Terrace Northmen 49-5 Elk Valley RFC
Three-time Saratoga Cup winners Terrace Northmen RFC headed into this year’s event looking to bounce back from last year’s semi-final defeat to the Rogues. After finishing their regular season with six wins from six matches, Terrace carried on their unbeaten streak with a commanding victory over Fernie’s Elk Valley RFC.
The Northmen were dominant throughout, finishing off a flurry of breakaways and strong runs through the field to put the pressure on their opponents. The Bulls got on the scoreboard but the Northmen ultimately proved too powerful for this year’s Kootenay Cup runners-up and advanced into Sunday’s final.
Rocky Mountain Rogues 38-26 Vernon Jackals
Defending champions Rocky Mountain Rogues went into the 2022 Saratoga Cup with an unblemished regular season record, having beaten close rivals Elk Valley twice to lift the Kootenay Cup. Okanagan Rugby Union champions Vernon Jackals, also unbeaten after finishing the regular season 4-0, provided strong opposition for the tournament favourites.
The Rogues started strongly and worked their way into a comfortable lead thanks to some powerful, strong breaks. While it looked like the match was won at 38-0, the Jackals showed incredible spirit to move back within 12 points and put serious pressure on their rivals. However, the Rogues’ defence stood firm in the dying minutes to book their place in the final.
Women’s Saratoga Cup Pool Matches
The inaugural Women’s Saratoga Cup kicked off on Saturday afternoon with Round Robin Pool Matches to determine the seedings heading into Sunday’s Finals Day. The Women’s Saratoga Cup was contested using Rugby 7s format.
Match 1: In the opening match, Elk Valley RFC and newcomers Terrace RFC contested a thrilling encounter that went down to the wire. Elk Valley suffered a tough injury in the opening minute, but it did not dampen their spirits as both teams scored following some classy breakaway play. However, it was Terrace who came out on top with a sole conversion to clinch a historic 17-15 win.
Match 2: Hosts Kamloops Rugby Club faced Kelowna Crows in front of a bumper crowd, and the home team did not disappoint. Despite a couple of impressive tries from the Crows, Kamloops proved too strong for their close rivals and ran out 39-10 victors.
Match 3: Kamloops stayed on the field for Match 3, taking on a fired-up Terrace RFC. With both sides carrying momentum from their respective opening wins, it was Kamloops that took first blood with two good breakaway tries. Terrace grew into the game and closed the gap, but it was the hosts that held firm for a 22-12 win.
Match 4 saw Elk Valley and Kelowna go head-to-head, with both teams chasing their first win. After coming close in the opening match, the Fernie side quickly found their stride against the Crows. A combination of strong movement and play saw Elk Valley put Kelowna to the sword with a 39-0 triumph.
Match 5: Kelowna stayed on the field to face Terrace RFC in Match 5 and opened the scoring with an impressive try. However, Terrace responded in style with four unanswered tries to secure the second-place seeding heading into Day 2, with Kelowna seeded fourth.
Match 6: The final Pool Match of the day saw Kamloops take on Elk Valley RFC, with the hosts looking to claim top spot in Sunday’s seedings. In a dominating performance, the host team impressed with strong movement and found the gaps to take a 46-0 victory and top seeding into Day 2 with Elk Valley seeded No. 3.
Final seedings and semi-final line-up
1. Kamloops Rugby Club vs. 4. Kelowna Crows
2. Terrace RFC vs. 3. Elk Valley RFC