Barbarians come close to a win over visiting Harlequins
The Merritt Barbarians men’s rugby team just about pulled off a major upset on the weekend, as they were edged 17-14 by the visiting Penticton Harlequins in a match played at Voght Park Saturday. The undefeated visitors needed a late try in the final five minutes of the second half to steal the victory from a spirited Barbarians’ squad that erased a 12-point deficit with two converted tries shortly after the break.
“We controlled a large portion of the play in the first half and really should have come away with some points,” stated Barbarian player and spokesperson Nathan Brigden. “After an inspirational speech from [injured player] Ryan Reid at half time we came out even more determined. I was extremely proud of the way our team rallied after being down and took the lead. Unfortunately, they were able to get that last try to overtake us.”
First Sam Carroll and then Mark Price scored for the Barbarians. Cameron Graham successfully made both converts following the tries.
“Despite losing,” added Brigden, “there were far more positives than negatives to take from the game.”
With the win, Penticton’s record moves to 3-0, while Merritt falls to 1-2. The Barbarians next see action this Saturday in Kelowna against the Crows.
Meanwhile, the MSS Panthers senior boys’ rugby team rebounded from a 40-5 home-field thumping at the hands of Westsyde last Tuesday to defeat Sahali 29-0 two days later in Kamloops. Merritt Secondary got tries from birthday boy Clayton Torgalson, Jaiden Smith, Daniel Gradinaru, Dallas Grismer-Voght and Levi Potter. Ben Cunningham added a pair of conversions.
The Panthers were scheduled to play the St. Ann’s Crusaders in Kamloops this week in the first round of the playoffs. Win or lose, both of those teams will play once more on Thursday, also in Kamloops, to wrap up the season.