Second rower Don Deane had a fantasy-like game as the Vernon Jackals grounded the Penticton Harlequins 21-7 in Okanagan Rugby Union action Saturday at Grahame Park.
The Jackals improved to 3-0 and will visit Merrit on Saturday.
“Don came to us very green four years ago having never played rugby before, and since has become one of our elite players,” said Jackals’ veteran Bryan Bateman. “Don was able to help steal some key lineouts which led to great scouring opportunities.”
Vernon got tries from rookie Kiwi Dan, Jarrod Stinn and Garth Cook, while captain Rob Miles booted three conversions in a usual hard-fought battle between the longtime rivals.
“Penticton is going through a rebuild stage right now, the same as we have been doing the last couple years,” said Bateman. “Its good to see that they’re getting new faces out. It’s great for the league.”
Dan capitalized on a Penticton error which saw him chase down a loose ball in the end to open up the scoring. Shortly after, Mike Scheller set up Stinn for a try off a Penticton penalty.
Miles was quick to comment on his excitement of how the team is working hard this year, and how the enthusiasm and morale of the Jackals is higher than he has seen in his time with the VRC.
The captain fed Cook for a try in the second half. Cook ran his hard, pinball-like style to get into the end zone.
The Jackals would like to send a special thanks to Bob Bishop and all the staff at the Kal Sports Bar for their help and support Saturday night for a fundraiser. The money raised will go towards new jerseys and gear for next season.
Vernon visits Merritt on Saturday and their next home action is a Saturday, May 14 doubleheader at Grahame Park against the defending provincial champion Prince George Gnats and the highly-rated Kelowna Crows.