Whiskey Jacks win first provincial title

Photo courtesy of Chris Milligan The Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks pose after capturing the Division II Senior Men's provincial rugby title Saturday in Regina.

Saturday will be a day that those involved in rugby in Prince Albert will never forget.

In their fourth year of existence, the Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks won their first ever provincial championship at they capture the Senior Men’s Division II title with a 50-24 win over the Regina Condors.

“Everyone on the team is extremely proud of what we’ve been able to do here and with how far we’ve come,” Whiskey Jacks forward Darcy Murphy said. “The foundation was set almost 16 years ago when the high school rugby program started here and we’ve tried to built on that with the Whiskey Jacks.

“We won the North league last season and we set the bar pretty high for ourselves this year, but it all comes down to the work that we put in and the amount of support that we get from our families that allow us to do this.”

As they had done on multiple occasions this season, the Whiskey Jacks took control of the match early and had built up a 36-5 lead at the end of the first half.

“We had a game plan that we stuck to and everyone bought into the system to execute the strategy that we set out for ourselves,” Murphy said. “We scored in the first couple of minutes and we never really let up on them.

“Our forwards were great right from the start and they won us the game with how well they played.”

Tuks Ratuki and Pela Verakula led the way for the Whiskey Jacks with three tries each, while Verakula also had a pair of converts.

Kevin Mageto and Tristen Franc each had a successful try on the match and Colm Cornane kicked three converts.

“It was a balanced performance and that was also true with our defence,” Murphy said.

“It was a typical Prince Albert rugby game. We played smart, we played tough and we played aggressive. We were able to wear Regina down in the first half and didn’t give them much of a chance to get going.”

Although the season might be over, it won’t take long for Whiskey Jacks players to get back into game shape as they’ll be taking part in a no-contact indoor league at the Alfred Jenkins Field House starting on October 25.

“That takes place every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. and we encourage anyone that wants to try rugby to come out and join us for that,” Murphy said.

“We’re going to have our annual general meeting in February to outline our goals for the club for next year before we start getting serious in our training in March. Our goals are set even higher now after winning the provincial title and we want to do that once again.”