The Caledonia Bears rugby team took the Charles Hays Hurricanes to task in last Wednesday’s season opener, winning 32-10 in Prince Rupert.
The game started off slow, with the players a bit tentative, said coach Jarryd Kurisu.
“But then partway through the first half, they started to click and work really well as a team,” he said. “We had six different players score tries.”
For many of the players, it was their first game ever, with a lot of young Grade 10’s and Grade 11’s on the team.
“It was a good effort for the boys for their first game,” he said.
And the senior players were up to snuff.
“The mainstays are strong players on the team,” he said. “It was good to see.”
For first year players, Grade 11 Sam Christiansen had a “spectacular game for his first game ever.”
“He just played with a lot of confidence, made great tackles, scored a try after taking a big hit by a guy who was double his size,” he said.
And Grade 12 Ethen Anderson was another players with a strong first game with a lot of good runs and big tackles.
The team has been practising for the last two and a half months, with the team finalized a couple of weeks ago. But it will be a short season for the team, with just one tournament left, the Northern Championship in Vanderhoof May 24-25 where they’ll play three games.
“Based on what I saw yesterday, I believe they’ll do well,” he said. “I think we’ll have a strong tournament as long as everyone stays healthy.”
That will probably wind down their season, save for the game during Riverboat Days in August.
And a few high school players have been running with the Terrace Northmen, the men’s rugby team, who played their first game last Saturday. Once they graduate, they’ll be eligible to play for the Northmen.
“It’s more of a transition from high school to the men’s team,” he said. “That age jump is a little different for them.”
And a couple of players are set to be a part of the rep zone team based out of Smithers in the summer.
The Caledonia Bears went to provincials in Abbotsford for the first time last year.
The Bears are in their fourth year of what has been a very successful revival of a sport long-since gone at the high school level in Terrace.
And the men’s team has seen a fair amount of success in the last few years. The Northmen are heading to Edmonton for Rugbyfest this weekend where they hope to make it to the finals after coming in fourth last year.