Coach Clayton Woodruff says the impression he is under is that the rotating strike for next week will conflict with the championship rugby game.
“We’re suppose to go down to Grande Prairie and play the winner of one versus four,” he says. “The issue with us now is the teacher strike so I think our season is done now. I don’t think we’re going to get to play in the final.”
As for the game itself the Roughnecks found themselves on their heels early on the game as St. Joseph’s scored early to take the lead. Woodruff says it was a much needed wake up call for the team as the game progressed.
“St. Joe’s came out ready to play rugby. They got a quick try,” he states. “We had a pretty commanding win last time and I think perhaps maybe the boys thought it was going to be an easy game but they got a quick wake up. I think they pulled it together in the second half and sucked it up basically and ground out a win.”
The play of the Roughnecks in the first half did not sit well with Woodruff. When the game reached half time he wasn’t shy about letting the team know his thoughts on how they played to start the game.
“I told them to smarten up basically. I got a little angry with them actually,” he admits. “I usually don’t do that but they forgot their basics on the defence. They weren’t covering their man and they weren’t making a defensive line. I encouraged them to start doing that and they scored right after so it was good.”
Regardless of the official outcome of the championship game next week its been a great season for the Roughnecks especially in comparison to last year. Having a good core of returning players has helped the team build off of their lessons learned last season.
“We had at least five to seven guys in their third year of rugby. It makes a huge difference the experience,” Woodruff explains. “It’s such a big game with so many players and so much going on that experience is key. The guy is in the right place at the right time and doing their jobs and there’s no confusion.”
If circumstances change regarding the status of the championship game between the NPSS Roughnecks and Grande Prairie Composite an update will be provided on energeticcity.ca