Story By Jai Rakic – ISN
With Files From BC Rugby and Photos by Erich Eichhorn – ISN
Victoria (ISN) – The Northern California Youth Rugby Association wrapped up their 2012 tour of BC with a pair of wins on Thursday evening at UVic’s Wallace Field. The NorCal Varsity squad downed the TrueBlue BC U17 roster of Island Selects 46-39 and the NorCal Junior Varsity posted their second straight win, defeating the TrueBlue BC U15 team 57-12.
After beating the NorCal side 36-34, in their opening match at Vancouver, the BC U17 squad was looking to close out the series, before travelling to San Francisco for game three on July 27th. The BC U15 side suffered a heavy loss (91-5) in their opening match, and enlisted a few 16-year-old players to try and compete with the strong U16 Norcal side they were up against.
The BC U15 vs NCYRA U16 game was the first of the day. BC started the game strong and took the lead when Oak Bay’s Tyler McDiarmid crossed the line for a try in the 10th minute. Unfortunately their lead didn’t last long as they were over powered and outrun by the large NorCal team, who managed ten tries in the game. The final score was 57-12 in favour of the travelling NCYRA team.
BC led 5-0 early on but were unable to handle the physicality of a larger NorCal Junior Varsity side according to BC head coach Ian Hyde-Lay. BC’s tries were recorded by McDiarmid (Castaway Wanderers) and Zack Kahn (Castaway Wanderers) with a conversion by Jack Nyren (Castaway Wanderers).
“NorCal was a very impressive team. Even allowing for their significant size and power advantage, they showcased some excellent support and off-loading skills as well as elusive running,” Hyde-Lay said. “I’m very proud of our BC boys as they more than made a game of things for 40 plus minutes before the size and speed difference told its tale,” Said BC coach Doug Tate.
The BC U17 side played next and were looking to close out the series before the third game In San Francisco next week.
“It was a great game with some huge tackles and great individual tries” said BC U17 coach Doug Tate. “The NorCal team pushed the pace with some athletic players who were hard runners and were talented at offloading in the tackle.”
The Norcal side started strong, with some heavy hits and great passing, going into the break with a seven-point lead (22-15).
After the break the BC team really hit their stride and scored three consecutive tries against their opposition to take the lead. It looked as if BC were going to win the game until NCYRA scored a couple of late tries. NorCal won the game 46-39.
By the final whistle BC and Canada U17 standout Guiseppe du Toit (Cowichan Rugby Club) had contributed a try, three converts and a penalty. BC tries were also recorded by Chris Miles (Velox), Spencer Soltan (Capilano), Kyle Bodnarchuk (Velox), Oliver Nott (Shawnigan Lake) and Jonathan Norris (Cowichan).
“We made a few mistakes that were costly on defence but took the lead with 10 minutes to go and it looked like NorCal were in trouble,” added Tate. “But a breakaway and 80 metre run broke the game open and NorCal scored again at the end to put it away. BC played well and scored some excellent tries from good buildups. We really had to put bodies on the line as NorCal had some talented runners.”