The Williams Lake Rustlers and the Williams Lake Hustlers started their respective rugby seasons out in the win column.
The Rustlers, Williams Lake’s men’s rugby team, opened its Central Interior Rugby Union campaign with a 20-19 swatting of the Prince George Gnats Sunday afternoon at the Ottoman Drive rugby fields.
Rustlers president Ryan Lee said the tightly-contested win came due to more organized play from the Williams Lake squad.
“The keys to the win were great tackling, organized defence and turnovers,” Lee said.
“We were able to capitalize on key turnovers — especially the final try that was a ball stolen from the head in the last scrum and run in for a try.”
Lee added several young players currently in high school were brought up to play in the opener.
Try scorers in the match for the Rustlers were Cody Tent, Brady Johnson, Brendon Pritchard and Matt Hoffman.
Earlier in the day the Hustlers women’s team took on their counterparts from Prince George, prior to meeting them again following the men’s game.
Both games were won by the lakecity squad decisively — 29-0 and 40-0.
Paul Carnes, coach of the Hustlers, said his team fielded a good mix of veterans and newcomers, who worked together nicely on the pitch.
“They were a little bit rusty at first,” Carnes said.
“It was their first game, but they came through with good play.
“Some of the older girls played very well and led the younger ones.”
Try scorers in the morning win were Claire Lawrence, Jasmyn Niquidet, Alexis Myhre, Kelsey Bisaro, Sheridan Davis and Pam Lawrence.
In the Hustlers’ second game Niquidet scored three times while Pam, Carla Twan and Kyla Wejr also contributed tries in the win.
The Rustlers are now preparing to travel to Penticton June 9-10 for the Sunfest Tournament, followed by a rematch with Prince George June 16 in the Spruce Capital.
Following that, the team hosts its annual Stampede Rugby Tournament July 1-2 at the Ottoman Drive rugby fields.