Categorized | Sports

Rugby team earns provincial silver

Southwest United battled to silver medals Saturday at the Tier 2 high school boys provincial sevens rugby championship in Edmonton.

United, who had just three Grade 12 players on the roster, won three out of five games in the tournament.

In the opening game of the tournament a stellar defensive play by Jared Gurney in the dying moments preserved a 19-12 United win over West Central.

With United leading by seven points West Central broke free for a long run toward the end zone as time was running out.

A hard tackle by Gurney near the goal line forced a fumble that United recovered to preserve the win.

United opened the scoring on a Zach Wright try, converted by Nate Wright.

West Central narrowed the lead to 7-5 with an unconverted try, but United responded with tries by Jared Gurney and Moses Smith to lead 19-5.

West Central got one more converted try to narrow the gap to 19-12 but could not even it up.

In their second game of the day United rolled over Highwood Mustangs from High River 29-5.

United was in control all the way, building a 29-0 lead before Highwood scored its only try.

Zach Wright, Jared Gurney, Moses Smith, Syler Sabey and Nate Wright, on a 70-yard kick and chase play, scored tries for United.

Nate Wright and Kale Smith booted converts.

In their next match, United was shut out 45-0 by eventual tournament champion Westmount.

United had to overcome adversity in their next match in order to advance to the gold medal game.

Springbank Phoenix opened the game with two converted tries to go in front 14-0.

Zach Wright got United on the scoreboard with a try that was converted by Nate Wright.

Then Nate Wright punched the ball across for another try, which he converted to tie the game 14-14.

Keane de la Cruz made the Phoenix’s rise short-lived as he scored United’s third try, which Zach Wright converted to make the final score 21-14.

That victory sent United into the championship game and a rematch against Westmount, who had not given up a point through the tournament.

United broke Westmount’s shutout streak but it wasn’t enough as Westmount won gold with a 31-5 victory.

Zach Wright had an unconverted try for United’s only points.

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