Next time, it’s for real – sort of.
On the weekend, the Prince George Gnats rugby team was in Jasper for a 7s tournament.
“We’re normally a 15s team,” Per Dodenberg of the Gnats said, “but this was a warm-up for the season.”
With only seven players per side, the 7s game is a lot faster, which is not the usual style for the Gnats, he says.
“We like to play on the ground, keep it tight.”
The good news for the Gnats was there were two divisions at the tournament – social and competitive. They were in the social pool.
“It was a fun event. The competitive pool was more for the teams from the larger centres, where they can have players who kind of focus on 7s.”
The Gnats had 19 players on the trip, which was too much for one team, so they split into two, one with players under 30 and the other with players over 30.
“Each team played two games,” Dodenberg says. “We usually had a few players swap teams as well to keep the numbers up.”
For a lot of the Gnats, the tournament was their first rugby of the new season.
“First ball touches, first contact,” Dodenberg says. “I’m sure some of the other teams had already had some practices in.”
The team has started regular practices at John McInnis every Tuesday and Thursday, starting at 6:30 p.m.
“We’ve got about 30 players out this year, including five to eight new faces.”
The next action for the Gnats will be a friendly against Vernon on May 9 at Kelly Road Secondary at 2 p.m. Check out their Facebook page (PG Gnats Rugby Club) for more information as the schedule continues.
The Gnats then head back to Alberta for another 7s event, the Edmonton Rugby Fest, from May 15 to 17.
“We’ve got some of our league games set up already,” Dodenberg says, “but we’re still looking at other tournaments we can get into as the season goes along.”