The 2017 season was an exciting and busy season for the Assassin Men. With approximately 70 men registered, the club entered 3 sides into the Manitoba Rugby Manitoba competition this year. There was a strong first division team, a young and very talented second division side defending the championship from the previous season and a third team playing in the seconds competition with even more young talent with a few old boys showing them the way. This is the first time in twenty odd years that one club has had three mens teams entered in the MRU competition. With three sides, a weekend dedicated to the Assassins 50th anniversary and Triangle Tour fixtures setup with the visiting Chicago Blaze and Wisconsin RC the summer calendar was full of rugby matches and social events.
The Assassins 3rd side was a side to follow in its own right. They were competitive in many matches and strung together some wins. What must be noted when mentioning the 3rds side was how players as young as 16 began to gel and develop chemistry with players in their mid 40’s. The Assassins third side finished in fourth place in their competition and landed a semi final match against the Assassins second side. They would be defeated by their Assassins brethren(2nds), but on a cold and rainy Saturday; the third’s competed for a full 80 minutes in their semi final.
The Assassins 2nd side had the difficult task of defending their championship won in the previous season. Needless to say, this young group completed the task with flying colours. From the early in the season they maintained their spot at number 1 in the competition. This was equally impressive due to the fact that many of the young talented players were starting or playing in Assassin first division games as some of the starters of the Premier Assassins side missed time with injuries throughout the long and gruelling season. In a back and forth match against the Wanderers (a club with only one men’s side in the MRU competitions) the second division side valiantly defended their title. Many of the young players of the Assassins second side will be knocking on the door for Premier spots in 2018 and with all the young talent on the club, the side will continue to be a favorite to win the second division championship for a third season in a row.
The Assassins Premier side came into the 2017 season with plenty of confidence having won the premier championship in the past three seasons. There were certainly good moments, but with that being stated, for the Premier Assassins side the season did not end the way it was planned. Having dropped a few matches during the regular season to rival sides like the Wombats and the Brandon Barbarians, the side put forth a clinical semi-final performance in the semi-finals by defeating the aforementioned Brandon Barbarians 31-0. The Assassins would come up against the Wombats in the final for the fourth consecutive season in a row. This time the squad in blue and white would be defeated by their rivals 30-8. It was a physical encounter, however there was no denying the Assassins were second best on the day.
With the 3 sides, the 50th Anniversary and opportunities presented by the Triangle Tour; 2017 was truly a memorable year. Some hardware was earned once again thanks to a great effort by the Assassins second side. The Assassins will be eager to get out some new young high school talent and hopefully a few returns from some old club mates that took some time off in 2017 to help bolster the playing squad for 2018. For a club with this much talent, pride and willingness to play for one another, the goal for the upcoming season will ultimately be what the Assassins achieved in 2016 and that is of course claiming both the first division and the second division championships. On to 2018!