Two former Souris Sabre Rugby players have returned home from Saskatoon where they competed in the 2018 U19 Canadian Rugby Championships July 16 – 22.
Matthew Vinck and Federico Vargas joined other rugby players from Forrest, Brandon, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan to for the Prairie Blizzard U19 Rugby team. Joining then as the coach form Manitoba was Souris School teacher and the man who was instrumental in bringing the sport of Rugby to Souris, Coach Brian Yon.
The Prairie Blizzard met the Ontario Blues, Atlantic Rock, and Alberta Wolfpack at the Canadian Championships and while they were unsuccessful in their bid to achieve a championship, the young team never gave up and improved every time they stepped onto the pitch.
Coach Yon had this to say on the Prairie Blzzard Facebook page after their return home, “I was very proud of how our team performed this week on and off the field. The boy's efforts were never questioned and they conducted themselves like professionals. I think it's a testament to the team culture we have established and the great work their parents have done raising these young men. Very positive for such a young team as well!
Although the scores in the games weren't ideal, I believe in most of the games the scores weren't a true reflection of the games themselves. In every game, there were periods where we dominated, where the scoreline was very close but also where the opposition took direct control. This was a reflection of how young we were and the fact that our players don't get enough high level rugby. We knew this was going to be the case with this year's team, but have also made a pact we will work tirelessly over the next 12 months to put this team in a better position this time next year. Nineteen of the twenty-four rostered players are eligible to return next year which is really crazy when you think about it, but also shows how young we really were this year. With parental, club and union support, all the boys will have to do is work hard, be committed and have fun. The success will come from that foundation.
If we can get these young men together more and provide the resources for them during the winter months and arrange more games, we'll be in a better place next year.
I believe the experience our players received this past week was invaluable and it was a gauge for us to recognize where we are currently and where we need to get to for next year.”
Matthew Vinck will continue to play rugby with the senior men’s Brandon Barbarians.