The Terrace Northmen rugby team claimed a spot in provincials last weekend, coming back to beat the Prince George Gnats for the league title.
Stakes were high going into the game, with Northmen and Gnats tied at a 4-1 record in the Central Interior Rugby Union, which also includes the Prince Rupert Seamen and Williams Lake Rustlers.
The league’s final game kicked off July 15 with the Gnats executing a quick try and converting a kick to put the Northmen down 0-7 in the first five minutes.
Northmen player Evan Van Dyk said the match continued with tight, back and forth rugby for the next 60 minutes.
The Gnats took a penalty with 15 minutes left, and that’s where the Northmen started their comeback.
Taking a penalty kick, prop Curtis Young-Mercer booted the ball in through the posts to narrow the score 3-7.
The clock was ticking down, but Craig Dunfield got the ball with about three minutes left, lunging across the try line to put the Northmen up 8-7.
Curtis converted another kick to widen the gap, and the Northmen managed to hold off the Gnats for the final few minutes and claim the victory 10-7.
The win gave the Northmen the league title, and earned them a spot in provincials for the second time.
Van Dyk says they’re excited to defend their title.
“It feels like its going to be definitely a difficult weekend, we don’t have the same volume of players we had last year,” he said.
With provincials July 29-30, as opposed to August last year, Van Dyk says it will also be more hot and humid, but the team is excited.
With provincials in Penticton, Van Dyk says they aren’t sure whether the wildfires in southern B.C. will impact their games or travel.