PENTICTON, BC - Four clubs are headed to Penticton this weekend to contest for the 2013 Saratoga Cup. The men's Independent Provincial Club Championship features teams from the Okanagan, Central, Kootenays and Lower Mainland / Vancouver Island regions competing in a two-day championship at McNicol Rugby Oval.
Current holders Penticton were eliminated from the playoffs this year and the Okanagan Rugby Union will now be represented by West Kelowna-Salmon Arm reps Manthers RFC. Delta-based Brit Lions will be returning for a second straight appearance at the championships, as will third-seeded Williams Lake RFC. BC Rugby Union newcomers Elk Valley RFC - a team comprised of players from Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and Crowsnest Past - will be debuting at the tournament as the fourth seed.
The semifinals are underway on Saturday with the placement rounds set for Sunday morning.
2013 Saratoga Cup (McNicol Rugby Oval, Penticton)
NOTE: All matches are 60 minutes in length
Saturday, September 21st:
2:30pm SEMIFINALS: no.1 Manthers vs no.4 Elk Valley RFC
4:00pm SEMIFINALS: no.2 Brit Lions vs no.3 Williams Lake RFC
Sunday, September 22nd:
9:30am CONSOLATION FINAL Loser Semifinal 2 vs Loser Semifinal 2
11:00am FINAL Winner Semifinal 1 vs WInner Semifinal 2
Okanagan Rugby Union
Saratoga Cup Seeding: no.1
Okanagan Rugby Union side Manthers RFC will head into the Saratoga Cup championships as the top ranked team having dispatched Penticton Harlequins 31-20 in their regional finals in early July. Manthers and Pencticton each had 5-2 records heading into the playoffs. Penticton had downed Vernon RFC 27-20 in the semifinals while Manthers had defeated Merritt 31-19.
Roster to follow on www.bcrugby.com
Vancouver Rugby Union
Saratoga Cup Seeding: no.2
Record: 8-3 (2012 Province wide Div 3)
Coaches perspective - Andrew Walker:
"We have added some good high school graduates from our Delta schools program to the group that lost in the BC Final against Capilano in May. It will take a little while for them to come up to speed with our game style but after our first game against Ridge Meadows at the weekend it is obvious that we will be an improved team with our new additions.
Last year was our first time playing in the Saratoga Cup for some time. Penticton are good hosts and the McNichol field is a good park to play running rugby on. We enjoyed our trip to Penticton last year but we did not perform as well as we could have against a the Penticton team in the final. This year we are travelling with the intent of doing much better."
Brit Lions Roster:
Will Blackwell, Dustin Bourdeaudhuy, Al Chiu, Derek Dodd, Ryan Dular, Ryan Hatch, Ricky Jhalli, Thom Kirk, Shane Kumar, Malcolm Lenahan, Kurt MacKenzie, Jassie Mattu, Stephen McClary, Dale Minimata, Matt Parno, Joe Pascoa, Jonathan Paulson
Coach - Andrew Walker (Coach)
Medical/Trainer - Walter Johnstone
Williams Lake Rugby Football Club
Central Interior Rugby Union
Saratoga Cup Seeding: no.3
League Record (3-1), 500 Kilometers
Edmonton Rugbyfest (4-2, 5th place), 2000 kilometers
Prince Rupert Tournament (1-1), 2200 kilometers
Williams Lake Rugby Tournament (5-0) 1st place
SFU Rugby Tournament (3-3) 1100 kilometers
Chiliwack Rugby tournament (1-2) 1000 kilometers
Coaches perspective - Todd Pritchard:
"Total record to date 17 wins, 8 losses, 1 tie. Total kilometers travelled 6800 kilometers (not counting the trip to Penticton and Abbotsford this fall)
Players to watch for the weekend for Williams Lake are Riley Ilnicki and Anthony Faggiani who have both been outstanding in the forwards and Jordan Pritchard and Sky Freeman have excelled in the backs.
We are bringing a real mix of young and old in the true tradition of third division rugby and are looking forward to a great weekend both on and off the pitch. Good luck to all the teams making the trip to participate in the Saratoga Cup!"
Roster to follow on www.bcrugby.com
Club Name: Elk Valley RFC , the "BULLS"
Kootenay Rugby Union
Saratoga Cup Seeding: no.4
Regular season record: 4-0
Who to watch: The Ratudradra’s – Joe has been retired for many years and making a comeback. His nephew Voni is new to rugby this season, but being Fijian, it’s like they were born with a rugby ball in hand. Watch out for Ross Weymark in the front row and loose forward Chris Schlieb’s who doesn’t seem to run much but always find himself in the action.
Coaches perspective - Dan Parker: Less than 6 months ago, Elk Valley RFC did not exist… but through the passion of and dedication of a few, we were able to bring rugby to the Elk Valley. With the support of the local communities and business' we got busy preparing for our first EVER game…and WON! As the word got around, the club grew in size and success, ending the regular season undefeated. Going into this weekend we fully intend to remain undefeated in 2013 and bring home the Saratoga Cup for the KRU and Elk Valley.
1-Pete Dudman, 2-Ross Weymark, 3-Sheldon Root, 4-Matthew Peterson, 5-Voni Ratudradra, 6-Scott Ganzert, 7-Ronan MacCon, 8-Chris Schleibs, 9-MIke Harrington, 10-Shane Underwood, 11-Ryan Johnston, 12-Dan Parker, 13-Leigh Stickney, 14-Dave Walker, 15-Adam Walker. Tom Beingessner, Tom Baker, Joe Ratudradra