British Columbia defeats Ontario in Victoria Sevens U18 Cup Final thriller

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Andrew Smith

July 14, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – British Columbia’s Elite Youth Sevens program capped off the 2012-13 season with their second major trophy on Saturday evening when they edged Ontario 22-17 in an all-Canadian Victoria International Youth Sevens Cup Final.

BC Gold went undefeated in the tournament, surviving a day two scare when they had to defeat fellow provincial reps BC Blue in overtime with a pulsating 31-26 win to advance to their third straight Cup Final appearance. The championship was a repeat of the 2012 Cup Final, but Ontario played the hosts much closer this year and were level 17-17 in the final minute of play. Vancouver rep Marshall Fuller, a three year veteran of the BCEY7s program scored the Cup-clinching try in the dying seconds to see BC defend their U18 title.

“We threw everything we had at them and knew that we had to just keep hustling and the break would come,” said BC Gold Captain and graduating player Harjun Gill of Richmond, BC. “It’s a bittersweet moment as it’s so great to end on a high note. [BCEY7’s] has been more than just a rugby program – this has been a place where we’ve made some great friends and were able to relish the opportunity of pulling on the BC provincial jersey in some great tournaments.”

Gill’s side found themselves on the back foot early on in the Cup Final, trailing 5-0 after Ontario’s Emil Borggren took a pop up pass to touch down for the opening score in the fourth minute. BC clawed their way back with two quick scores as Spencer Miller (Abbotsford) and Karsten Leitner (Vancouver) each produced half field runs to put the hosts up 10-5 at the break.

The second half opened with tournament All Star Theo Sauder (Vancouver) breaking several tackles to dot down under the posts. Gill’s conversion put BC up 17-5.

Ontario were extremely physical and showed their pace with a pair of tallies from Tyler Hergott and a conversion had them level at 17-17. Ontario’s kicker missed the go-ahead conversion to make it 19-17, but BC then scored off the ensuing kick off.

A series of phases saw Chris Myles (Shawnigan) run 30 metres and draw a pair of tacklers and his off load eventually put Fuller over in the corner to secure the win.

“That’s classic sevens and we told our players that they would have to face adversity in this game. The bigger picture is that it gives these guys experience,” said Ontario head coach Dan Kunanec. “It’s heartbreaking to lose that game, but this experience will pay dividends down the road and it’s something they can learn from as they look towards the future and pulling that red jersey on.”

Ontario were also undefeated in pool play and went into the final on the back of a 36-0 dismantling of Utah in the semifinals. The program had a successful year after advancing to the semfinals in Las Vegas and won the New York Youth Sevens in November.

“For us, this tournament (Victoria) is what we work all year towards,” added Kunanec. “Our goal is to develop these players and nothing else exists that we have access to in terms of the quality of competition here. For us to be able to come together after just four sessions and compete with a squad like BC shows that our potential is endless. I’m very proud of these guys.”

Third place went to BC Blue after they defeated Utah 26-14. The Plate went to UK touring side Sherborne who defeated Southern Cal 17-7. BC White downed Sherborne-2 36-7 in the 7/8th playoff. The 9/10th playoff saw Southern Cal-1 fall to Washington 37-0.

The tournament also featured a U16 men’s division where Fraser Valley East were crowned champs and the U14 boy’s title went to Victoria’s South Island reps. Full results provided below for all divisions.

U18 Men’s Division

Tournament All Stars:

BC Gold: Harjun Gill ©, Theo Sauder, Ollie Nott

Ontario: Brandon McLeod, Andrew Coe, Lucas Rumball

BC Blue: Spencer Loughlin, Bubba Kucher

Utah: Tyler Johannson, Connor Perry

BC White: Cameron Hall

Washington: Wilson Vasukilakeba

Southern California: Christian Rodriguez

Playoff Results:

Plate Semifinal: BC White 17 – 38 Southern Cal-2

Plate Semifinal: Sherborne-1 37 – 7 Sherborne-2

Cup Semifinal: BC Gold 31 – 26 BC Blue

Cup Semifinal: Ontario 36 – 0 Utah

9/10 Playoff: Southern Cal-1 0-37 Washington

7/8 Playoff: BC White 36 – 7 Sherborne-2

Plate Final: Sherborne 17 – 7 SoCal-1

3/4 Playoff: BC Blue 26 – 14 Utah

Cup Final: BC Gold 22 – 17

Pool Round Results:

Pool A:

BC Gold (4-0)

Utah Cannibals (3-1)

BC White (2-2)

Sherborne-2 (1-3)

Southern California-1 (0-4)

Southern Cal-1 5 – 26 Sherborne-2

BC White 7 – 25 BC Gold

BC Gold 66 – 0 Southern Cal-1

Sherborne-2 5 – 24 Utah

BC-Gold 26 – 19 Utah

Southern Cal-1 0 – 54 BC White

Utah 36 – 17 BC White

BC Gold 47 – 0 Sherborne-2

Sherborne-2 10 – 24 BC White

Utah 29 – 7 Southern Cal-1

Pool B:

Ontario (4-0)

BC Blue (3-1)

Sherborne-1 (2-2)

Southern California-2 (1-3)

Washington (0-4)

Southern Cal-2 14 – 43 Sherborne-1

BC Blue 5 – 28 Ontario

Ontario 31 – 5 Southern Cal-2

Sherborne-1 54 – 0 Washington

Ontario 59 – 5 Washington

Southern Cal-2 5 – 33 BC Blue

Ontario 26 – 12 Sherborne-1

Washington 7 – 24 BC Blue

Sherborne-1 19 – 24 BC Blue

Washington 12 – 19 Southern Cal-2

U16 Boy’s Results

Playoff Rounds – July 13, 2013

Cup Round

(2-0) Valley East

(1-1) North Van-1

(0-2) Mt Tolmie Barbarians

Cup Round: Valley East 36 – 7 Mt Tolmie Barbarians

Cup Round: North Van-1 26 – 19 Mt Tolmie Barbarians

Cup Round: Valley East 17 – 7 North Van-1

Plate Round:

(2-0) South Island

(1-1) North Van

(0-2) North Island

Plate Round: South Island 35 – 21 North Island

Plate Round: North Van-2 29 – 14 North Island

Plate Round: South Island 17 – 10 North Van-2

Bowl Round:

(1-0-1) Van East

(1-1) Delta

(0-1-1) Valley West

Bowl Round: Valley West 14 – 17 Delta

Bowl Round: Van East 34 – 12 Delta

Bowl Round: Valley West 12 – 12 Van East

U14 Boy’s Results

Day 2 Results – July 13, 2013

Cup Standings:

(2-0) South Island

(1-1) Valley East-1

(0-2) North Island

Cup Round: South Island 55-0 North Island

Cup Round: Valley East-1 41 – 5 North Island

Cup Round: South Island 24 – 19 Valley East-1

Plate Standings:

(1-1) Delta

(1-1) Valley West-1

(1-1) Valley East-2

Plate Round: Valley East-2 0-29 Valley West-1

Plate Round: Delta 31 – 10 Valley West-1

Plate Round: Valley East-2 24 – 15 Delta

Bowl Standings:

(2-0) North Van

(1-1) Valley West-2

(0-2) Vancouver

Bowl Round: Valley West-2 43-0 Vancouver

Bowl Round: North Van 47-0 Vancouver

Bowl Round: Valley West-2 7 – 24 North Van