The Vernon Jackals faced a new challenge Saturday in the new Okanagan Rugby Union Kelowna Cows.
Much of the Cows’ roster played for Kelowna in the Fraser Valley Division 2 league which recently wrapped up playoffs.
The Cows maintained possession for the opening 10 minutes, but it was Vernon from then on as the Jackals milked the Cows 60-19 for their third straight win.
Once Vernon was able to wrestle possession away from the host Cows, Travis Beck of Vernon scampered down the sidelines for the game’s first score.
Aided by a penalty-filled first half, the Cows marched the ball and scored a couple of tries to keep things close with the Jackals up 15-10 at the half.
Some half-time adjustments slanted things in the Jackals’ favour.
“Our forwards really stepped things up in the second half and they couldn’t stop our big boys and that made all the difference,” said Vernon captain Bryan Cragg, referring to multiple stolen scrums and two driving mauls for scores by flanker Jan Vreys early in the half.
The dominant pack play opened holes up for the backs as tries then flooded in with Cragg getting a pair, one on a cheeky pass interception, Lucas Hofer and Wade Buller both getting one apiece and winger Satchel McDermid pocketing his first try on the season with Kyle Richardson kicking 50 per cent on his conversions.
The Jackals will host a sevens mini ORU tourney this weekend as they prepare for the Edmonton Rugbyfest May long weekend. They will defend the social sevens title they won in Edmonton last year.
League play now takes a two-week break and kicks off again on Saturday, May 26 when the Cows visit the Jackals and the Penticton Harlequins visit Salmon Arm.