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Mavs reunion draws in players from near and far

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Saturday was billed as a reunion for the Dauphin Mavericks rugby club. But it turned into a celebration of rugby.
The reunion celebrated the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Mavericks in Dauphin, with four games, including two Rugby Manitoba league games featuring the Brandon Barbarians and Winnipeg Assassins men’s and women’s teams.
This was followed by an old boys game featuring former Mavericks against former players from the Sturgeon Creek Rowdies and concluded with a contest involving the Parkland Mavericks 2.0 squad.
Former Mavericks player and coach Bernie Dowhan made the trip to Dauphin from Calgary. He said it was great to see how much the sport has grown in Dauphin with the strong junior program.
And the reunion meant a lot to him.
“The old great social atmosphere. Proud to be a Dauphin Maverick,” he added.
Dowhan said the involvement of teams from Brandon and Winnipeg shows there is a close-knit rugby community in the province.
“And it’s great to see that everybody came out and helped out,” he said.
The old boys game was more hard hitting and intense than Dowhan was expecting.
“But you adjust during the game and you make it work and have fun,” he said.
“It was great to be part of it and to see so many familiar faces and great friends.”
Rod Carberry, one of the reunion organizers, said the reunion received great support from teams from around the province.
“We’ve got about seven teams in total that traveled in for today. The weather broke for us. Everything has just been amazing. Lots of smiles. I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better,” he said.
Carberry noted there was a lot of reminiscing and not just among the former Mavericks.
“Even other teams who we played against 15, 20 years ago, the faces you recognize. It’s been great,” he said.
“It’s what a reunion is supposed to be about.”
The old boys game, Carberry noted, was more competitive than some of the former players were expecting.
“It was supposed to be golden oldies rules, but nobody actually stuck to the yellow shorts, red shorts plan, which was okay. I think everybody was happy that it was that level of play,” he said.
Overall, Carberry felt it was a successful day and reunion.
“It’s bringing all of the ages together. We’re a family friendly sport and we look out for each other. In rugby, we’re all just one big family,” he said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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