Elk Valley takes rugby title

Formed six months ago, the Elk Valley Rugby Football Club Bulls didn’t dream of winning the 2013 Saratoga Cup.

RONAN MACCON of the Elk Valley Bulls is carried by Solomoni “Tiny” Ratudradra and Voni Ratudradra to his right. Matt Peterson

RONAN MACCON of the Elk Valley Bulls is carried by Solomoni “Tiny” Ratudradra and Voni Ratudradra to his right. Matt Peterson

Formed six months ago, the Elk Valley Rugby Football Club Bulls didn’t dream of winning the 2013 Saratoga Cup.

Rather, the Bulls figured they would play a few friendly games and give area teams competition.

They later entered the Kootenay Rugby Union and decided they would try and show teams who was boss. They finished the season 4-0.

“After beating Nelson, we had a good feeling of something special,” said Parker, the Bulls president and player.

After winning the KRU, they entered the 2013 Saratoga Cup hosted by Penticton on the weekend as the No. 4 seed.

The Bulls defeated the top-ranked Okanagan Rugby Union champion Manthers, 23-7 in the first semifinal.

The Brit Lions of Delta, ranked No. 2, defeated Williams Lake RFC 13-10. The Bulls then defeated the Bri Lions 26-10.

Parker said it’s “absolutely unbelievable” to win the Saratoga Cup.

Just minutes before the Bulls began their championship celebration, two players exchanged words about the antlers the Brit Lions had taken the night before during the championship party at the Penticton Harlequins clubhouse.

The verbal exchanges turned into a fight as the players left the field to get involved.

After the game, Parker and their co-coach joked that the Lions shouldn’t have taken their antlers.

On the B.C. Rugby website, Parker posted a summary of the Bulls season, which included their thoughts on the antler stealing.

“The disappearance of our mascot headgear (pair of elk antlers mounted to a hard hat) the previous night fired us up even more and we were determined to show you don’t mess with a Bulls antlers,” he said.

Heading into the final, Parker said they wanted to play solid rugby.

“Everyone supported each other,” said Parker of why they won. “We hit hard.”

“They were very good for a first-year team,” said Brit Lions coach Andrew Walker.

“Their size and physicality was a factor.

“They were strong and they communicated well.”