The Terrace Northmen once again acted as staunch defenders of their home turf, dominating the Prince Rupert Seamen in a stunning 36-0 win on July 13 at the Northwest Community College field.
“Lots of aggressive play, lots of forward crashes, and great tackles,” said Terrace player Evan van Dyk, noting the biggest contributing factor to the win was the Northmen’s defensive play.
“We have been working on our defensive plays a lot this year and it’s really paid off in our games,” he said. “We’ve seen that with a 5-5 game against Williams Lake and shutting out Prince Rupert twice.”
Defensive efforts were certainly clear in the game against Prince Rupert, with tackles that turned into turnovers, followed by big runs by the Northmen to boot.
But that wasn’t for lack of trying by the spirited Seamen, who came with 15 players from both Prince Rupert and Smithers and added two Northmen to their roster for subs, and never let up.
“We competed hard and we played our best, but ultimately we weren’t able to match Terrace,” said Prince Rupert player George Baker, who noted the Northmen are always a challenge to play.
“They’re playing Division II rugby and we’re just not at that level,” he said. “They are always competitive, have a good shot at provincials this year and consistently get 30 players out for practice where we don’t have those numbers.”
But despite this strong win, the Northmen concede they still have work to do.
“We know that we need more work on our rucking and some of our set plays, the line outs and scrums. If we want a chance to compete with Williams Lake, we need to keep working hard,” said van Dyk.
“We are never overly confident in rugby against any team, one try can win a game,” he continued.
In this game, Northmen tries were scored by Arlen Fifield (2), Jordy DaCosta (2), Chance Healey, and Tyson Stoochnoff, with Stoochnoff and Don Hill named man of the matches by the Prince Rupert players.
And the Northmen are currently on a roadtrip visiting the Prince George Gnats and the Williams Lake Rustlers
Before the weekend, the Northmen were sitting at 2-0-1 in the season, with Prince George at 2-3-0, Prince Rupert at 0-5-0, and Williams Lake at 4-0-1.
But the team suffered a “heartbreaking” 17-14 loss last night against the Gnats, meaning the game tonight against Williams Lake is a must-win if the team hopes to represent the North at provincials.
League play consists of all of the northern teams playing one home and one away game against each other, with the team with the best record representing the North at the Saratoga Cup, Division 3 Provincials in Penticton this September.
The Northmen are also gearing up to host the annual Riverboat Days 7s tournament that sees games with lines of seven per side taking to the pitch rather than the traditional 15.
With files from The Prince Rupert Northern View.