Some games are walkovers, others are long, protracted battles but the rugby league’s championship match Saturday was a war of attrition.
The Trail Colonials hosted Cranbrook’s Rocky Mountain Rogues at Upper Sunningdale Park to determine the Kootenay Rugby Union Champion on the weekend.
Each side used every man they had and fought for every inch of turf in what turned out to be a bruising, low scoring, defensive struggle.
“Both teams had about five or six spares, but by the end of the game there was none left – there was that many people banged up,” said Colonial coach Ray Nelson.
“Nobody was letting anybody by, it was put your head down and hit them.”
The Rogues have won the last two championships, so this year, a confident Trail side was poised for victory.
In the last two meetings, the teams split matches, combining for 110 points, but scores would be at a premium on the pitch this day.
With great defense and punishing tackles, the game remained scoreless until just before the end of the first half when Todd Benson notched a penalty kick to give the Colonials a slim 3-0 advantage.
The trend continued in the second half with both teams shutting down the running game until Clint Faulkner muscled over a stoic Rogues line for a try at the posts, with Benson adding a convert to make it 10-0.
Cranbrook responded quickly with a long run to score in the corner, but a missed convert left the score 10-5.
The Rogues offense persisted but staunch resistance from a battered Colonials crew carried them through to the final whistle as the Colonials eked out a 10-5 victory and celebrated the 2011 Kootenay Rugby Club championship.