Elk Valley Bullettes (back) Lewai Ratudradra, Mim Merritt, Steph Collins, (front) Joceyln Manley and Danielle Marcott. Photos by Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Rugby team bullish after tournament win

Elk Valley rugby union players have put in an admira-bull effort to win two out of three games at a pre-season tournament in the United States.

The Elk Valley Bulls Rugby Football Club (RFC) travelled to Missoula, Montana, over the weekend for the annual Maggotfest tournament hosted by the Missoula All-Maggots Rugby Club.

The men’s team beat two teams, 34-17 and 27-14, before losing to the Flathead Moose, 31-20, while the women’s team, the Bullettes, went one for one. Players of the tournament were Owain Griffiths and Megan Jones.

“The good thing about going away to somewhere like Missoula pre-season is… we have such a high turnover of players, it’s great to get people socializing off the field. It makes everything better on the field as well,” said club president Pete Dudman.

Dudman, originally from Cornwall, England, has been involved in rugby union for 25 years and coaching for the past 14 years.

He moved to the Valley nine years ago and was one of the founding members of the Elk Valley RFC in 2013.

“There were a few of us… who thought this was a great town and it could really do with some rugby, so we decided to get together and make it happen, and we’ve gone from strength to strength since then,” he said.

“In our first season we went undefeated and won the provincial championships, so it was a pretty good first year.” The 2018 season is also looking promising with a number of returning players, as well as new recruits.

“We have such a high turnover of players because obviously Fernie being such a transient town, people coming for the ski season on working visas for the year, people come and go,” said Dudman.

“Last year we had 28 registered members and this year returning we’ve got 14.

“But we’ve got a really good pack of new guys running out which is great, so it’s going to be a good season.”

The Bulls have been training twice a week in preparation for their first Kootenay League game on Saturday, May 26 in Cranbrook, where they will face local team, the Rocky Mountain Rogues.

The club will host its first home game and a rugby camp for children at Fernie Secondary on June 2. Dudman encouraged anyone with an interest in learning how to play rugby, women included, to contact the club.

“It obviously helps if you know roughly how the game is played… but if you don’t know, we’ll teach you and we’ll make sure you have a good time while you’re here,” he said. The Bulls and Bullettes train every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30 p.m. at the rugby grounds near Fernie Secondary.


Just Posted

Delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

DriveBC reminding travellers the area is an active wildfire zone and warning of fallen debris.

Fernie SAR rescues injured mountain biker

On Monday evening, Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was tasked by BC… Continue reading

Fernie man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires in the Elk Valley

SAR volunteers thanked after series of emergencies

Incidents ranged from the search for a missing hiker to delivering evacuation alerts in nearby towns

Update: guard built at Coal Creek Road fire near Fernie

Seventeen firefighters and one helicopter working to contain Coal Creek FSR fire, east of Fernie

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

$21.5 million medical pot plant to be built in B.C.

The facility is to be built in Princeton

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending

Government’s goal is to lift 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030

PHOTOS: Prickly porcupine rescued after hitchhiking down Coquihalla Highway

BC Conservation Officer Service members were able to grab the porcupine and move it to safety

Most Read