Penticton Harlequins halt Vernon Jackals in ORU semi

The Penticton Harlequins brushed back the Vernon Jackals 29-22 in the Okanagan Rugby Union semifinal Saturday in the Peach City.

The Penticton Harlequins brushed back the Vernon Jackals 29-22 in the Okanagan Rugby Union semifinal Saturday in the Peach City.

Kevin Stecyk and Trevor Miyazaki scored tries for Vernon, who got two converts and a penalty kick from Miyazaki.

“Penticton was the better team on the day,” said Jackals’ veteran Mike Scheller. “They held more territory and ball possession than we did, especially in the second half, and they converted their chances.”

Vernon had no subs, while Penticton used numbers to wear the Jackals down.

Calum Lloyd, with three, Chris Hanon and Scott Naylor recorded Penticton tries.

The Enderby-Salmon Arm Manthers stopped the Merritt Barbarians 17-10 in the other semifinal. The Manthers and Harlequins battle in the league championship, Saturday, July 6 in Penticton.

“We tackled well, and improved in our rucks and mauls,” added Scheller. “Flanker Geoff Cranton had a very good game. He made a lot of tackles and stuffed their 8-man picks. Eighth man Travis Beck was also solid in the back row for us. Locks Don Deane and Dave Ryll and prop Liam Brown were all tough for us up front.

“Miyazaki has been our best player all year and Saturday was no exception. Centres Brian Cragg and Kevin Stecyk ran hard and were threats offensively.”

The Jackals (5-5-1 overall) had low numbers at practice with a few clutch players working up north, and it showed come game time. Vernon will play in the Prince George tournament, July 13-14 facing the hosts, Terrace and Prince Rupert.