The Trail Colonials couldn’t recover from a depleted lineup or overcome an energized Nelson side as the Trail rugby club surrendered to the Grizzlies in Kootenay Rubgy Union action Saturday.
The Colonials beat the Nelson Grizzlies 32-12 in their first match of the season, but buoyed by new recruits from Nelson’s L.V. Rogers high school team, a Grizzly mix of cagey veterans and young legs proved too much for the black and red.
“Nelson had a lot of new players and a lot of size,” said the Colonial’s Brian Lauzon. “Trail was low on numbers and experience.”
Nelson pounded away early with its forwards then opened up holes wide to wear down the defenders and stifle any attack, as they rolled to a 52-0 victory.
It has been an erratic season for the Colonial side. The team had a promising start and was optimistic coming off a KRU title last season.
“(It was a) disappointing season,” said Colonial Ryan Molofy. “We lost a bunch of key players. We need to keep generating local interest in the sport to keep up with Cranbrook who has a larger population to draw on, and Nelson who is seeing some great success as a result of their high school rugby academy program.”
The Grizzlies now play Cranbrook, the regular season champions, on July 14 for the KRU championship and a berth to the Saratoga Cup in Penticton.
“It was a good game,” Nelson coach Scott Cormie told the Nelson Star. “Our team is quite old in places so it’s really great to bring the youth in. That’s really what it is all about, keeping rugby alive. We want to keep them involved and encourage them to carry on with it in other places.”
The Grizzlies have yet to win a KRU championship or represent the Kootenays in the provincial tournament in Penticton. One more win will do it.