Superior defence helped the Pen High Lakers junior boys rugby team improve to 2-0-1 in AAA Okanagan Valley league play.
The Lakers faced a bigger squad in the Immaculata Mustangs in Kelowna on Wednesday and won 36-0. Dante Kilian led the Lakers attack as he got into the in-goal (the area in which a try can be scored) for three tries. DJ Warkentin, Kam Corbin and Matt Young rounded out the offence with one try each. The Lakers also scored on three conversions.
Last week, the Lakers also earned a 53-19 win against the George Elliot Coyotes in Winfield on April 16. Lakers coach Ken Sommerfeldt said his team was outsized man-for-man, but they proved to be the better tacklers. The Lakers outscored the Coyotes eight tries to three. Kilian recorded four tries, while Darrian Butler had two and Jacob Stokker and Braden Innes finished with one each. Kilian also had five try conversions and a penalty kick.
The Kelowna Secondary Owls are the Lakers’ next opponent on April 30 in Kelowna. The Lakers next home game is May 9 when they host Summerland.
The Lakers were scheduled to play against Immaculata/Rutland on Wednesday, but the game was cancelled. Lakers coach Ian Butters said an experimental idea to combine the two schools didn’t work out. They folded in the second week. The Lakers next game is in North Kamloops on April 29 and their final league match is May 1 when they host the Mt. Boucherie Bears at McNicoll Park.
On April 16, the Lakers improved to 3-0 by dominating the Merritt Panthers 43-0. The win came at a price as Butters lost two players to what appear to be season-ending injuries and three other players are expected to miss a week or two.
“This hurts us since we have only have about 20 players to start with,” said Butters.
Kendra Penner led the Lakers attack scoring four tries, while Ashley Evanoff found the in-goal for two tries and Lorreine Stanley scored once. Rounding out the offence was Elena Greig and Anika Hollowaty with two conversions.
Butters said the best thing his players did was support off the ball. They worked hard to be in position to take a pass or form a ruck or maul when someone else was carrying the ball.
“Most beginning players take some time to realize that the hard work of rugby is very often not noticed because it is done off the ball,” said Butters.
“This is one of the reasons we prefer not to make a big deal about who scores the points.
“The hard and important work was done in setting up the conditions to points being scored.”