The Fulton Maroons didn’t have time to dwell on a stinker.
A mere 48 hours after being blitzed 17-5 by the Vernon Panthers, the Maroons responded with a 31-5 victory over the Kal Lakers Thursday in Okanagan Junior Rugby Union action at Grahame Park.
Clark Richardson had three tries and booted two converts for the Maroons, while Tanner Bishop and Caleb McCuaig added tries. Sean Green was 1-2 on conversions.
“I thought our kids did a great job of rebounding from a poor effort on Tuesday, and we played very well,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “The game was closer than the score would indicate, the difference being that we we tackled better, and broke more tackles than Kal.
“Clark Richardson especially had some great long runs. Kal had a definite territorial edge in the second half, with the wind, but we popped some long runs.”
Wade Buller, Ryan Messer and Tyler Landry scored tries for the Panthers Tuesday, who stepped up their play after drawing 5-5 with Fulton last Thursday.
“Coaches Stuart McKnight and Shaun Landry did a great job preparing the boys for this game, making the necessary changes and adjustments,” said assistant VSS coach Tim Thorpe.
“The boys played their brand of rugby and were able to execute our game plan. Our forwards were much better in support and our rucking was also much improved. It paid off with an important win which puts us alone in first place in the league with a 4-0-1 record.”
Austin Richardson replied with a try for the Maroons, who fell to 3-1-1 with a final league Thursday at home to the Kalamalka Lakers.
“We simply did not play well, nor were we aggressive,” said Scheller. “Credit to Vernon, they played better than us and were full credit for the victory. They owned the territory and possession advantage all game”
Scheller and assistant coach Shane Gaythorpe praised No. 8 man Richardson, flanker Lucas Hofer, inside centre Clark Richardson and fullback Caleb McCuaig for stellar showings.
The Cats finished league play Thursday in Salmon Arm against the 0-4 Golds. The playoffs go next week. Fulton will host Kal.
In senior AA boys action, Kal outlasted the Kelowna Christian Knights 18-12 Tuesday.
The Lakers host the Okanagan Mission Huskies Monday afternoon in a game which will decide second place behind Fulton. The playoffs start Thursday.
Callum Busfield, in the first half and Greg Filipenko, in the second, supplied tries for Kal, who earned two penalty kicks in the second half and one convert by Patrick Schindler in the opening half which ended 7-7.
“It was a very physical game but Kal forwards took control of the game in the second half,” said Kal head coach Ian Busfield. “Spencer Bradbury and Keenan Jespersen once again had standout games for Kal as did forwards Chace Ladyka, Chris Beliveau, Landon Koenig and Gordie Schnare. Rookie winger Tyler Yawney played his best game of the year and was unlucky not to score his first try of the season.”