The Terrace Northmen opened the regular rugby season with a win at home against the Williams Lake Rustlers May 23 – the first time they’d beat the Rustlers in years.
“The guys were really happy about that,” said Northman Adam Linteris of the 27-19 win. “It was a real grind so it was nice to come out with that W for sure.”
The game, as expected, was “very, very physical,” he said, with Williams Lake bringing a solid squad – although without some of their key guys because of work commitments – and the Northmen with a strong bench.
“There was a lot of midfield play and midfield stands, goalline stands, things like that,” said Linteris.
“There were few big breaks in the game – luckily for us the big breaks seemed to come on our end.”
Brady Champoux clocked two tries before rookie Adam Sarich grabbed a try.
Then Walker Main kicked two dropkick goals to give the Northmen a pretty substantial lead towards the end.
But the Rustlers didn’t let up, closing the gap as the Northmen tired out.
“A real physical game,” said Linteris. “Williams Lake is always really strong. They didn’t bring a series of their top guys, they were out working and doing that, but they still brought a really strong team. Basically anytime you play those guys you have to be prepared for a really hard game.”
Williams Lake picked two man of the matches for the game – a forward and a back – with Ryan Watson named the forward and Werner Pienaar named the back.
Linteris said that the win was a real team effort where everyone saw a substantial amount of field time.
“Every single person on the team got a lot of playing time in – years past in tight games we’ve run our starting line maybe a little too long and not played some of our rookies and things like that,” he said.
“Our rookies really stood out – they didn’t look like rookies out there – they played really well,” he said.
“The team as a whole played really well. It was nice to see that it was a full team victory and not just a starting line up victory,” he continued.
The team travelled to Prince George last weekend and lost a grinder 19-17. The game was tough with injuries to key players on both sides.
"Our player of the match was Jamie Mckinstrie for sure," said Linteris. "He came into the game with a blown up ankle and left the game with a torn quad but played arguably his best game as a northmen. He was a force out there and really made a ton of good stuff happen for us."
The northmen now head to Prince Rupert this weekend for Seafest. Then they have a bit of a break before travelling to Williams Lake at the end of the month.
The next chance to catch the Northmen at home will be July 11 when the team hosts Prince George for a rematch. Linteris said the team is always working on getting more people out to watch the games.
“We’re not a hockey team, we’re never going to have a following like that,” he said. But the team wants to get people out there “not only to have people come out and watch but the more people who know about the team the more chances we have at recruiting players – because there’s a ton of good athletes in this town."