kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and the men follow at 1 p.m.