Vancouver, BC (ISN) – The Under-17 Canadian men’s national team produced an impressive eight-try performance to defeat the Lower Mainland Selects 48-12 on Saturday, posting their second straight win over a BC representative side. The Canadian U17s had previously defeated the Vancouver Island Selects by a score of 33-10 on Thursday evening in Langford.
Saturday’s match in Vancouver wrapped up a week-long trial for the national program, as the coaches will now have to make their selections for the 26-man roster headed to England for the annual Wellington Festival.
“All of the players have grown in the past week and have learned so much about the game, which is the most important thing,” said Canadian U17 head coach Jim Delaney after Saturday’s win. “We now have some tough choices to make ahead of the tour. I think we will have a strong group right through from 1-26 and to be honest, I think we could take a second team that would fair well and compete in England.”
Canada U17s 48, Lower Mainland Selects 12
The Lower Mainland Selects were the first to put points on the board on Saturday, as speedster Ryan Lan (Capilano RFC) cut through the defence in the opening minutes to put his side up 5-0.
The Canadian squad responded with four tries and a conversion of their own. Recording a brace for the Canada U17s was Shane Dagg (Bayside RFC, BC) with single tallies also recorded by Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians, Ont) and Brandon Ho (Rick Hanson, BC). The conversion was notched by Ontario and Balmy Beach RFC standout Michael Douros.
Lower Mainland Captain Karsten Leitner (UBCOB Ravens) scored just before the half, with the conversion kicked by Nick Collett (Bayside RFC).
The second half was all one way traffic as the Canada U17s showed their depth and subbed on a number of impact players to record four unanswered tries. PJ Collins (Oakville Crusaders, Ont), Connor Plumpton (Kingston Panther, Ont), Spencer Miller (Abbotsford RFC, BC) and Randy Barton (Cowichan Rugby Club, BC) all dotted down and three conversions were notched by Giusseppe Du Toit (Cowichan Rugby Club, BC).
“[Canada] were quick off their line and they were stronger at the breakdown. They were certainly the better team today,” said Dave Brown, BC Provincial Coach and Development Manager, serving as head coach for the Lower Mainland Selects on Saturday.
“From a BC perspective, it was great to see over 40 kids on both teams that have come through our provincial programs,” added Brown. “These games are a great opportunity to see some of our BC players competing for Canada and at the same time we are able to have more players competing at this level and experiencing representative rugby.”