The Prince Rupert Seamen finished their rugby season strong with a pair of resilient games over the weekend. The June 15 doubleheader against Williams Lake and Prince George, hosted in Terrace, saw the Seamen come away with a win and a tie.
The 20-15 victory over Williams Lake marked the first time Prince Rupert has ever defeated their southern counterpart, while the 10-10 draw with Prince George showed them to be more than capable of competing with the biggest city in the North.
“This weekend was one for the books for the club. Probably the best our team has played in many years,” said Jason Scherr of the Seamen. “The entire team stepped up, it was amazing to see.”
Prince Rupert, Williams Lake, Prince George and hosts Terrace all scheduled games against each other on the same day in order to save travel costs, a top issue that has been hindering development of the sport in northern B.C.
The games were preceded by a grand opening ceremony, which included a stop from Terrace’s mayor Carol Leclerc as well as a blessing for the playing field by a Ts’msyen elder.
The two games technically served as home games for Prince Rupert. Their lone actual home game took place on June 8 when they hosted Terrace.
The showdown against Williams Lake was led by Prince Rupert’s standout player Cody Schaeffer, who took control of the scoring effort with three tries. Schaeffer has been a familiar face on the international rugby stage this year, suiting up for tournaments in Orlando, Florida and playing for the North American Barbarians in Dubai.
|The Seamen get inspired with a pre-game chant. (Jason Scherr photo)|
The ultimate game winning try came from an unlikely source, as veteran player Dakota MacDonald was able to get the ball down in the try zone to give the Seamen their final edge in the game. This was the first try of MacDonald’s career, which led to his reception of Man of the Match honours following the victory.
Later in the afternoon, it was Prince Rupert’s turn to take on Prince George, who they had lost to by just one point earlier in the season. Mike Miejer, recruited to the Seamen from the city of Terrace due to a lack of players, scored a try to set up a chance at another victory. The Seamen failed to score on the final kick of the game, smashing their game winning effort off the post and being forced to settle for a draw.
Taylor Reeve was named Prince Rupert’s Man of the Match for the game.
Terrace were crowned the champions of the season, going unbeaten in their six games. They will now go on to represent the northern region of B.C. in the Saratoga Cup in July, showcasing the best regional rugby teams in the province. The first challenge that awaits them will be a trip from visiting Nanaimo.
The Seamen also awarded a pair of bursaries to two promising high school rugby players for the Charles Hays Rainmakers. Athletes Rebecca Samson and Josh Wickett were the recipients for the hard work they have shown both on the field and in their studies.
|Rebecca Sampson and Josh Wickett each received a bursary for their potential shown on the rugby field while playing for Charles Hays. (Jason Scherr photo)|
Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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