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Vernon Jackals look to end Saratoga slump

Okanagan men’s rugby champions off to B.C. finals for an 8th straight time; looking for elusive title
The Okanagan champion Vernon Jackals RFC will face the Elk Valley Bulls of Fernie in the B.C. Men’s Rugby Div. 3 Saratoga Cup semifinals Saturday, Aug. 26, in Cranbrook. (File photo)

It’s a trophy that has eluded them in the past.

The Vernon Jackals RFC hope to snap their Saratoga Cup B.C. Men’s Division 3 Rugby Championship curse this weekend at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook.

“The purpose of the Saratoga Cup is to foster the growth of competitive rugby throughout the Interior and Northern regions of British Columbia, and provide a final event for the summer league competition,” said the governing body in the province, BC Rugby.

The Jackals – who won an eighth consecutive Okanagan Rugby Union title in July with a 35-14 win over the Penticton Harlequins at Grahame Park – will face Fernie’s Elk Valley Bulls in a provincial semifinal Saturday, Aug. 26. Game time is 10:30 a.m. Pacific.

The two-time defending champion and tournament hosts, the Rocky Mountain Rogues, face the Terrace Northmen in the other semifinal Saturday. The two winners play for the Saratoga Cup Sunday, the two losers play for bronze.

Vernon fell 36-28 to Rocky Mountain in a provincial semifinal in 2022 in Kamloops, then pummeled the Bulls 41-0 to claim third place. The Rogues defeated Terrace 24-5 to win their second straight B.C. title.

The Jackals reached the championship game in three consecutive years, from 2016-2018, but lost twice to Terrace and once to Rocky Mountain. Vernon hosted the tournament in 2019 and fell 13-9 in the semifinals to Elk Valley.

Vernon went 0-2 at the provincial tournament in Kamloops in 2021.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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