Rustlers pickup win over Gnats in season opener

“When we played our style of game and played our systems, we looked great,” McCallum said.

The Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club exterminated a bug problem to kickoff its 2019 season.

The Rustlers swatted away the visiting Prince George Gnats in its home opener at the Ottoman Drive rugby fields Saturday by a convincing score of 52-22.

For head coach Braden McCallum, the win is a sign of what he hopes will be a bright season ahead for the Rustlers.

“When we played our style of game and played our systems, we looked great,” McCallum said.

“We need to work on our defensive line speed and our breakdown protocol on defense.”

McCallum added he was pleased with a number of new players who have suited up with the Rustlers this season.

“Most of our newer players really stepped up and showed what all their hard work can do,” he said.

He also noted several of the club’s veterans showed why they play such a vital role in the team’s game.

“Jordie Pritchard had an excellent game, and really showed his leadership on and off the field. Kyle Deakin also played very well in the forwards. His support play and rucking were very noticeable.”

READ MORE: Rustlers dust off the winter, enjoy first practice

The team is now looking forward to kicking off against Terrace and Prince Rupert in Prince George this coming weekend.

“Terrace, in particular, will really give us a game, so we’ll see just how good we really are,” he said. “Hopefully we can take this momentum into next weekend.”

McCallum said everyone involved with the Rustlers was pleased to see the great crowd support on Saturday in its opener.

“It was really great to see so many younger fans and families watching the game,” he said.

“Hopefully we see those same kids in our Rookie Rugby program starting the last Monday in June.”

June 15 the team will travel to Terrace to close out its season, however, is putting together a team to play at a tournament in Penticton on June 8, plus during Stampede weekend here in Williams Lake at its home tournament, and at Simon Fraser University on July 15.

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