Stags, Cougars pack home rugby wins

The Columneetza Cougars and the Williams Lake Stags girls’ rugby teams both returned home from this past weekend’s Pa’Kit Rugby Tournament in Penticton with winning records.

The Columneetza Cougars and the Williams Lake Stags girls’ rugby teams both returned home from this past weekend’s Pa’Kit Rugby Tournament in Penticton with winning records.

The Cougars finished with three wins and one loss, while the Stags marched to three wins and a tie.

The tournament featured three pools of four teams. After a three-game round robin tournament organizers selected matchups that would provide teams with a competitive game.

The Cougars blew out of the gates to a 19-0 win over Nelson’s LV Rodgers, with Jasmyn Niquidet scoring all the Cougar’s points. Next, Columneetza dropped a hard-fought 7-0 match to Kelowna secondary, before moving on to defeat the Valleyview Vikings, 22-0.

Try scorers versus the Vikings were Niquidet, Hailey Johnson, Michelle Ball and Carly Carignan, with Niquidet also adding a conversion.

The Cougars fourth and final game was against Kelowna’s Mt. Boucherie secondary, where Columneetza won a tightly-contested 17-10 battle.

Try scorers were Niquidet (2) and Savanna Nadeau, with Niquidet adding another conversion.

“Our team played incredible defence all around allowing us to steal the ball to create offensive opportunities,” said head coach Ryan Lee. “Throughout the tourney our front row led by Giorgi Pritchard and Raylene Tate won many battles that allowed us to have many scoring opportunities.”

Meanwhile, the Stags were busy putting their own mark on the tournament.

The Stags piled up a 33-5 win over Surrey’s Kwantlen Park with Erica Pfleiderer and Alexis Myhre each scoring twice, while Kate Neufeld added a single try. Myhre also hit four out of five conversion attempts.

In game two the Stags battled to a 0-0 stalemate with Mt. Boucherie.

“They were a very large team,” said Stags coach Tara Sherlock. “We spent the majority of the game playing defensively. They kept their composure and they had enough heart to hold those big girls out of our end.”

Next, the Stags downed Houston 15-0. Tries were scored by Myhre, Sheridan Davis and Natasha Johnson.

“Natasha’s a Grade 8 girl who stepped onto the field to play scrum half in the second half,” Sherlock said.

“We had a penalty, our forwards ran it in and we were on Houston’s try line and Natasha kept her head up and saw an opening and took the ball and touched it down right in the corner of the field.

“It was beautiful. So, so good for a Grade 8 girl.”

The Stags then finished off the tournament with a 22-5 victory over North Surrey. Selina Kreis, Myhre (2) and Anne Butters scored tries for the Stags. Grade 8 player Libby Harrison was awarded woman of the math after an outstanding try-saving tackle.

“The team had an outstanding weekend,” Sherlock said. “This is a team of great girls with fantastic attitudes, a lot of heart and superior commitment. It is a combination of these qualities that brought them success in each game.

“It’s wonderful to see how the junior players are developing under the strong leadership of the senior players. We have high hopes for the provincial tournament at the end of May.”

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