(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor Stadium was the site of a renewed friendly rivalry between the Windsor Rogues and Michigan RFC on Saturday afternoon. In what was to be a rugby triple header, Rugby USA bureaucracy prevented the TriCity Barbarians from joining the fun and, instead, a “three half” tilt was improvised.
The Ann Arbor visitors were pressured early by a Rogues line-up of returning veterans. Windsor hemmed Michigan in their own end for most of the 1st half with Chris Suchy grounding two tries and Chris Shaw converting.
However, shortly before the 1st period whistle, Michigan returned the favour and Windsor led 12-7 heading into the 2nd. Despite the time for a breather, Windsor’s limited preparation was exploited by Michigan’s larger front line.
The two sides exchanged a converted try each until the visitors churned up the pitch to ground another major score to take the lead 19-17 shortly before expiry of time. However, the extended format allowed the Rogues the opportunity to insert the fresh legs of the rookies.
The new found speed rejuvenated Windsor as they took advantage of a less mobile Michigan side on the wings. The Rogues ran up a 19-0 “half” score en route to a 36-19 final against Michigan. Spencer Bryant, Jonathan Triolet, Ben Magri, and Austin Crough were the additional scorers for Windsor with Shaw converting 3 of 6.
The weekend’s match was the final for the Rogues in preparation for the Niagara Rugby Union regular season, which kicks off on the road against the Kent Havoc on May 28 in Chatham. Windsor will open at home on June 4 when they welcome the Stratford Blackswans to AKO Park on Alice Road.