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Banff Bears rugby still hunting for first win

Bears look to snap losing streak Saturday at home against the Calgary Saracens.
Banff Bears Nick Palmer carries the ball up the field during the season home-opener on Saturday (June 15) at Banff Recreation Grounds. JORDAN SMALL RMO PHOTO

BANFF – The first four games for the Banff Bears have stung. 

The pain didn’t ease in the season home opener at Banff Recreation Grounds on Saturday (June 15), when the pesky Calgary Hornets defeated the local men’s rugby team 35-0. It was the first time this season the Bears didn’t score a try.

With a relatively new team on the pitch, head coach Andrew Mitchell said there are growing pains that need sorting out.

“I think we’ve made improvements every game so far,” said Mitchell. “Defensively, we’re pretty on point, we made a couple breaks. The scoreline doesn’t look great, but other than that, not bad.

“We just need time to come together and get to know each other.”

The first half of Saturday’s match was tightly contested between the battling clubs, with the visitors holding a seven point lead at the break.

However, in the second half, the Hornets swarmed early and capitalized on mistakes and penalties over the following 40 minutes of action.

“Everyone worked their socks off from start to finish … just some simple mistakes cost us,” said Bears’ centre Nate Wilson. “We were pushing it and getting close to scoring and just one or two mistakes, penalties, drop balls and … just playing together [moving forward] is the main thing.”

At 0-4, the Bears are in the basement of the Calgary Rugby Union standings.

The Bears look to snap their losing streak Saturday (June 22) at Banff Recreation Grounds against the Calgary Saracens. Kick-off is at 1 p.m.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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