Story by Jai Rakic, Photos by Erich Eichhorn – ISN

Langford, BC (ISN) – A gorgeous, warm and sunny day was the setting at Rugby Canada’s training post in Langford BC on Sunday, that saw the BC Senior Men’s select team defeat Britain’s Durham University 30-28 in a trial match.

For the first twenty minutes of the match the BC side dictated possession, rarely letting Durham out of their own half. This early domination saw BC set out to an early lead as they scored two early tries that both went unconverted. Twenty minutes in BC lead Durham 10-0.

After a slow start Durham managed to find their rhythm. Moving the ball effectively they managed to break the BC line on numerous occasions and crossed for three unanswered tries before the break. All three tries were converted by the Durham kicker. The score at the break was 28-10 in favour of the Brits.

#10 Bowman provided some punishing runs in the match as it would take multiple defenders to bring him down – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

 If BC were to have any chance of getting back in the game they would need to be the first to score in the second half, and that’s exactly what they did. BC scored two tries early in the second putting them back in front 22-21, and then again in the 73rd minute increasing their lead to 6 points.

Durham looked to be out of the game as they struggled to keep possession in the opposition half, but a few minutes before the end they took the lead once more, after a nicely placed grubber kick found a Durham player in goal who put the ball down for Durham’s fourth try of the game.

Clayton Meeres would not go down easily, keeping on his feet until Durham reinforcements came – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

 Durham was now leading BC 28-27 with only a couple of minutes left of play remaining. BC received a penalty late in the game and opted to shoot for goal. BC’s kicker lined up his shot and executed, snatching three late points and the win for his side. BC won 30-28 in a match that went down to the wire.

This game against Durham University was the first of a few trial games for the BC Senior Men’s team as they prepare to start the Canadian Rugby Championships in August. Throughout all of July, BC’s coaches and managers will be having open trials to scout for prospective BC players.

Former captain of Canada, Pat Riordan, who is helping with the BC selection process, had this to say about the open trials, “It’s a good way to see new players, and a good way to see how players function in an open format. You can always go about selecting players you would usually see, but this way we can uncover the diamonds in the rough.”

Team BC’s Bowman explodes past Durham defender for a missed tackle – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

 Riordan emphasized how one of the main ideas of these open trials for the BC team is that it allows the players to show coaches and managers their ambition. These open trials allow players to display that they want to represent something, whether it be their club, province, or country.

This match against Durham University in Langford was mainly for players from Vancouver Island to come and showcase their talents. BC will face-off against Durham University again next week, and the rematch will allow players from Vancouver and the surrounding areas to display their talents to try and earn a spot on the BC team.


A pair of Durham University players double tackle a BC team member, preventing him through the front line – Erich Eichhorn image ( )