The Port Alberni Black Sheep dominated their visitors from Surrey on the rugby pitch last weekend, winning both the Div. 1 and Div. 2 men’s games.
The Div. 1 men squeaked out a 17-12 win despite running into penalty trouble in the second half. Matt McDougall opened scoring in the first half to give Port Alberni a 5-0 lead. Surrey tied it up with a try right before the halftime whistle.
The second half began with the balance of play in the middle of the field until the 30-minute mark, when Ryan Waldriff scored in the corner. Todd Daradics converted the try to give Port Alberni a 12-5 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff the Black Sheep ran a blind side sweep end to end, with Ty Shannon passing off to Anthony Selva, who scored.
“He’s probably scored five or six tries with the same play,” coach Jas Purewal said. That put the Black Sheep up a comfortable 17-5.
However, several penalties and a yellow card in the next few minutes put the wind back into Surrey’s sails and they were able to come to within five points of the Black Sheep.
Port Alberni was able to keep Surrey off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
“It was a frustrating game for the guys,” Purewal said. “There were a lot of whistles. We didn’t help ourselves by taking so many penalties.”
Despite the win, the Black Sheep have dropped to Tier 3 for the remaining portion of the season.
“It’s a good spot for us,” Purewal said. “I’m really excited.”
The Black Sheep will play three of their remaining five games at home, where they are familiar with the rugby pitch.
“It’s a clean slate, so we all start at zero,” he said. “Hopefully we can play some good rugby in the next six or seven weeks and earn a berth in the B.C. provincials.”
The top two teams in Tier 3 will play off for the B.C. Rugby Union championship on May 7.
The Div. 2 team also beat Surrey 32-25, finishing this portion of the season with a 3-1 win-loss record. Single tries came from Randy Thoen, Mike Nelson, Ryan Turner, Waldriff and Brennan Tourangeau. Shannon kicked two conversions and one penalty goal in the win.
The Div. 2 side was thin on manpower due to injuries and work commitments, so several Div. 1 players switched jerseys and dove right into the second game, Purewal said.
SCRUM LINES…The Black Sheep host Nanaimo this coming Saturday, March 19. Div. 1 tentatively kicks off at 1 p.m., followed immediately afterward by the Div. 2 game…Kelowna will be the opposition at the Black Sheep Rugby Club on Saturday, March 26.