Rustlers third at Saratoga Cup in Penticton

The Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club finished third in the province at last weekend’s Saratoga Cup in Penticton.

The Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby Football Club finished third in the province at last weekend’s Saratoga Cup in Penticton.

The Rustlers combined for a solid showing against Salmon Arm to win 29-17 in the tournament’s consolation final, earning them the third-place finish.

Play began Saturday against the Brit-Lions of Vancouver in what Rustlers coach Todd Pritchard called a “tough defensive battle.”

“Williams Lake handled the majority of the possession and Chris Mernett scored the first try in the corner after some beautiful ball movement out of the back line,” Pritchard said.

With the score at 5-0 Rustlers at the half the Brit-Lions scored the next two tries and kicked a penalty to go up 13-5 with five minutes to play.

Sky Freeman, however, wasn’t about to let the Brit-Lions run away with the match just yet, beating his winger to strut down the field for a try with two minutes to go.

“Although we put on a mighty push to finish the game we came up short,” Pritchard said, adding the final score was 13-10.

Pritchard noted forwards Anthony Fagianni and Jon Mernett, and backs Jordan Pritchard and Chris were excellent at their positions.

Sunday, Williams Lake met Salmon Arm in its second contest.

“They scored the first try and although the Salmon Arm team kept it close in the first half we ran away with the game in the second,” Pritchard said.

Try scorers for the Rustlers included Benno Durfeld, Fagianni, Freeman and Brendon Pritchard, with two, in the 29-17 win.

Pritchard said forwards Riley Ilnicki and Brendon, and backs Freeman and Grant Norquay were the players of the match for the Rustlers.

“We have one more tournament in Abbotsford this year and then everyone can put their cleats away until next April,” Pritchard said.