Rugby showdown nears

Penticton hosts the B.C. Rugby Saratoga Cup this weekend, welcoming Williams Lake, Elk Valley and Kelowna

GLEN BURLINGAME of the Penticton Harlequins keeps charging a Vernon player during their 35th anniversary game on Aug. 29; which the Harlequins won handily at 73-26. The Harlequins used that game to help prepare for this weekend’s B.C. Rugby Saratoga Cup.

There is a hunger in the Penticton Harlequins Rugby Club.

Harlequins captain Brad Martin said after their narrow defeat at the Saratoga Cup championship last year, the Harlequins feel a little bit hard done by and want revenge this weekend.

“They are eager to win,” he said.

Action takes place at McNicoll Park Oval Saturday and Sunday (third-place game at 9 a.m., final at 11 a.m.). Saturday features semifinal games between Penticton and Williams Lake (northern champs) at 11 a.m., then Elk Valley (Kootenay champs) faces Kelowna (Lower Mainland) at 1 p.m. Should the Harlequins win, it will be their second championship since they won their first-ever title in 2012. Martin was on the team that won.

“It was definitely a feeling of elation. Never having done it before that was definitely something very special to be a part of,” he recalls.

With players from that championship squad on the current team, Martin hopes their leadership will have an impact on the newer members.

“Our team looks good,” said Martin.

“They are looking forward to the opportunity to be provincial champions once again.”

With two more practices scheduled before the weekend, Martin and the Harlequins will go over everything from fitness to game plan.  The Harlequins feel there is always areas that they can improve and will work on strategies for their forwards and have new plays for the backs.

“We’re looking forward to trying them out in game situations,” he said.

Success, Martin said, comes down to defence and the trust the players have in each other.

“I think we have built up a good confidence within the group that we can rely on our teammates to get the job done,” he said.

The team to beat, according to the Harlequins’ Daniel Hatch, is Kelowna, who is playing down a division in the championship. They represent the Lower Mainland and in the past have played in the first division. Over the last few years, they have dropped down to the third division. Hatch is familiar with the Kelowna squad as he has played against them with Capilano.

“They have some really big bodies, some strong athletic guys,” he said.

Hatch agrees with Martin that the Harlequins look good.

“Our forward pack is looking great. We’re feeling pretty hyped,” he added. “It’s going to be great.”

 

 

Just Posted

Vandalism closes public washrooms in Penticton’s Okanagan Lake Park indefinitely

A post by the city’s Facebook said the damage is ‘quite extensive’

Okanagan Water Board opens floodgates with call for grant applications

Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program open from Armstrong to Osoyoos

Community safety, recreation and culture first topics of discussion in Penticton’s 2020 budget

Penticton RCMP clocked roughly 6,000 hours of overtime in ten months, at a cost of $422k

Three-vehicle crash in Penticton sends one to hospital

The Penticton RCMP are looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the collision

City releases tips and tricks to stay safe over holiday season

Included below is a list of revised garbage and recycling days, and rules for curbside collection

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Disturbing find: Shuswap family seeking Christmas tree locates several animal carcasses

Black bear, a coyote and five deer found dumped in gravel pit west of Salmon Arm

RCMP uncover meth in arrest of Sicamous woman linked to alleged pellet gun shooting

Police say methamphetamine and other drugs found in car driven by suspect

Pawsative Pups: Help your dog love their crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Spark Joy: The art of giving and receiving

Barb and Wendy at Simply Spark Joy help you to create a clutter free home on the Black Press Media

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

Most Read