On May 8, the Salmon Arm Secondary Rugby Jewels went to Norkam for the first round of the playoffs and a berth into the provincials.
A very close and intense game was played by the Jewels. The last meeting of the two teams was 35 players on the bench for Norkam and 14 for the Jewels. Not a lot of sportsmanship was shown by Norkam who played all 35 and did not match player for player.
When it counted for playoffs and a berth in the B.C.’s the Jewels came out strong, running and gunning. They scored first by Marin Faulkner, who slotted the conversion, 7-0.
Norkam came back utilizing some big players in the forward pack but only to be thrown in the sin bin for taking out their frustrations on the Jewels for not being able to score. Again the Norkam team had a wave of subs come on to play but, to no avail. The Jewels moved the ball well to Brooke Miller and Olivia Plumber who scored in the corner, 12-0. Then a bit of lapse in the Jewels play caused the Norkam Saints to make a comeback, powering the ball into the end zone, 12-7.
Under big pressure and fresh legs, the Jewels were again stuck in their end of the field. Grace Rempel and Flynn Johnson made some great defending tackles. Unfortunately Norkam scored again, making it 12-12. Midway through the second half, Jewels player Tricie Tuati broke through a few tackles to off-load the ball to Juli MacLean, who then again off loaded to Avia Latosky. She passed to Plumber who made an excellent run down the wing to score 17-12.
Back came Norkam to go for a berth in the B.C.’s, only to be stumped by Faulkner’s clearing kicks that kept Norkam out of the end-zone in the last nail-biting five minutes of the game. This is the first time in SAS’ history that the Rugby Jewels are going to provincials, this year May 23 to 26 in Vancouver.
On May 7, Fulton came to SAS for the final Junior Boys Rugby league game.
Prior meetings of the two teams showed a steep learning curve for SAS, when 90 per cent of the team had not played last year or in years before. This game was different. The Golds came out firing, containing Fulton in their end but to no avail. Fulton escaped with a wide open run to score on SAS. Again the Junior Boys put huge pressure on Fulton, but once again the Maroons escaped to score one more try. It was a little disheartening at half time for the Golds. Captains Jordan Hislop and Nathan Gollan had a few key words to say in hopes of turning things around. In the second play after half- time, from the base of the scrum, Hislop took the ball blind-side with Dan Helgeson on his heels, and Hislop powered over the Fulton winger to score. Then again in Fulton’s end, a lineout on Fulton’s 22, Luke Dufresne threw long to Gollan, who off-loaded to Chad Baker at stand-off, who stepped left, then right, to score under the posts. Connor Benson slotted the two points. Then outstanding play by the Golds who moved the ball well down the line to wingers Amar Kang and Jase Robert to get within 10 yards of the try line. Fulton retaliated to run wide again, but Kevin Alexander stopped the Maroons short. The ball was turned over on the 40 and Brayden McCarthy picked up the ball from a ruck to score, 17-12 for SAS. With only seconds left in the game, the Maroons made another long run to just barely score in the corner, making it a 17-17 final.
On May 7 the SAS Senior Boys Rugby team had a great victory over Rutland Secondary for the first round of playoffs winning, 31 – 17. Then just two days later, for the next round vs Mount Boucherie, they lost 14 to 5. A great season overall.