November 25, 2012, VANCOUVER – North Shore rugby club Capilano RFC successfully defended their U17 men’s provincial title on Sunday afternoon, cruising to a 58-10 win over Vancouver Island champions Oak Bay Castaway Wanderers.
Since dropping their season opener to Bayside back in early September, Capilano went a perfect 7-0 including today’s championship result.
“We started out the season with some great athletes and over the last few months you could see their progression as rugby players,” said U17 Capilano head coach Curry Hitchborn. “We had a good mix of provincial reps and players with less experience and they came together and constantly challenged themselves. The season was about all of our players getting onto the pitch and figuring things out for themselves to better understand the game.”
Sunday’s performance was an impressive display as Capilano scored through both their backs and forwards and set the tempo for the full 60 minutes.
Capilano centre Jake Knapton opened the scoring in the first minute of play, sprinting down the far touch line to put his side up 5-0. The Caps were relentless on both sides of the ball and in the eighth minute, their pressure led to a miscue and dropped ball deep in CW’s try zone. Capilano Co-Captain Cole Keffer – who also Captained BC’s U16 provincial team to a 2012 national championship in August – pounced on the loose ball and put his side up 10-0. Angus Carroll made no mistake on the convert for the 12-0 lead.
Capilaon’s next try came off a quick tap penalty as they spun it wide through each set of the backs’ hands to eventually see winger Jonathan Manderson go over to score.
The next two tries were tallied by no.8 and Co-captain Nick Allen. The first started off a lineout where the ball was thrown football style over the forwards and straight into the hands of Capilano’s back line. The Caps worked their way across the field before swinging it back to Allen who found space and went over for the score. His second would see him break several tacklers to dot down underneath the posts just before the half. With a convert and penalty from Carroll, Capilano had the 34-0 advantage at the break.
“They were definitely mentally prepared heading into the game,” added Hitchborn. “What we saw today was a direct result of the work and progress they have made over the season.”
The second half opened with Manderson bolting down the touch line for a 39-0 lead, before a pair of bruising try-scoring runs by Capilano hooker Anthony Oswald had the home side leading 53-0. To the Castaway Wanderers’ credit, they kept fighting and were rewarded with two late tries from Captain Tyler McDiarmid and Aidan Harrison.
No. 8 Allen would go over once more for Capilano’s ninth and final try before the final whistle went.
“I thought we moved the ball well, ran some hard lines and managed to keep possession,” Keffer said after the win. “CW fought hard but we really played well and to our strengths. It’s amazing to see how far this team has come.”