Des O’Neill Labour Day tournament recap

Labour day recap

The 2010 Des O’Neill Labour Day is now over… some rugby was played, some friends were made and I think it’s safe to say all involved has a pretty good time (though some may have some trouble remembering exactly what they did).


On the rugby side of things, twelve teams took to the pitch to play two days of exciting rugby. On the men’s side of things were Parc-O, Yankees RFC, Hamilton, Ormstown, U de M, Wilfrid Laurier U, Fredericton and the Irish.

Being short on numbers, the Hamilton Hornets and Ormstown were joined into one team, quickly dubbed “Hornstown”.  They played hard but were unable to make it to the top of their division, although they managed a thrilling tie versus the Yankees. The Yankees also proved to be a valiant team with much speed on the outside. Unfortunately for them, they fell in a good game to division champions Parc-O who proved to be the class of their division.

In the other division, the Fredericton Loyalists became known as the team of two halves. Losing all pf their first halves, they always seemed to be the better side in the second half. Some may attribute this to a lack of any kind of warm up, but this reporter believes that they simply got better as the sobered up! The Universite de Montreal also represented well in their inaugural season in the Quebec University championship. The U de M boys, coming off a huge (and very tough) victory against Concordia on Thursday night, were nursing several injuries but managed to play some inspired rugby. As a former member of this team, I wish them all the best in their upcoming season. The winner of this division was WLU which were obviously a fit and well drilled team. These boys came to play and were rewarded with an undefeated record. Lastly, the Irish  men played a great tournament and were very affable hosts. I think it’s safe to say that Irish players subbed for every team save Parc-O and the WLU army. The boys also managed to win 2 of three games.


The plate final (for 3rd place) saw Fredericton take on the Irish. Having been delayed due to the Montreal Marathon (and the Loyalists penchant for partying…), this game featured some “Benny Hill style” rugby mixed in with some actual good play. The Irish boys came out on top, but I get the feeling that the game was more friendly than anything else.



The men’s final was a great game all around between Parc-O and WLU. Parc-O dominated in the scrums (and penalty count!) while WLU used their strong line-out to their advantage. Both teams played admirably and seemed hungry for the victory (no less than 3 yellow cards were handed out!). In the end, WLU’s fitness and ability to capitalize on chances was the difference maker.

On the women’s side of things, four teams took to the fields to dispute the championship: St. Thomas, Fredericton, Norwich and the Monteal Irish/Hamilton Hornets combined. The Fredericton women – much the same as the men – seemed to get better as the day went on and the effect of the night before wore out. The STU women also played some strong rugby in preparation for their upcoming university campaign. We wish them plenty of success. The Norwich ladies also played some very strong rugby, showing a strong team bond (not to mention their unique preparation methods!). The Irish/Hornets combined were great all throughout the weekend, playing an open style of rugby and using their considerable skill to their advantage.

The plate final was supposed to be between Fredericton and STU, but the Loyalists were in no shape to play in this darby. Norwich’s second team was kind enough to step in and play. Many thanks to them and congrats to both teams. STU women ended up winning the plate.

The women’s finals was set between the Irish/Hornets combines and Norwich’s first team. The finals were superb. The game was very close throughout and was one of the most physical games I have seen. The ref in charge seemed to agree. Both sides played great. In the end, the Irish ended up with one more try and took home the cup.



Firstly, this seemed to be a really great tournament on the social side of things. The greeting party at Hurleys on Friday (after a slow start, but thanks to the STU women for keeping it alive) was a blast. All teams, save a few, attended and seemed to have a good time. The Saturday night was also a lot of fun, starting at hurleys and ending up, well, I’m not really sure. On both nights, Hurleys was full of singing, dancing (sometimes on tables…), nudity and general good times. Thanks to those who participated.

Although not presented at the awards ceremony, I am giving out this year’s social MVP award to the Loyalists, who narrowly edged out a strong showing by Yankees. The Hamilton Hornets also did a solid amount of damage but were limited by numbers.

Speaking of awards, the trophy presentation ceremony was, well, special. Thanks to Parc-O (who else?) this had to be the most nudity-filled trophy presentation ever with no less than 6 people getting naked (or close thereto) and doing a lap of the field.


Last social note, I wanted to share a text I received from Havachat on Sunday night: “Hurry up and us some ones number from the loyal dudes form yeah”.

Lastly, I wanted to take the time to thank the people that made this weekend possible:

Seymour, Butch, Mark, Gareth, Jen, Jim, Tim, David G, P-L, Garry, Hava, Alli, Trevor, Chris, Vt Dave, Krystal,  for helping out with various tasks.

Bob, Tim, Jamie, Emily, Sheena, Vicky for everything.

Desmond O’Neill, John Weller, D’Arcy Ryan, Dawn Francoeur  for your services.

Chris, Brian and Thomas for being great refs.


To those I may have forgotten.

Se ya’ll next year!

Dave Crandall