Elk Valley RFC flanker Simon Lewis runs with the ball during a match against the Missoula Maggots on Sept. 5.

Elk Valley Bulls win bronze at Provincials

The Elk Valley men's rugby team end their season with a bronze medal at provincials.

The Elk Valley Rugby Football Club (RFC) Bulls wrapped up their season at the Provincial Championships in Penticton this past weekend. After losing their first game and winning another, the team finished in third place.

The Provincials was a battle between four teams, one from each league of the province – the Kootenays, the Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and the Northern leagues.

“They first game was technically the semi-final and then the second game was the third/fourth place playoff. We played against William’s Lake and we beat them 15-10,” said Peter Dudman, who plays with the Bulls.

The Penticton Harlequins managed to sneak a win over the Kelowna Crows, who were favoured with win the tournament, claiming the Saratoga Cup and winning the championship. The final score of the deciding game was 18-17.

As part of the Kootenay League, the Bull’s main competition throughout the season is with the Cranbrook Rugby club. “We won the Kootenay league and that’s always a huge bonus because Cranbrook are actually a very, very good and strong team. We had good competition with them,” said Dudman.

The club also played friendly games with teams outside of the league. The Missoula Maggots rugby team visited Fernie on Sept. 5 for a friendly match, which the Bulls won. But to the RFC, it’s just as much about sportsmanship as it is about winning the game.

“Getting the third division of rugby isn’t just about the game, it’s about the fun aspect of rugby and I feel like as a club, we really embrace the fun aspect, just getting out and playing some sport and having a good time,” said Dudman.

This year, the team had some younger players in the ranks, which is something that they would like to continue in future seasons.

“We have a couple of high school kids that are only 17 and they have stepped up and been really, really good,” Dudman said. “It’s fantastic that we have these young guys coming out and hopefully they bring some more young guys because it’s the only way we are going to keep going is if we get the youth involved and that’s the plan for next season is to up the youth program.” Anyone over the age of 18 is welcomed to join the team. Players as young as 16 are permitted with written permission from a legal guardian and a doctor’s note.

The team will be on hiatus until January, when they will start the off-season training at the boxing gym.

More information about the Elk Valley RFC Bulls can be found on their Facebook page.