CALEDONIA BEARS boys rugby team is bound for its first provincial championship after defeating Smithers in a hard-fought zone game with a close final score.
With a 14-10 victory over the team they didn’t beat at all last season, the Cal boys celebrated their win at the Northwest Community College field last Saturday.
Smithers scored its points in the last 20 minutes and was close to scoring again, but Cal managed to hold them to their 10 points.
“It was a very hard-fought game, very intense. There was lots of emotion on both sides,” said co-coach Jarryd Kurisu after the game, adding it was a team win. “I’m very pleased.”
Smithers was “definitely a tougher opponent” as they were the team who went to provincials for the last two years, said Kurisu.
And Cal only had one sub to cover off for the players, instead of the four they usually have as some boys had to work that day.
Game play paused several times in the last 20 minutes as players were hurt, but all got back up and re-joined the game.
Until the provincials in Abbotsford at the end of the month, Cal will focus on what it needs to work on, said Kurisu.
On Friday, in their first zone game, Cal destroyed Prince Rupert 43-0 in what was also the bears’ first game of the season.
It was all Caledonia crossing the line to score in a team that’s come together well, said co-coach Kendra Felkar during the Prince Rupert matchup.
“They’ve gelled, they’re a pretty tight team,” she said.
“We had a bunch of new guys who played sevens in the fall and some returned [from last year],” said Felkar on the sidelines of the boys’ first game.
Player Nigel Borgford, who played last year, says since they learned the game last year and many players returned, it was easier to come together as a team.
The squad had started practising in February in the gym, said Kurisu. Cal looks to have all its players, including all its substitutes, at provincials to play so team members have time to spell each other off.