Vernon Jackals improved to 3-0 on the Okanagan Rugby Union season by rallying to beat the Yeti of Salmon Arm 31-28 on Saturday, May 14.
Rookie Dom Peterson, playing his first game at standoff, led the Jackals down the field right off the opening kickoff and popped in the endzone himself for an early score.
Pouring it on quickly, the Jackals would capitalize again on an errant pass and winger Caleb Haberstock, who has now scored in every game he’s played for the Jackals, would beat the defence to the edge to rack up a 10-0 lead, though Ross McKnight missed his second conversion of the day.
The Yeti would take awhile to warm up but eventually would come alive before halftime and sneak two tries through a suddenly porous Jackals’ back line, after which Vernon resident but proud Yeti, Wilson Hlina,would make all his conversions on the day to give Salmon Arm a 14-10 lead at the break.
Second half was a lot of back and forth and saw some large Salmon Arm props rumble in for tries then answered back by Peterson getting a second score and setting up old veteran Lamp Feeney late to finally push the Jackals into a lead which they wouldn’t give up again.
McKnight salvaged his day by converting all his second half kicks, finishing 3 of 5 and allowing the game to stay tight.
“Another close one,” said Jackals captain Lewis McKnight in describing the game.
“A couple different bounces and things go the other way today. Nice to see these rookies step up and get the job done.”
The Jackals, now situated at the top of the ORU, get a long break until the June 4 weekend when they travel to Penticton for the yearly Sunfest tournament.