On a cloudy and sometimes rainy Saturday afternoon, the Tridents made history by winning their third straight Florida Rugby Championship.
The path to the Championship this season was not an easy one. When pool play started in January, the Tridents were missing multiple players who had helped them win State titles the past two seasons. They also had a new head coach, former Trident fullback, Ranald Schulz. Some might have expected a rebuilding year with a focus on the future. The Tridents did not see it that way. After starting the season with 5 victories, the Tridents sustained three losses in a row. They would finish with a record of 6-3 and as the 3rd seeded team in the state. Their reward was a long road trip to 2nd seeded Tampa Krewe, a team who had lost only one game. After narrowly winning 12-7, the Tridents advanced to the State Finals. Their opponent was a team that had earlier defeated them 33-31, Boca Raton RFC. More importantly, the Tridents lost their captain Hein Erasmus to injury in the closing minutes of that match.
The State Finals did not start well for the Tridents, with Boca Raton scoring a try in the 4th minute. The Tridents then ripped off 27 unanswered points. They never relinquished the lead. Late season addition, Joshua Durbach played an outstanding game at scrumhalf, making sure every player was involved in wave after wave of unrelenting attack. After the game, he would credit the forwards for being the key to victory. Boca Raton came back in the 2nd half to score 12 more points, but it was a case of too little, too late. The MVP of the match award went to Connor Christie for a sterling performance at fullback.
The next step is the Southern Conference Championships in Southern Pines, NC on May 5-6th.
The Trident RFC would like to take this opportunity to thank the hard work of all of our players, 1st and 2nd XV's. Without them, we would not be State Champions for a third year in a row. We would also like to thank the Club Officers, the Game Day Committee, and our Team Manager, Mad Dog. Without them, the Club would not run so smoothly and efficiently. Many thanks as well to our sponsors, Atlas Club for their financial support and Fado Irish Pub for putting on the best rugby socials in the State. Finally a huge thank you goes out to all of our supporters and old boys. Every time we travel, whether it's Naples, Orlando, or Jacksonville, we can always count on their presence and cheers from the sidelines.