Whiskey Jacks prepared for playoffs

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Colm Cournane powers his way through his teammates during a practice drill for the Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks earlier this week.


Having last played a meaningful game two weeks ago, the Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks are eager to get back on to the pitch.

They will get that opportunity Saturday night in Saskatoon, as they’ll go up against the Saskatoon Gophers in a Saskatchewan Rugby Union Division II playoff game.

“The biggest thing that we have been working on in practice is maintaining our overall match fitness, especially with a bit of time of between games,” Whiskey Jacks head coach Dominic Elsbury said.

“When you have a couple of weeks off, people start to get complacent a little bit, so we’ve wanted to make sure that our players are still used to having that feeling of contact in our practices so they are ready for that when we start playing again.”

If the Whiskey Jacks can defeat the Gophers, they will advance to the Division II provincial final against either the Regina Condors or the Regina Highlanders.

The date and location for that championship contest has yet to be finalized.

“We’re at that point of the season where everyone has to find a time that works for them, especially with so many playoff games taking place,” Elsbury said.

Although the Whiskey Jacks cruised to comfortable wins in their previous meetings with the Gophers this year, Elsbury expects Saturday’s playoff matchup to be a totally different encounter.

“Once you get to the playoffs you really have to forget about the regular season,” Elsbury said. “At this time of the year, everyone picks up their game.

“The Gophers haven’t had a successful season, but they got some very intelligent players and their speed all over the field is something that we’ll have to focus on against them.”