File photo

Northmen lose in Stampede; aiming for provincials

The Terrace rugby team lost three games, saw areas to improve, and play next to qualify for prov’s

The Terrace Northmen rugby team fell in all three games in the Williams Lake Stampede tournament last weekend, and are now gearing up for their final league game against Prince George.

The Stampede rugby tournament in Calgary is well-known and esteemed in the rugby community, drawing both division one and division two teams from clubs and universities from Alberta and B.C. Players from premiere teams and even national players often compete, with occasional teams from the United States showing up.

The calibre of competition was a bit high for the Northmen, who lost three games July 1-2, but it showed them some weak spots to improve as they continue competing.

“It wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for, we had high expectations,” said Northmen vice-president Evan van Dyk, adding that a number of players didn’t come because of work and injuries.

But even with a disappointing results, van Dyk said he did see improvements in ball movement which the teams has been practising.

“We had great ball movement again, that’s something we’ve improved on a lot,” he said. “It’s a lot of the forwards getting involved in the back-end play, which doesn’t always happen… but we’ve really been working on getting everyone involved, so that was really good to see.”

Player Craig Dunfield agreed, noting that the competition was definitely higher calibre.

“We kind of got put on our heels from the get-go with the speed of the game,” he said. “They’re definitely a lot faster with their rooking and controlling the play.”

At the same time Dunfield said the Northmen did execute some good plays.

“We definitely had our individual moments that were quite great, but we just weren’t able to tie enough of them together and get some cohesive playing. Lots of turnovers for sure, just with not having support of the ball carrier.”

But as van Dyk said, they “had a great time” and now can focus on the league, with provincials on the line in their upcoming game July 15.

They face the Prince George Gnats, competing to qualify for provincials and secure first place in the Central Interior Rugby Union.

Right now, the Northmen and the Gnats are tied at the top, both with a season record of 4-1. Williams Lake Rustlers are third at 1-3 and Prince Rupert Seamen are last at 0-4.

The Northmen lost to the Gnats 24-25 in Terrace June 24, and Northmen player-coach Phil Blundon said the Northmen were missing a few players and simply faded at the end.

The key for the next game will be for Terrace to stick to their game plan, he said.

“They’re a big team who likes to run the ball with their forwards. When we’re at full strength we’re kind of the opposite of that — we’re a fast, expansive team with good backs.”

“We just have to play into our game plan and not get sucked into theirs,” he said.

July 15 will be the league final in Prince George.

Just Posted

Crews fighting fire northeast of Terrace

The 10-hectare fire was discovered Saturday near the Cedarvale - Kitwanga backroad

Thornhill firefighters respond to fire at Terrace asphalt paving plant

Firefighters arrived on scene to discover an oil heater ablaze

Red Cross volunteers needed for Terrace’s aging population

The Canadian Red Cross in Terrace is looking to grow its volunteer… Continue reading

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

UPDATED: Putin says he wanted Trump to win in 2016, didn’t interfere

The two leaders arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

Most Read