The Terrace Northmen have taken back the winning title of the 2019 Saratoga Cup.
Representing northern B.C. in the rugby provincials in Vernon, B.C. from Sept. 7 to 8., the Northmen won the tournament 23-18 against Elk Valley.
The game was tied 15-15 at the end, forcing the game into overtime. Their competitor wasn’t ready to back down, leading the Northmen to fiercely battle it out to the final whistle blow.
“It was pretty incredible, the whole team had lots of energy… we couldn’t believe it for a minute,” says Evan van Dyk, president of the Terrace Northmen Rugby Club.
Entering provincials undefeated, the northern team kept up the momentum when they faced reigning champions Rocky Mountain Rogues in a highly anticipated semi-finals match. It was only in the closing stages of the game that the Northmen pulled ahead, winning 34-19.
When they reached the finals, regaining that crown was the only thing on their minds.
Last year, the Northmen came in third following their two-year winning streak. Van Dyk says they realized they were too confident and hadn’t prepared themselves enough which led to their defeat. They wanted to reclaim their top spot and focused on getting better.
“We trained a lot harder this year, put a lot more work in… we had a different approach for this year to win the game,” he says.
Although the rugby season has come to an end, Van Dyk says the players will be focused on other sports throughout the winter to keep them in shape until they start training again next February.