Grace Turner looks to slip a tackle in Williams Lake Jr. Rustlers action Saturday at the Ottoman Drive rugby fields. (Patrick Davies photos)

Jr. Rustlers seeing success early in club season

Each team played between two to three games making for a full day at the Ottoman rugby pitch

Just three weeks in to their club rugby season, Williams Lake Jr. Rustlers head coach Natasha Johnson is blown away by the improvement she’s seen in her players.

The team of roughly 25 girls, which was split into seven-a-side development, U16 and U19 squads, held their home tournament for the eight-week season at the Rustlers rugby fields on Ottoman drive Saturday hosting combined Kamloops and Kelowna sides, Salmon Arm and Prince George in multiple games throughout the day.

Each team played between two to three games making for a full day of rugby at the Ottoman rugby pitch.

“Our developmental girls shined,” Johnson said. “I told them all they’re graduating into the U16 level after because they are not developmental anymore. That’s exciting to see our brand new players doing amazing work.”

Johnson said a highlight for the U16 Jr. Rustlers, meanwhile, was narrowly upending the combined Kamloops/Kelowna team in their final game of the day, however, noted the U19 side fell just short of accomplishing the same feat in their division.

Johnson, who has played at the provincial and collegiate national levels after graduating from Lake City Secondary School, said it was a fun weekend for her, personally, because of knowing so many of the players and coaches involved.

“It was nice to see everyone out and see other girls I’ve coached and to watch our girls play against them,” she said.

“For our girls I’ve seen a huge difference [in their play]. They’re reading the field better, and they’re working together more. I don’t know if it’s because they’re travelling up to the field together and hanging out together more, but it’s showing on the field.

READ MORE: Rustlers set to launch seven-a-side Jr. Rustlers club program

“They’re really playing for each other and I’ve never seen so much heart from that group of girls as I did on the weekend. They’re enjoying the sport and enjoying each other.”

After the games, the Rustlers, who were amazing hosts, Johnson said, hosted a pig roast meal for players.

Also during the day, players cheered as Rustler Masiu Fine, whose daughter, Ane, plays for the Jr. Rustlers, led a Haka — a ceremonial Maori dance often performed during rugby events by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby union team.

“The vibe at the field was so cool and all the feedback I got was so positive,” Johnson said. “It’s super exciting. Lots of community members were up there watching, too, which was nice to see.”

The Jr. Rustlers will have this coming weekend off to rest, before stringing together a team for a trip to the Lower Mainland for the next series of games, followed by a tournament in Kamloops Thanksgiving weekend where Celtic Engineering of Williams Lake is donating its team travel bus for the trip.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Patrick Davies photos Ane Fine of the Williams Lake Jr. Rustlers blows by the defence in the team’s first home-field games of the club rugby season.

Williams Lake Jr. Rustlers player Abby Urquhart carries an opposing player on her back while still moving the ball up the field in Jr. Rustlers action Saturday in Williams Lake.

Ivy Watson examines the defence as she looks to make a move up field.

Ane Fine

Just Posted

Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery

General duty officers and police dog services responded to complaint just after midnight July 11

Williams Lake man to be sentenced for Dawson Creek drug trafficking

Arin Joe Charleyboy was charged in September 2016, pleaded guilty in January 2018

COLUMN: Economic renewal is key

COLUMN: Let’s keep our eye on economic renewal and support small business

RANCH MUSINGS: When the sun shines, kids and calves

It is not easy to witness the birth of a calf especially in a herd on a spacious pasture

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read