The Pen High Lakers junior boys rugby team gave the Salmon Arm Gold a test in the South Zone playoffs at McNicoll Park May 13, but it wasn’t enough.
They bowed 34-17.
“They played against a team that was probably a little bit better than them, a little bigger, a little stronger,” said Lakers coach Ken Sommerfeldt “They ran hard. All year long they have been up against teams that were probably a bit bigger than them.”
After emphasizing the size factor, Sommerfeldt said the Lakers played well. To him, the score wasn’t the right indicator of how the game played out.
“The boys at the end got a bit tired and a couple scores got run in,” said Sommerfeldt. “Overall it was a fairly close game until the last 10 minutes.”
Critical injuries also hampered the Lakers’ efforts and the coach didn’t have enough spare players and was forced to put some players in unfamiliar positions. That’s when things began to fall apart.
Laker Braden Innes said they played their hardest, but added it could have been better.
“It was a pretty good game,” said Innes. “They are a good team. They played tough. It’s definitely a challenge.”
Innes pointed out that as the Gold increased their lead, some Lakers lost motivation.
After the game, Darian Butler was named man of the match by Sommerfeldt, who said Butler tackled every person in sight.
“He ran with the ball strongly,” said Sommerfeldt. “He was on the ball all the time. He was aggressive the whole game. I thought he was very visible out there. That was his best game.”
Dante Kilian scored two of the Lakers’ tries and Finn Kennedy scored their third try.