Local pitch-pounders resumed Kootenay Rugby Union action after returning from an eventful tournament in Missoula, Mont. last week, and while the results weren’t stunning, the experience was worth the price of admission.
The Trail Colonials Rugby Club looked to keep their unbeaten streak going Saturday as they kicked off a match against the Nelson Grizzlies.
Early play was tentative as each club spent much of the first half adjusting to the gale-force winds. But determination prevailed and the Trail side, playing with the wind, managed tries by Tyler Maloney and Keith Kuromi to take a 12-0 lead.
In the second half, the Grizzlies came on as Mike Dalgleish knifed through the Colonial defense with a strong try, narrowing the lead to 12-5.
“Nelson made good use of the wind, kicking deep to keep us in our own end,” said Nelson.
But as time wound down, the Grizzlies defense waned. The Colonials scored two late tries, touched by Bryan Lauzon and Jordan Pommer. Lauzon added six points to the tally with three conversions making the final 26-5.
“The score did not reflect the run of play,” said Nelson. “It was a really close and tough match.”
At the annual Missoula Maggotfest Rugby Tournament, the Colonials were in tough as they travelled shorthanded to a tournament that featured 48 teams from across North America.
“We traveled a bit light,” said co-coach Ray Nelson with only 14 players making the trip. “But after a few emails, we had a lot of guys come play. We always manage to have a great time.”
The Colonials finished the tournament with one win and two losses. Their lone victory came over the Bozeman Cutthroats, 21-7. The two losses were suffered at the hands of the Highwaymen, a composite team made up of players from the southwest, 32-19, and the Crabs from Butte Montana, 21-7.
The Oosiks, a team from Anchorage, Ak., was named most honoured team in the tourney.
The Colonials next action is Saturday, June 4th when they travel to Cranbrook to take on the Rogues. The winner will host the club final on June 18.