As the snow melted early, and the field repairs done just in time (thanks to the volunteers who filled in with sand) the first sevens tournament of the year was on…. Some call it the best weekend of the year JASPER 7’s. A storied tradition of being the start of the rugby season. Once again the Crude boys would be entering there ever exciting mens team in the elite competition, and the CrudeWest girls gearing up in the ladies division. The Crude would stagger into Jasper with the hopes of three peat on the horizon. First up was pool game vs U of A cubs. A game which saw the effects of a late night at the Athabee (team bonding session) saw the university side controlling the ball early. Not long into the game U of A breaks away but great cover defense from Siti Coko saw a perfectly timed ankle tap tackle, some how the ref awarded a penalty to the U of A and saw them spin ball wide where they sped to the try line only to again be met by Siti Coko who’s dive tackle (to save a try) ended up knocking out the ball and the strong runner. The effects of the hit took its toll as Coko was forced to leave with a knee slight knee injury. After the break to help him off the field it was the Crude who started to turn it up. Dylan Pretty starts off the scoring on the day with great run. Followed by his manwife Luke Baker, U of A scores a couple late tries and Crude are trying to regroup. A perfectly timed intercept from Eric Lopatinsky seen the big bird stride away, Trevor Macaulay sealed the win 25-10. After a couple hour break the Men were back at it. this time against the Clan. From the opening kickoff the Crude controlled the play with crafty veteran and Calgary Canuck John Ogilvy dawning the black and yellow again to help the Crude. His restarts all weekend were spot on. Allowing the forwards to contest and on most occasions deliver a big hit. As what happened this game when a perfectly timed hard tackle from Trevor Macaulay cause ball to spurt out where Luke Baker who scoops and dashes towards goal line eventually stopped just short but Dylan Pretty cleans up for the try. Other tries from Macaulay, Lopatinsky, Ogilvy, and Richard Pretorious. Crude win big 31-5. With the win the men finish top of pool A and will face the Calgary Hornets in the semi-finals. Calgary Hornets a constant at the top of the Alberta Cup in 15’s. who were well rested and unseen the night before came ready to play with a big squad. But it was the Crude who were hungry to repeat as champs who came out quick. Coko feeling better after a mid afternoon nap was slicing his way through the defense wanting the ball at every opportunity, showing his true class. Crude play a very well game on both sides of the ball keeping Hornets out of the end zone and win 19-0. With the win it would see Crude go up against the favorites ISL Donkeys. A team made up of 4 team Canada players and the rest prairie wolf pack (defending CRC champs.) But you know what they say, sevens is won on the field. After a little negotiating at the coin toss and Crude being more prepared. Intensity fired up as the ref blew his whistle and the Cup final was on the ball was kicked off into the sun. Crude controls ball, Siti Coko running hard was met at the gain line a few times. Crude recycle the ball and gain confidence. ISL Donkeys proving to be stiff competition force knock on. Ensuing scrum pressure from forwards (Chris Line, Luke Baker, Trevor Macaulay) caused a scramble where Coko pick up and dishes to Dylan Pretty a patent stiff arm to would be Canadian winger Duncan MacGuire sees Pretty sprint off and score under the posts. Convert good Crude up 7-0. Donkeys fire back with some good sevens play spinning ball wide taking advantage of people hiding out wide (catching breath) and Connor Poulin score for ISL. Convert is missed Crude up 7-5 at half time. Second half sees Siti Coko wanting ball off the kick off. Ball retained by Trevor Macaulay and popped to the fleet footed Fijian who weaves his was through the holes and out sprinting Canadian scrum half Jake Robinson, Siti knocks over convert 14-5 Crude. Time winding down ISL Donkeys hungry for the win bear down and grind out a try by Gordie McRorie. The Canadian kicker knocks over the convert 14-12 to the Crude. Time winding down thanks to the pre discussed half length, sees Crude bundled into touch at the half way line. Donkeys quick line out is interrupted by the sounds of full time. A surprised but elated crowd sees the Crude prevail once again in a tight final over a very good ISL Donkey team. 14-12. As for the ladies team fought valiantly in their two games. Winning the first game of the day vs Edson Axeladies in a early morning combat. Second game would see them up against the eventual finalists U of A pandas. The pandas have a very strong program and seen them regularly in the final of tournaments they enter. Pandas prevail with the win and knocking out the CrudeWest in the quarterfinals. The loss definitely did not spoil the mood as a few girls went and played with the GP Sirens where they would lose the plate final to St. Albert I believe. Good work girls. The post tournament festivities are legendary at this tournament. Costumes filled the street and good times were had by all. There was even a Amazing Race contestants sighting as they raced for the pit stop. You never know what you will see at a rugby tourney!! Great showing Crude Nation!!!
Chris Line, Luke Baker, Trevor Macaulay, Siti Coko, John Ogilvy, Dylan Pretty, Eric Lopatinsky (subs) Keegan Edwards, Mike Griko, Richard Pretorious, Blake Hamula, Connor Sher, Rob Ryby. (Manager) Marcus Beyer
Mel Hofstetter, Kennedy Cooper, Kelly Wig, Veronica Haynes, Victoria Gaudin, Allison Gaudin, Jessica Irvine, Allana Irvine, Grace Box, Courtney Abel, Rhea Thomas, Ashley Holtz, Lauren Oscapella, Rena Nerysoo