Crocus beats Souris to reach WHSR final


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Stephen McGarvey hasn’t played for a championship before.

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Stephen McGarvey hasn’t played for a championship before.

That will change on Saturday as the Grade 12 student and his Crocus Plainsmen teammates qualified for the Westman High School Rugby boys division final with a 17-10 home win over the Souris Sabres on a gusty Tuesday evening.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling right now,” said McGarvey, who plays fly-half.

Liam Southcombe of the Crocus Plainsmen powers through a tackle attempt from George Vorster of the Souris Sabres during a Westman High School Rugby varsity boys semifinal game on Tuesday evening. (Lucas Punkari/The Brandon Sun)

“It was a great game from the guys and I think the biggest difference was that we were able to push harder and work harder than Souris did.”

With 50-kilometre-per-hour winds causing havoc with kicks all through the match, McGarvey’s successful convert during the first half proved extremely important.

“When you got someone like Steven who probably has the best leg on the field, you have to take advantage of that,” Plainsmen coach Sean Erickson said.

“We talked a bit about that at the start of the game. There were certain areas where we would run the ball when we would usually kick it, but there were other times where tried to take advantage of the wind when we could.”

Kayden MacEachern and Treysen Rowan both had tries in the first half to help Crocus race out to an early lead.

The second half belonged to the Sabres, however, as Thomas Cha and George Voster each touched the ball down to cut into the Plainsmen’s advantage.

Dayvi Alverenga sealed the win with a powerful run for a try in the final minutes.

“The boys played great, but give full credit to Souris,” Erickson said. “They clawed their way back and made things really difficult for us.

“They were a better rugby team out there today, but we were fortunate enough to be able to score a little more than they did.”

The Sabres had a few chances to move out in front during the match, but were stopped on the goal line early in the first half and couldn’t score on a couple of red zone opportunities late.

Despite the loss, Sabres coach Brian Yon was pleased with his squad’s performance and their improvements during the season, especially as they didn’t have a single Grade 12 player on the roster.

“There’s a lot of room to grow for this group,” Yon said.

“They don’t get to play a lot of rugby during the year with how long our winters are, so each game that you get is important. A playoff game like this is going to help them become better players.”

With the win, the Plainsmen advance to Saturday’s league final against the winner of today’s semifinal between the Dauphin Clippers and the Vincent Massey Vikings.

In varsity girls, the Rivers Rams beat the Plainsmen on Tuesday and face either the Sabres or Clippers in Saturday’s championship game.

Scoring details on the Rams and Plainsmen matchup were not available as of press time.

Each league finalist also qualifies for the provincial championships next weekend in Winnipeg.


» Twitter: @lpunkari

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