All photos by Trixie Pacis
The Rocky Mountain Rogues of Cranbrook and Kimberley are rugby champions of the B.C. Summer League again, having successfully defended their Saratoga Cup title in Kamloops this weekend past, Sept. 10 and 11.
The Saratoga Cup is contested by teams from the Okanagan, the Kootenays, and the Interior.
The Rogues, earlier winners of the Kootenay Cup, were undefeated in their regular season, having beaten the Elk Valley Bulls RFC three times. Coming into Kamloops as tournament favourites, they faced off against Terrace Northmen RFC — also undefeated —in the final.
As reported in bcrugby.com, the final was a tough, physical match. The Rogues stood tall defensively, holding a 12-0 lead by the half, and scoring two second half tries to take the win and the championship, 24-5.
The previous day, the Rogues had taken on the Vernon Jackals in the semi-final, coming out on top 38-26. The Jackals came back from a 38-0 deficit, but the Rogues were able to hold off the comeback.
Also competing in the Saratoga Cup tournament were the Elk Valley RFC, who went down to Terrace in their semi-final.
“Nothing but thanks and respect to Terrace for having a well-organised Club, who we look up to and aspire to be,” Rocky Mountain Rogues President Pete Dove told bcrugby.com. “We’ve worked hard since last year and it’s a tough thing to repeat. The boys committed to the goal.”
“The team is as great as the win,” Rogues’ Jamie McInstrie told bcrugby.com. “This is the hardest competition of the year. Vernon Jackals gave us a hell of a game, and so did Terrace.”
This year’s Saratoga Cup also featured the inaugural Women’s Championship, in Rugby 7s format. Kamloops Rugby Club defeated Terrace RFC for the first women’s title, while Elk Valley RFC defeated the Kelowna Crows to finish in third place.
As opposed to Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland rugby, the Saratoga Cup regions play during the summer months.
With files from bcrugby.com