Having started the season with a pair of wins on the road, the Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks were eager to continue their success in their home opener Wednesday.
Instead, a few lapses led to them ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard as they dropped a 19-17 decision to the Saskatoon Badgers at Max Clunie Field.
“We were coming off of a dominating win against the (Regina) Highlanders Saturday and we played a full 80 minutes in that game,” Whiskey Jacks forward Darcy Murphy said.
“What happened to us tonight is the same thing that happens to other teams in other sports. We slipped up a bit on defence and they were able to turn things around on us really quickly.”
After taking a 14-12 lead just before halftime, the Whiskey Jacks would extend their lead by five points near the midway portion of the second half thanks to a converted penalty goal from Colm Cournane.
A few moments after the Whiskey Jacks were stopped short of the try line, the Badgers were able to march their way down the field and scored the winning try with two minutes to go.
“We dominated for most of the game, but we’d go to sleep for a minute here and a minute there,” Murphy said.
“When that happened, they’d turn it back 80 meters on us and that’s how they scored their first two tries. If we had played a full game, we would have been more successful.”
Pealasio Vereakula led the way for the Whiskey Jacks with a pair of tries, while Cournane had two successful converts to go along with his penalty goal.
“I’ve said if for years now, but we played tough and fast like we always have here since the Whiskey Jacks started up,” Murphy said. “I think if we made some better decisions tonight, we would have had a better result.
“We were dominating the tackle and the ruck like we normally do, but we just couldn’t capitalize on moving forward. Yes we scored three tries, but we could have had six or seven if we played a little smarter.”
The Whiskey Jacks, who now have a 2-2 record, will look to return to the win column Saturday as they will travel to Saskatoon to play the Highlanders.
They will then be off until Saturday, July 21 when they’ll host the Saskatoon Gophers in a 3 p.m. contest at Max Clunie Field.
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