Story by Jai Rakic, Photos by Erich Eichhorn – ISN
Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Canadian Maple Leafs took the honours in the Senior Men’s category at Victoria’s 2nd Annual International Rugby 7s Tournament.
UVic’s Centennial Stadium was the venue for the two-day International Rugby 7s tournament, that saw athletes of all ages and from all over the world compete in seven a side rugby play.
The tournament kicked off on Friday with U14 and U18 teams taking to the field for finals qualifiers. With eight teams competing in each division, the teams were split into two pools, with the top two teams from each pool advancing on to play for the cup while the other four teams duked it out for the Plate. Both the Plate and Cup finals were played on the Saturday, alongside the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Miles Craigael of the Old Puget Sound Beach would need two Crimson Tide players in Josh Clark and Garrett Conolly to take him down during Senior Men’s action Saturday. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
In U18 finals action BC Blue went up against Utah for the Plate. Utah managed to sneak away with the game after Al Gisteldo scored a try in the last play of the game to give Utah the win 21-15.
In the U18 Cup final BC Gold faced off with a strong Ontario side. Ontario started the game best and had the lead after only a minute of play when Chris Woodhad forced his way over the line for a try. BC Gold came back strong and managed two tries before the break. BC Gold lead 12-10 at half time. After the break BC Gold completely took control of the game, scoring four consecutive tries to become the U18 Cup Champions. The final score was BC Gold 38, Ontario 10.
BC Gold player #1 Hayden Evans braces for an Ontario hit while looking upfield for a try. BC would dominate 38-10. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca)
In men’s finals action the Cayman Islands went up against South Seas in the Bowl final. Cayman came out on top after Jed Clarke scored a hat trick of tries in the first half, and Michael Wilson scored two late tries to seal the win. At full-time the score was Cayman 33, South Seas 24.
The men’s Plate final saw OPSB go up against Atlantis. OPSB took the lead early in the game, scoring the only two tries of the first half. Both conversion attempts were unsuccessful. OPSB lead 10-0 at the half. After a strong first half OPSB took their foot off the pedal, allowing Atlantis to sneak in and score two tries giving them the lead 12-10 with less than a minute remaining. Fortunately for OPSB they were able to cross the line in the dying moments of the game, winning 15-10.
Senior Men’s Atlantis’ player ( in teal ) Shawn Davies gives Caymen Island player Venassio Tokatokavanua something to consider as the his straight arm keeps him off tackle- Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The last match of the weekend was between BC and the Canadian Maple Leafs, who went head to head in the men’s Cup final. Both teams played well all day, each only having lost one out of their four games. But it was the young legs of the Canadian Maple Leaf side, that had six players aged only 19, running away with the victory after scoring 43 consecutive points. BC scored a consolation try late in the game; the final score was the Maple Leafs 43 BC 7.
A Team BC player would get a grip on things holding off Mapleleaf defender in Senior Men’s finals action Saturday – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With Sevens rugby debuting at the 2016 Summer Olympics, an international event of this magnitude is a great venue for up and coming players to make a name for themselves, which several did.