The Port Alberni Black Sheep are headed to the B.C. Rugby Union (BCRU) provincial championships after murdering the Kelowna Crow 35-18 at home last Saturday.
“We had a really solid day on Saturday; the boys came to play,” head coach Jas Purewal said.
“We thought we were able to match up to them the whole time. It was very physical…with so much at stake even Kelowna was pretty confident they were going to have a day with us.”
Ty Shannon ruled the day for the Black Sheep, amassing four tries. Kelowna opened scoring with a penalty kick 10 minutes into the game.
Shannon scored the first of his tries several minutes later, putting the Sheep up 5-3. Todd Daradics scored on a blind side sweep to put Port Alberni ahead 10-3.
“We had a little lapse right at the end of the first half. We were on injury time and we took a penalty down in their end,” Purewal said.
“We took two more penalties and had blown defensive coverage and they scored.”
That narrowed the gap to 10-8 for the Black Sheep at halftime.
Anthony Selva made a pass to Shannon off the opening kickoff of the second half and Shannon scored to increase the Sheep’s lead to 15-8.
Seven minutes later he scored again, this one converted by Daradics, and Port Alberni was up a comfortable 22-8.
Kelowna scored a converted try to bring it to 22-15, then Port Alberni responded with a successful penalty goal to go up 25-15.
Kelowna notched a penalty goal and was suddenly within one try of taking the lead.
“Kelowna was really trying to pressure us and we spent 10 minutes in our end,” Purewal said.
However, two late tries in they dying minutes of the game from Brendan Tourangeau and Shannon from a goal-line popup from Tim Boyd blew it open for Port Alberni.
“Ty’s such good finisher,” Purewal said.
“He was really set up quite nicely on quite a few of (his tries).”
The win vaults the Black Sheep into the BCRU finals at Brockton Oval against United, a team they narrowly beat three weeks ago.
“I think United will be pretty pumped,” Purewal said.
“We’ve got a week to prepare and I think we have a really good opportunity.”
The Black Sheep are healthy heading into this weekend’s final, he said.
“I’m very excited that they haven’t wilted under the pressure. They’ve improved.”
The Black Sheep beat Langley in early April then persevered 24-22 at home against United on April 16.
This is the first time the Black Sheep have been in the provincial championships since 2007, when they finished third in Williams Lake.
In Div. 2 play last weekend, the Black Sheep weren’t so lucky, losing 58-8 to Kelowna’s Div. 2 team. Troy Dhillon scored the Sheep’s lone try and Joz Kurucz kicked a penalty goal.
The junior boys’ high school team finished their regular season undefeated and head to the Island championships May 12–14.
The senior boys are playing at .500 right now and the girls played a home game on Tuesday. Results were unavailable as the News went to press.