The head coach of the Okanagan Sun called it an old-fashioned butt-kicking.
But Ben Macualey also said his team, including the coaching staff and players, can learn a lot from a 58-2 loss at the hands of the Saskatoon Hilltops on Saturday at the Apple Bowl.
“We didn’t prepare the way we should have,” said Macauley. “Myself as a coach and the rest of our staff, we let some other things become more important than our preparation and it showed. We weren’t ready to go and you can’t get away with that stuff against a very good team.”
The meeting between the Sun and Hilltops was a much-hyped affair as the Saskatchewan club travelled to BC for a rare interlocking game. Heading into the weekend match-up much was made of a Sun player signing and also took part in a scholarship breakfast.
Macauley said it was a culmination of things that affected the way the team played. On Monday at practice the team was back at it and talked about the game.
“We talked about now we are going to see what kind of character we have,” he said. “It’s really easy to jump on a winning train. Everyone wants to be part of that. But who’s really willing to get through some adversity and work through the lows to get back to the highs again.”
The Hilltops put up 433 yards of total offence in the game and held the Sun to 193 yards, 135 of which was gained in the second half, with the game out of reach.
Macauley says players were emotional after the loss and he praised the crowd at the Apple Bowl for sticking it out to the end, despite the lopsided score.
“The crowd was great,” he said. “They were there to the end and we owe a big thanks to the home crowd. They stuck it out and they never got down with us. We’re in a really good community for support. Of course they want us to come away with a win, but the players got support from them. It was just too bad we didn’t play better.”