Stills from the game between the mens St. Thomas rugby team and the mens Mount Alisson rugby team. (Billy Cole/STU Athletics)

The St. Thomas University men’s rugby team came away with their first victory of the season on Oct. 13, defeating Mount Allison University in an assertive 28-0 performance, breaking a four-year losing streak.

“The win gives us a huge positive boost as a team going forward,” said fifth-year prop Nigel
Cornelius. “After losing two close games, it was nice for us to put everything together and show everybody what we can do when we play our game.”

Thursday night’s 28-0 victory under the lights was a huge win for the rugby program. At game’s end, there was an immediate boost to the team’s morale, which will be fundamental to the program moving forward, according to fourth-year wing Joseph Hood.

“It was an indescribable feeling and one that I’ll never forget. It was special to win the grad
game,” said Hood.

From a logistical point of view, however, Hood said the intensity has always been there, but the number of players on game days and practices have not. The biggest contributor to the team’s success is largely thanks to a growing number of devoted players.

“Everyone has bought into the program. The numbers at practices have been significantly
higher than previous years,” said Hood.

Cornelius said the team suffered rough losses in past years which he thinks was due to playing with fewer players.

“To come into this year with 20 plus guys and to keep our games competitive to the final whistle has been a huge positive change,” he said.

Graduating players have fond memories of their time as a rugby player for the Tommies, many said they hold Thursday’s victory above all other experiences.

Cornelius, however, said that his favourite moment was seeing his close friend and roommate, Alex Compton, score his first university try during the game.

“I’ve seen Compton put in a ton of work and commitment over the past four years, and to see him finally get rewarded was awesome,” said Cornelius.