Penalties prove costly for Clippers

Published on Tuesday, 07 June 2022 07:16

Both Dauphin Clippers rugby teams fell short on their bid for a championship in the Westman High School Rugby League.

The Clippers girls qualified for the final with a 57-15 win over the Swan Valley Tigers, Wednesday in Dauphin, while the Clippers boys earned their berth in the championship game with a 50-0 triumph over the Tigers.

The Dauphin girls traveled to Rivers, Friday, to face the first-place Rams, who beat Crocus Plains, 63-0 in their semifinal match.

Rivers bested the Clippers, 20-7, winning their first championship.

Clippers coach Aaron Miner was pleased with the girls’ play in the final.

“They came out hard and played well. That Rivers team is just a force to be reckoned with this year. They have a great program there. But we are coming along,” he said.

The Dauphin boys hosted the Souris Sabres, Sunday. Souris had beaten Crocus Plains, 43-7 in their semifinal. The championship game saw Souris win their fifth league title, with a 15-12 win over the host Clippers. Penalties, Miner said, was the difference in the both games for the Clippers.

“Penalties are really starting to hurt our Dauphin teams here as you could see today. It definitely played a big part in the boys game today, as well as the girls game on Friday. We had probably a three-to-one penalty ratio and it hurt,” he said. “We just couldn’t get our emotions under control. The boys were tackling aggressively. Hard, just like we wanted them to. But we just couldn’t get our emotions in check. Our tackles were a little high around the neck and it cost us.”

Losing in the finals does not take away from both team’s successes in the regular season, which saw the boys go undefeated until the final, while the girls only lost to a strong Rivers squad.

“It’s been a great season. You can’t ask for much more other than a championship,” Miner said.

The season is not over just yet for the Clippers as both teams qualified for provincials, June 10 and 11, in Brandon.

“If the stars all align, we could still have a good shot at winning a provincial title with the team we’ve got next weekend,” Miner said. “We’re going to take another run and try to get a banner next weekend.”

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