The Elk Valley Bulls take on the Foothills Lions during a pre-season match. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press/File

Bulls take second in Saratoga Cup

The Elk Valley Bulls rugby team returned from a provincial tournament with their heads high, placing second in the coveted Saratoga Cup.

Hosted in Vernon from September 7 to 8, the Saratoga Cup is contested by teams from three regions; the Okanagan, the Kootenays and the Interior.

The Bulls faced off against three teams; the Terrace Northmen, the Vernon Jackals and the Rocky Mountain Rogues (Cranbrook), the defending champions.

On Saturday the Bulls beat Vernon, and Terrace beat Cranbrook, which put the Elk Valley team against Terrace in Sunday’s final.

What followed was a nail biter of a game, but concluded with a scoring try by Terrace in the final play of overtime.

“It was so back and forth,” said Bull’s #8 player, Robie Labine.

“The girl who handed out the trophy was just like – we can’t remember the last time there was an overtime at the Saratoga Cup. It was awesome,” he said.

Although the game ended in a loss, Labine credited the Elk Valley players for always battling and never giving up.

The final play of the game isn’t one that will be soon forgotten.

Overtime in rugby is unlike other sports. When the game ends in a tied scored, two five minutes halves are added on, and the leader after that is declared the winner.

In the five minutes that followed, neither team was able to secure any points. The referee announced that what followed would be the final play of the first half of overtime.

“They had this one player, this guy was like a juggernaut – it was like tackling a running tree,” explained Labine. “It would take four of us to stop him.

“He got the ball, people slowed him up, and I ran and threw myself at him, and I just got him to step on the line. He threw the ball back to keep it in play but he had stepped out,” said Labine.

Nearing the end of the second half of overtime, the referee again announced it was the final play of the game. The Bulls had the ball, with about half the field in front of them. Labine remembers running down the sideline, waiting for a pass.

“I was thinking give me this ball, I’m going to score, I’m going to win, it’s going to be amazing, and then all of a sudden the balls popping – someone dropped the ball – and he (the tree) picks it up,” said Labine.

Miraculously, a Bulls player tackled ‘the tree’, but the Terrace player managed to pass it off to another teammate who, according to Labine, was their next best player. A dodge and sprint by this player resulting in Terrace scoring a try and securing the victory.

The match ended with a 23-18 victory for Terrace.

In reflection of the tournament, Labine said it was a highlight of the season.

“Vernon is an incredible host, they do a great job and it should be on every rugby club’s list of things to do and places to go and play rugby,” said Labine.

Looking back on the season, Labine said he’s proud of what they accomplished. Losing the first game of the season in Cranbrook, the Bulls bounced back with a victory in Fernie. Winning by a large margin, they won the opportunity to host the third game. Beating Cranbrook again, they won 7-5.

Later in the season Cranbrook finished close behind them, taking third at the Saratoga Cup.

To find out more about the Elk Valley R.F.C., follow them on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Registration opens for Fernie Writers Conference

The conference will take place from August 17-23 and will feature several accomplished authors

Fernie businesses get back to work

As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, a variety of businesses in the valley are getting back to work

Fernie city council approves reopening of outdoor recreation spaces

Staff from the City of Fernie recommended that a non-medical cannabis retail… Continue reading

Local conservationists clean up public land near Galloway

Twenty members of the community volunteered their time for the clean up effort

Wildsight turns a sour situation into sweet online learning

The group is offering a variety of resources for home learning

Following incident at sea, fishing lodge says it will reopen despite Haida travel ban

QCL reopens July 10, says president; Haida chief councillor describes ‘dangerous’ boating encounter

Kamloops RCMP officer’s conduct under review after blackface jokes on social media

Meinke’s Instagram is private and it’s unclear when the posts were made

NHL says 35 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since June 8

Positive rate for the league is just under 6%

Man charged in Rideau Hall crash had rifle, shotguns, high-capacity magazine: RCMP

Hurren is accused of threatening to cause death or bodily harm to the prime minister

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Most Read