Rugrats down Panthers, snap Glace Bay’s four-year championship streak

Sheridee Etheridge of the Riverview Rugrats, left, carries the ball as she’s tackled by Kelsie MacDonald of the Glace Bay Panthers during the Highland Region girls' rugby championship game Wednesday at Hub Field in Glace Bay. Riverview won the game 7-5 and will play in the provincial championship later this month.


As the final whistle sounded, Madison MacInnis and Barbel Weigel knew they had accomplished something special.


The Riverview Rugrats players had captured the Highland region girls’ rugby championship title, defeating the Glace Bay Panthers 7-5 in the league final at Hub Field


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Glace Bay Panthers boy's rugby team captures sixth-straight Highland region title in convincing fash

Dawson MacNeil of the Sydney Academy Wildcats runs the ball as he’s tackled by Jonathan Roach of the Glace Bay Panthers during the Highland region boy's rugby championship game Wednesday at Hub Field in Glace Bay. The Panthers won the game 54-0 and will play in the provincial championship later this month.





John Robinson doesn’t regret his decision to play high school rugby for the Glace Bay Panthers.


The Panthers graduating player has played the sport for the past two seasons and considers his time on the field as an experience he won’t forget, especially winning a league title..


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Riverview, Glace Bay advanced high school rugby girls’ championship game

The Riverview Rugrats and Glace Bay Panthers will play for the Cape Breton High School Rugby League girls’ championship on Wednesday.

Riverview advanced to the finals with a 38-7 victory over Sydney Academy in the semifinals on Monday.

Madison MacInnis had two tries for the Rugrats, while Abbey Parago, Alyssa Walker, Ayva Sharpe and Sheridee Ethridge added tries for the Coxheath-based school.

Barbel Weigel had one try and three conversions for Sydney Academy.

In other semifinal action on Monday, the Glace Bay Panthers blanked the Breton Education Centre Bears 53-0.

Scoring information was not available.


The championship game will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Hub Field in Glace Bay.

Glace Bay, Riverview pick up high school rugby wins

The Glace Bay Panthers and Riverview Rugrats picked up victories in Cape Breton High School Rugby League action on Wednesday.

In the boys' division, the Panthers downed the Sydney Academy Wildcats 29-7.

John Robinson had three tries, while Darcy O'Brien and Matt MacCarthy both added single tries and conversions in the win.

Justin Ferguson had a conversion and Jasper Zwarthoff added a try for the Wildcats.

In girls' action, the Riverview Rugrats defeated the Sydney Academy Wildcats 36-7.

Madison MacInnis, Reece Brown, Abbey Parago, Kelsey Langois, Lacey Bellefontaina and Lara Rifai each had a try for the Coxheath-based school.

Scoring information for Sydney Academy was not available.

Scrums up: High school rugby back on the field



The Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League resumed play last week after the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation briefly cancelled the sport for the season, a decision that was later reversed.


On Monday, the Sydney Academy Wildcats and Breton Education Centre Bears girls hit the Hub Field in Glace Bay. The Wildcats walked away with a convincing 68-7 victory, but there was no quit in the Bears’ side, who pushed until the end and scored a try in the second half. In the second half of the doubleheader, the Riverview Rugrats girls defeated the Glace Bay Panthers 26-10.



The Cape Breton Post was at the Wildcats/Bears game and took some shots of the action.


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Rugrats girls, Panthers teams post rugby wins

Madison MacInnis led the way with three tries for the Riverview Rugrats girls in their 55-10 win over the Sydney Academy Wildcats in Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League play Wednesday at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex turf field.

Alyssa Walker, Lara Rifai and Kelsey Langoios recorded two tries apiece, while Abbey Parago and Reece Brown rounded out the scoring with a try each.

Zoe Labbe scored both tries for the Wildcats.

In the other girls’ game, the Glace Bay Panthers blanked the Breton Education Centre Bears 75-0.


Lee Lee MacNeil and Hanna Orchen had three tries apiece. Mia McCormack and Danny Fernandez had two tries, with single tries from Megan Walsh, Becca McMullen, Kelsey MacDonald, Bralee Hiscock and Jennie Jessome.


The Glace Bay Panthers boys also picked up a win, defeating Sydney Academy 45-5.

Nathan Byrne had three tries for Glace Bay, while John Robinson scored a pair. Matthew McCarthy, Connor Baxter, Wyatt Stubbard and Ian Claseman had a try each.

Justin Ferguson replied for the Wildcats.

League play continues today on the CBU turf. Riverview will face Glace Bay at 4:30 p.m., followed by Sydney Academy taking on BEC at 5:45 p.m.

Game for Monday April 15th are canceled for the day

Glace Bay rugby teams to defend regional titles as high school league kicks off Monday

Glace Bay boys lose in provincial final to Eastern Shore

The Glace Bay Panthers boys held the lead late but the Eastern Shore Schooners charged back to win 22-14 to capture the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 2 rugby championship Saturday at Hub Field.

The Panthers were up 14-5 with eight minutes to go but the visitors from Musquodoboit Harbour rallied with some late tries to earn the banner. Coady Smith led the Panthers with a try and two conversions, while Keeghan Comer added a try.

In earlier action, the Schooners earned their spot in the championship after blanking the Riverview Rugrats 48-0.

In the girls tournament, the West Kings Wolverines of Auburn defeated the Hants East Tigers of East Hants 10-5 to capture the Division 2 banner.

The Glace Bay girls suffered an 8-0 loss to West Kings in the semifinal round.


Host Glace Bay Panthers teams finish NSSAF rugby provincial round robin with 1-1 records

 The Glace Bay High School Panthers boys and girls rugby teams opened the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 2 rugby provincials with matching records at Hub Field on Friday.

The host Panthers each finished opening day play with 1-1 records.

In girls action, Glace Bay kicked off the two-day event with a 14-5 win over Northeast Kings Education, before being defeated 17-10 by Hants East Rural High School.

Meanwhile, the Riverview Rugrats were eliminated from title contention, losing 5-0 to Millwood High School and 36-0 to West Kings, finishing the tournament with an 0-2 record.

Glace Bay will be in action Saturday morning when they play West Kings in the tournament semifinal at 10 a.m. with the winner advancing to the championship game, scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

In boys action, the Panthers were blanked 33-0 by Eastern Shore District High School in Game 1 of the tournament, before bouncing back to down Riverview 38-5 in an afternoon meeting.

Riverview (0-1) will finish the round robin portion of the tournament with a game against Eastern Shore (1-0) at noon on Saturday.

The championship game for the boys division is set for 3:30 p.m.

Twitter: @CBPost_Sports

NSSAF Rugby Provincial Championships

Friday results:


Glace Bay High School 14, Northeast Kings Education Centre 5

Millwood High School 5, Riverview High School 0

Hants East 17, Glace Bay High School 10

West Kings District High School 36, Riverview High School 0


Eastern Shore District High School 33, Glace Bay High School 0

Glace Bay High School 38, Riverview High School 5

Saturday schedule:


10 a.m. – Glace Bay Vs. West Kings (Semifinal)

11a.m. – Hants East Rural Vs. Millwood (Semifinal)

2:30 p.m. – Championship Game


12 p.m. – Riverview Vs. Eastern Shore

3:30 p.m. – Championship game

Glace Bay Panthers rugby teams to host provincials

The Glace Bay Panthers will play host to the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 2 Rugby Championships starting Friday at the Hub Field in Glace Bay.

On the boys side, the Panthers bested the Riverview Rugrats 40-24 on May 23 in Membertou to claim their fifth-straight Highland Region championship.


This weekend, Glace Bay and Riverview will be two of only three teams competing for the NSSAF banner. They will be joined by Eastern Shore Schooners of Musquodoboit Harbour.

Despite the lack of mainland representation, Panthers head coach Wayne Jenkins said his team is still hungry for a provincial title.

“If we can hit our rucks clean and make some clean tackles, push the ball down and use our speed, we should be fine,” he said.

The Glace Bay boys challenge Eastern Shore in the opener Friday at 9 a.m. while Riverview takes on Glace Bay at 3:30 p.m. Following Saturday’s 12 p.m. game between Eastern Shore and Riverview, the two teams with the best records will meet in the championship at 3:30 p.m.

The girls tournament has a larger field of six teams. Pool ‘A’ includes West Kings Wolverines of Auburn, Riverview Rugrats and the Millwood Knights of Middle Sackville. Pool ‘B’ features the host Glace Bay Panthers, Hants East Tigers of East Hants and Northeast Kings Titans of Canning.

The Highland Region champion Panthers girls blanked the Rugrats 33-0 to win their fourth local banner in a row. The hosts open play Friday at 11 a.m. versus Northeast Kings. Following the opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m., Riverview challenges Millwood at 1:15 p.m.

“I’m from the mainland and yes, mainland teams are tough, but I’m trying to bring the culture here that we play the same rugby that we do on the mainland,” said Glace Bay girls coach Marcus Cookson. “I have girls on my team that play on the (Nova Scotia Keltics team) and I have 10 great players that could potentially play at that level.

“I feel that we’re just as strong as any mainland team and this year, I really want to put a mark down for everybody and let them know that we’re here and we’re going to let everybody know how tough Glace Bay is this year.”

Following today’s round-robin play, the top two girls teams in each pool advance to the semifinals Saturday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The winners meet in the provincial final at 2:30 p.m.

Glace Bay Panthers retain rugby titles

Glace Bay girls and boys teams defeat Riverview for Highland Region championships

The Glace Bay Panthers girls and boys rugby teams fought through rain and fog to retain their Highland Region rugby titles with wins over the Riverview Rugrats on Wednesday at Membertou Athletic Field.

The Glace Bay girls won their fourth regional title in a row thanks to a 33-0 victory over Riverview in front of about 100 fans huddled on the sidelines. Makenna Norris led the way with three tries, while Bryah Boutilier and Braelee Hiscock scored a try apiece. Jenacee Pittman made good on four conversions.


Norris, a Grade 12 student from Glace Bay, broke a few tackles to rumble down the field for one of her tries in the game.

“We all practise really hard and I honestly think being close friends makes a difference,” said Norris, an 8-man who also plays provincially for the Nova Scotia Keltics. “We’re all so close and work well together. We have lots of fun out there.”

Panthers girls coach Marcus Cookson said he kept all 42 players that committed to rugby at the beginning of the season. His team is unbeaten with a 9-0 record including playoffs.

“We wanted to come out and play a tough game, a clean game and we wanted to finish it off for our Grade 12s real hard, and that’s what we did,” he said.

In the boys championship game, the Panthers earned their fifth-straight Highland Region crown with a 40-24 victory over the Rugrats.

Coady Smith paced Glace Bay’s offence with two tries and five conversions. Colin MacLeod, Keeghan Comer, Logan Burke and Jeff Green added a try apiece.

“I think we had more experienced returning players,” said Glace Bay head coach Wayne Jenkins after the win. “I’ve had players who played for me the last three years. That experience, you can’t buy that.”

Riverview replied with two tries and a convert from Austin Leamon. Braydon Sullivan and Brian McLellan had a try each.

The season isn’t over for both the Glace Bay and Riverview squads. The Panthers girls and boys sides play host to the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 2 rugby championships, June 1-2. With Glace Bay hosting, the Riverview teams also have a spot in the tournament.



Regional Final

Please note that the Regional Final for May 23rd has the time changed by one hour.  Girls will play at 4 and boys at 5.


Good luck to all.

Riverview downs Sydney Academy to advance to rugby final

A pair of old rivals will meet in the Cape Breton High School Rugby League championship game next week.

The Riverview Rugrats boys’ and girls’ teams advanced to the league championship game with wins over the Sydney Academy Wildcats in semifinal action in Membertou on Wednesday.

With the wins, the Riverview teams will now play the Glace Bay Panthers for the Highland region title next week.

In girls action, Virginia Braggio led the way for the Rugrats with 24 points including two tries and seven conversions as Riverview romped to a 59-0 win over the Wildcats.

Rebecca MacKeigan, Abbey Parago, Madison MacInnis, Kelsey Langlois, Morgan Lunn, Sherity Ethridge and Courtney Butler each added a try for the Coxheath school.

“I’m super proud of all the girls, we worked really hard and everything that we’ve been working on in practice came through,” said Lunn, a graduating player on this year’s Riverview squad.

“I was really proud of all our rookie players, they put all they had out on the field, everybody communicated well, and it was just an overall good game for our team.”

Meanwhile, in boys’ action, Braiden Sullivan had three tries and Austin Leamon had a try and a conversion as Riverview edged Sydney Academy 22-21.

Daniel Petrie had a try and three conversions, while Bryce McCormick chipped in with two tries for the Wildcats in the loss.

The championship games for both divisions will take place next Wednesday in Membertou with the girls hitting the field at 5 p.m., followed by the boys’ game at 6 p.m.

The Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation rugby provincials will also be held in Cape Breton this year with Glace Bay High School hosting the province’s best Division 2 teams, June 1-2. The field is to be determined.


Glace Bay rugby teams post wins over Sydney Academy

The Glace Bay Panthers girls remained undefeated on the season with a 48-5 victory over the Sydney Academy Wildcats during Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League play Wednesday at Membertou Athletic Field.

The defending Highland Region champion Panthers improved their record to 6-0-0 with the victory for first place in the standings. Third-place Sydney Academy fell to 0-7-0.

No scorers were available.

In the boy’s tilt, the Panthers blanked the Wildcats, 17-0.

Brett Strong led the attack with two tries, while Ron Morrison added a try. Coady Smith made good on the conversion. Glace Bay improved to 5-1-0 with the win, while second-place Sydney Academy dropped to 2-3-0.

With the wins, both Glace Bay teams have clinched first place heading into the Highland Region championship games being held next week.

Regular-season play continues Friday in Membertou when the Panthers teams play the Riverview Rugrats. The girls hit the field at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6 p.m.


Pittman leads unbeaten Glace Bay Panthers to win over Riverview Rugrats

Jenacee Pittman’s two tries and two conversions paced the Glace Bay Panthers girls to a 19-0 victory over the Riverview Rugrats in Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League action Wednesday at Membertou Athletic Field.

Makenna Norris also had a try for the first-place Panthers (5-0). The Rugrats’ record fell to 1-2 for second place.

In the boy’s game, Glace Bay posted a 31-5 triumph over Riverview. Keagan Comer led all scorers with three tries, while Parker Spencer and Jordan MacNeil added a try apiece. Colin MacLeod with two conversions and Owen Chauder with a single conversion also added offence for the first-place Panthers (4-1).

For third-place Riverview (0-3), Jarod Richardson had the lone try.

Tuesday, the Glace Bay girls posted a 45-5 victory over the Sydney Academy Wildcats in the lone game of the day in Membertou. Braelee Hiscock had four tries and Megan Walsh, Danni Fernandez and Lee Lee McNeil scored a try each. Pittman finished with five conversions.

Teams hit the field Friday in Membertou when Riverview plays the Sydney Academy Wildcats. The girls play at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6 p.m.

Smith’s try, convert lift Glace Bay Panthers boys past Sydney Academy Wildcats

Glace Bay girls blank Sydney Academy at Membertou Athletic Field

MEMBERTOU, N.S. — Coady Smith scored a try and the game-winning conversion in the dying seconds of the game to lift the Glace Bay Panthers boys to a 7-5 win over the Sydney Academy Wildcats in Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League play Monday at Membertou Athletic Field.

Dylan MacKinnon replied for the Wildcats with a try. The teams are tied atop the standings with 2-1 records.


In the girl’s half of the doubleheader, Jenacee Pittman led the way with three tries and six conversions as the first-place Panthers (3-0) cruised to a 57-0 win over the Wildcats (0-2).

Hannah Orchieson and Braelee Hiscock scored two tries apiece. Kali Hynes and Danni Fernandez also chipped in a try each.

Tuesday in Membertou, the Glace Bay and Sydney Academy girls will meet again at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, the Panthers will play the Riverview Rugrats. The girls hit the field at 5 p.m., followed by the boys at 6 p.m.

Megan Welsh led the Glace Bay Panthers girls with a pair of tries in a convincing 32-0 win over the Riverview Rugrats in Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League action Monday at Membertou Athletic Field.

Jenacee Pittman followed with a try and a conversion, while Sabrina Knox, Bryah Boutilier and Kali Haynes chipped in a try apiece for the defending league champions.


In the boy’s contest, Glace Bay posted a 31-5 victory over Riverview.

Cody Smith recorded a try and three conversions to put 11 points up on the scoreboard. Brett Strong had two tries, while both Ron Morrison and Jeff Green scored a try apiece.

Braiden Sullivan had the lone try for Riverview.

League play continues Wednesday in Membertou when Riverview plays the Sydney Academy Wildcats. The girls play at 5 p.m., followed by the boys at 6 p.m.

Coaching course end of January 2018

Glace Bay Panthers win Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League championship




Charles Warren, Nathan Byrne and Dylan Burke all scored tries for the Panthers, who advance to the provincial championships June 2 and June 3 at Hants East Rural High.



Wayne Jenkins, who coached the Panthers to all four titles, said his team knew they would be in tough against the Rugrats. In fact, Glace Bay’s only loss of the past four years was a 13-7 defeat at the hands of Riverview in the second game of this season.



And despite the score, the championship game was close for most of the match, with Glace Bay up 5-0 on an early try before breaking through for two more in the final half.



“They lost one game by six points and I’ll tell you … they needed it though, they needed to be knocked down,” said Jenkins. “They knew that this team could beat them on any single day — it was just our day today.”



Jenkins said he likes his team’s chances of taking home an elusive provincial title to add to their regional banners, noting the work-to-rule situation with Nova Scotia teachers means fewer teams are competing this season,



“I think we can make the finals — we have a really good chance, just as good as any team out there. I’m hoping to bring home a provincial title this year. If not we’ll go back at ’er again next year.”



Meanwhile, in other high school rugby action, the Riverview girls routed Sydney Academy 34-5 to advance to the league championships.




Brooklyn Etheridge and Julie Ann Francois each had two tries for the Rugrats, while Maddie MacInnis and Elish Redshaw also found the end zone. Redshaw added two conversions to round out the scoring

Glace Bay Panthers win third straight Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League title



The Glace Bay High School Panthers didn’t let a little rain and cold get in the way of their championship run on Friday.


The Panthers captured their third straight Cape Breton Highland High School Rugby League championship, defeating the Riverview Rugrats 15-0 at Glace Bay High School.


With the win, the Panthers advance to this year’s Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation provincial championships, scheduled for June 2-3 at Hants East Rural High School in Milford Station, N.S.


Kaitlynn Hayes opened the scoring for the Panthers with a try just before the end of the first half. Glace Bay continued the offence in the second half with tries by Jenna C. Pittman and Emma Locke to secure the win.


Hayes was a member of the Panthers team that captured back-to-back league titles in 2015 and 2016, but this year’s championship was a little more special.


“Winning a championship in your Grade 12 year is something you never forget,” said the graduating student. “When they told us there was only one play left, my heart was beating out of my chest, I really wanted to win that third title.”


“It was a great game overall — Riverview played well and so did we,” said Hayes.


The Panthers enjoyed a successful season. The team went 6-0 in the regular season before beating Memorial High School in the league semifinals on Wednesday to advance to the championship game, where they capped off their undefeated season.


Panthers coach Marcus Cookson spoke highly of his team following the win.


“I had 24 girls that gave me everything they had for eight weeks — I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of girls,” said Cookson. “They put all their effort on the field and everything I could ask for.”


This year’s Panthers’ roster featured eight graduating players, including Hayes, Carlotta Colombari, Estelle Richard, Becca MacDonald, Jill Brown, Amanda Lee, Kristen Bach and Brooklyn Smeltzer.


“We have some leadership from our Grade 12 students, who are very strong players, and they helped us get through some tough moments,” said Cookson. “The kids played great; when they were down, they were still up, so overall I think the win is very special for the team, especially the graduating players.”


Hayes credits hard work and dedication to the team’s success throughout the season.


“We had lots of hard practices,” said Hayes. “Today’s win was a big team effort, it wasn’t just one player, we played as a team and it was great to be successful on our home field.”


With the provincial championships less than a week away, Cookson feels his team has a good chance at winning the provincial title.


“I think my team is the best, to tell you the truth,” said Cookson. “I feel that my girls play a simple game, they play tough, I don’t think there is any team that we can’t beat as long as we come with the right attitude.”


“I told the girls already, whether we win or lose, as long as we’re having fun that’s all that matters.” said Cookson.


The Panthers are not the only team from Glace Bay High School to win a Cape Breton rugby title this year. The Panthers’ boy’s team captured their fourth straight championship with a 15-0 win over Riverview on Wednesday, also advancing to the provincial championships next weekend.


A schedule for the provincial championships was not available at press time.