BC U23 57, St. Andrew’sUniversity 25

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s Under-23 men’s provincial team defeated Scottish touring side St. Andrew’s University 57-25 on Wednesday evening at Brockton Oval.

The BC provincial selects were in top form running in nine tries and kicking six conversions as they took the first of their two-match summer series in convincing fashion. The BC U23s will reassemble for a July 6th clash with English touring side Durham University in Vancouver.

Fresh of a 118-0 drubbing at the hands of Canada’s Under-20 national team last weekend, St. Andrew’s were out to prove themselves in their final tour match of British Columbia. The Scots came out firing and after BC conceded seven penalties in the opening ten minutes, St. Andrew’s kicker Scott Lang made them pay by converting twice for the early 6-0 lead.

The BC U23s responded with three quick tries from scrum half Lucas De Beer (Abbotsford RFC), James Kelly (Surrey Beavers) and winger Jamie Beaton (Surrey Beavers). Fly half Harry Jones added a conversion to make it 17-6.

St. Andrew’s recorded their final points of the half when winger Sean Murchie barrelled over for a try to make it 17-11.

BC kept their foot on the gas, however, and fly half Harry Jones (Capilano RFC) sparked a 14-point run, breaking through for a converted try and then adding the extras to Doug Fraser’s (UVic Vikes) try to make it 31-11 at the half.

Fraser opened the second half in similar fashion, crossing over for a try to make it 36-11 for BC. Speedster Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds) was next to score in a highlight-reel worthy try as he cleared from his own try line, chased down the kick and then sprinted three quarters of the field to dot down. Jones adding the conversion to make it 43-11.

St. Andrew’s found their footing to score two more tries through Nick Winton and Chris Wardle, but 43-25 was as close as they came. BC would finish off the match with two more tries from substitutes Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) and Keaton Styles (UVic Vikes) with Bryan Tyrer (Meraloma Rugby Club) adding two more conversions to make it 57-25 final.

Post game reaction

For many of the BC representatives, this was their first time being assembled as a provincial group since graduating from the under-18 program in recent years.

“It was the first time we had been back together for a while and it was great to play with guys that we went through the U16 and U18 teams with,” said BC try scorer Sean Ferguson. “We weren’t sure what to expect from our opponents heading into the match and we gave away a lot of penalties before we hit our stride and really started gelling together.”

For St. Andrew’s player and team manager James May, the match was a strong finish to a memorable tour of British Columbia.

“We are delighted with the effort we put forward especially since we were able to respond to the tough loss against Canada’s U20 team over the weekend,” May said. “We’ve had a great time on tour and have enjoyed our experiences both on and off the field here. The hospitality has been amazing and we have been impressed by the rugby we came up against.”