Elk Valley Bulls played the Rocky Mountain Rogues at Prentice Park on May 28 for the East Kootenay League Championship Final. The end score was 12 to 31 for the Rogues.
Contributed by Min Merritt
President, Elk Valley Rugby Football Club
The pitch was damp but otherwise it was perfect rugby playing weather for the match to decide who would be East Kootenay champions, 2022.
The Bulls started strong with some good aggressive straight running, backed up with solid rucking.
However, the Rogues defensive line was impenetrable for much of the match and despite the Bulls stringing together six or seven phases of play, they could not find a gap in the defense.
The first try came from a line out and the ball was simply passed down the back line to the Rogues winger, who had both the speed and space to cross the line.
Five minutes later and it looked like the Bulls were going to even up the score when Somhairle Green was put into space down the right wing, unfortunately he just put a toe in touch and the teams were brought back for the line out.
As half time approached, the game turned against the Bulls with two more tries for the Rogues and a contentious yellow card for the Bulls.
A productive half time talk from Bulls coach, Pete Dudman, saw the Bulls looking dominant in the second half.
Scrum half, Rex went searching out gaps in the Rogues defense. Twice he put fly-half, Green, into space resulting in two tries.
The Rogues responded well to increased pressure from the Bulls and went on the attack, after a series of strong attacking runs, they eventually crossed the line one more time to make the final score 12 V 31.
Coach Dudman was proud of his whole team, but added: “Stand out performers for me were Paulie ‘no penalties’ Anderson, Adam ‘beans’ Van Wijk — I can’t believe he’s only played five games. Captain (Green) tried his best to make stuff happen on the outside.”
Green said: “It was a tough game to lose, the lads played with a lot of heart. Unfortunately, we were unable to convert our territory and possession into points. Our lack of a clinical edge in the first half would ultimately cost us the game. Cranbrook counter-rucked extremely well in the middle of the park and on the fringes and took their chances when they came.”
After the game, Dudman said: “At the end of the day we will have to take our hats off to the Rogues, they’re a good team and reigning provincial champions for a reason.”
The Rogues and the Bulls have enjoyed a healthy rivalry for the past nine years, many of the players have become good friends as a result of these matches.
Morgan Bee, one of the founding members of the club announced that this would be his last Bulls V Rogues match as he and his family are returning to Australia. He gave the Rogues a reminder of his rugby talent and commitment by putting in the biggest tackle of the match to literally drive the Rogues winger backwards off the try line in order to prevent him from scoring.
Dudman described Bee as “being a massive part of this club, he played his last home game with us. He will leave a huge hole when he leaves.”