BC U18 men edged by All Americans in Vegas High School International Elite Cup Final

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by Andrew Smith

January 26, 2014, LAS VEGAS, NV (ISN) – British Columbia’s Elite Youth Sevens Under-18 men’s provincial team came up a try short in the Cup Final of the Las Vegas High School International Elite Sevens on Saturday afternoon, falling 19-14 to national side USA High School All Americans at Sam Boyd Stadium.

After going a perfect 4-0 in the pool round and defeating NorCal All Stars 24-12 in the semifinals, BC-Gold found themselves squaring off for the third straight year against the USA All Americans in the title match. Saturday’s showing was an improvement on their previous 17-5 Cup final loss, but their slow start proved costly and saw them fighting back from 12-0 down early on.  

It wasn’t until well into the first half that BC-Gold were able to find their footing with prop Phil Berna (Vancouver) sprinting down the wing and dotting down near the posts for a try. Theo Sauder (Vancouver) kicked the convert to make it 12-7. The All Americans would run in another score and hit a difficult conversion for a 19-7 lead shortly after. 

Late into the match, North Vancouver’s Cole Keffer found space and sprinted half the field for a try and with Sauder hitting the long conversion, BC were trailing 19-14. BC were unable to generate more scoring runs, however, and ultimately came up short in the Elite final for the second straight year to their North American rivals. BC has not lifted the High School Elite title since defeating the All Americans 35-14 in the 2012 Cup Final. 

“We didn’t do enough of the little things right that we had talked about and when you play against a really strong side like the All Americans, those things will cost you,” said BC head coach Shane Thompson. “Some of our players were overwhelmed by the environment and it took us a little while to get going. But ultimately, this program is about getting kids ready to play in front of international size crowds and giving them that experience before they move on to senior rugby.” 

BC’s seconds side (BC-Blue) went 1-2 on their final day of Elite division play and finished as runner-ups in the Plate consolation final. The BC reps defeated Toronto Rugby 24-12 to finish the pool round with a 2-2 record, but a three-way tie and point differential tie-breaker saw them relegated to the Plate semifinals while NorCal took their pool’s second seed. 

BC-Blue then dropped a 35-12 loss to High School All Americans-2 in the Plate semifinals before falling 31-26 to Washington Loggers in the Plate consolation. 

BC’s junior side (BC-Red) made it to the semifinals of the High School Open competition in Vegas on Friday afternoon, but were eliminated from the playoffs after a 17-12 overtime loss to eventual division champs Utah. 

“Competing in Vegas continues to be an outstanding experience for our program and it was great to have 36 players down here and playing sevens,” Thompson added. “Our coaches, volunteers, funders and supporters do a lot to make these trips happen and it’s great to have them help make this tour a success.” 

BCEY7s High School Elite Results:

BC-Gold 

  • BC-Gold 24 – 12 Ontario Jr Blues
  • BC-Gold 22 – 5 Upright Rugby Rogues
  • BC-Gold 22 – 21 High School All Americans-2
  • BC-Gold 45 – 7  Washington Loggers
  • CUP SEMIFINALS: BC-Gold 24 – 12 NorCal All Stars 
  • CUP FINAL: BC-Gold 14 – 19 USA All Americans-1

BC Stats

BC-Gold 24 – 12 Ontario Jr Blues

Tries: George Barton x2, Theo Sauder, Phil Berna

Conversions: Ben Scher, Theo Sauder

BC-Gold 22 – 5 Upright Rugby Rogues

Tries: Phil Berna x2, George Barton, Theo Sauder

Conversions: Theo Sauder

BC-Gold 22 – 21 High School All Americans-2

Tries: Theo Sauder x2, Cathal Long x2

Conversions: Ben Scher 

BC-Gold 45 – 7  Washington Loggers             

Tries: Phil Berna x2, Theo Sauder, Ben Scher, George Barton, Cathal Long, Trevor Caton

Conversions: Ben Scher x5

CUP SEMIFINALS: BC-Gold 24 – 12 NorCal All Stars 

Tries: Cole Keffer x2, Theo Sauder, Phil Berna 

Conversions: Theo Sauder x2

CUP FINAL: BC-Gold 14 – 19 USA All Americans-1

Tries: Phil Berna, Cole Keffer

Conversions: Theo Sauder

BC Blue

  • BC-Blue 12 – 24 Atlantis
  • BC-Blue 20 – 12 NorCal All Stars 
  • BC-Blue 0 – 43 High School All Americans-1
  • BC-Blue 20 – 12 NorCal All Stars
  • BC-Blue 24 -12 Toronto Rugby
  • PLATE SEMIFINALS: BC-Blue 12 – 35 USA All Americans-2 
  • PLATE CONSOLATION: BC-Blue 26 – 31 Washington Loggers (Overtime)

BC-Blue 12 – 24 Atlantis

Tries: Wes Wong, Cali Martinez

Conversions: Jack Nyren

BC-Blue 0 – 43 High School All Americans-1

BC-Blue 20 – 12 NorCal All Stars

Tries: Wes Wong, Fraser Hurst, Jack Nyren, Nick Collette

BC-Blue 24 -12 Toronto Rugby

Tries: Marshall Fremlin, Jack Nyren, Nick van der Goes, TBC 

Conversions: Jack Nyren x2

PLATE SEMIFINALS: BC-Blue 12 – 35 USA All Americans-2 

Tries: Jack Nyren, Wes Wong

Conversions: Jack Nyren

PLATE CONSOLATION: BC-Blue 26 – 31 Washington Loggers 

Tries: Wes Wong, Nick Collett, Fraser Hurst, Cali Martinez

Conversions: Jack Nyren x2, Fraser Hurst 

BCEY7s Roster – U18s  (Born in 1996)

  • Philip Berna (St. George’s School / UBCOB Ravens / Vancouver, BC)
  • Tyler Beselt (Shawnigan Lake School / Cowican Rugby Club / Shawnigan, BC)
  • Joseph Carter (Lord Tweedsmuir / Bayside AA / Cloverdale, BC)
  • Trevor Caton (GP Vanier / Courtenay, BC)
  • *Nick Collett (Southridge / Bayside AA / Surrey, BC)
  • *Nico Docolas (Elgin Park Secondary / Bayside AA / South Surrey, BC)
  • Marshall Fremlin (Shawnigan Lake School / 100 Mile House, BC)
  • Matt Gallagher (Semiahmoo / Bayside AA / South Surrey, BC)
  • *Michael Henderson (Shawnigan Lake School / Cowichan Rugby Club / Duncan, BC)
  • *Jason Hignell (Yale Secondary / Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford, BC)
  • Noah Jensen (Robert Bateman / Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford, BC)
  • *Cole Keffer  (Sutherland Secondary / Capilano RFC / North Vancouver, BC)
  • *Marc Levin (St. George’s School / Vancouver Rowing Club / Vancouver, BC)
  • Cathal Long (St. George’s School / Trinidad)
  • *Cali Martinez (Earl Marriott / Bayside AA / White Rock, BC)
  • *Jack Nyren (Oak Bay / Castaway Wanderers RFC / Victoria, BC)
  • Andrew O’Connor (Elgin Park Secondary / Bayside AA / Surrey, BC)
  • Gino Paoleloa (DW Poppy High School / Bayside AA / Langley, BC)
  • Gavin Rowell (Robert Bateman / Bayside AA / Langley, BC)
  • *Theo Sauder (St. George’s School / Vancouver Rowing Club / Vancouver, BC)
  • Nick Van der Goes (DW Poppy High School / Bayside AA / Langley, BC)
  • Wesley Wong (Shawnigan Lake School / Hong Kong)

*Competed at 2013 Vegas Invitational

BCEY7s Roster – U17s (Born in 1997)

  • Noah Bain (Yale Secondary / Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford, BC)
  • *George Barton (Shawnigan Lake School / Cowichan Rugby Club / Duncan, BC)
  • Niko Blomberg (West Van Secondary / Capilano RFC / Bowen Island, BC)
  • Jayden Bloom (St. George’s School / Vancouver, BC)
  • Callum Botchar (Magee Secondary / UBCOB Ravens / Ottawa, ON)
  • Elias Ergas (Collingwood School / Capilano RFC / Vancouver, BC)
  • Nick Gamracy (South Kamloops Secondary / Kamloops Rugby Club / Kamloops, BC)
  • Ryan Gray (Mulgrave / Capilano RFC / Sydney, Australia)
  • Aaron Hersant (Brentwood College / Victoria, BC)
  • Keenan Houde (Earl Marriott / Bayside AA / White Rock)
  • Fraser Hurst (St. George’s School / Vancouver Rowing Club / Vancouver, BC)
  • Liam Mahon (West Van Secondary / Capilano RFC / West Vancouver, BC)
  • *Ben Scher (St. George’s School / Vancouver Rowing Club / Vancouver, BC)
  • Miller Thind (Ridge Meadows Bruins / Pitt Meadows, BC)

Team Staff

  • Head Coach – Shane Thompson
  • Coach – Winston Stanley
  • Coach – Mike Jamieson
  • Coach / Manager – Roger Robinson
  • Manager / Communications – Andrew Smith
  • Physio / Therapist – Chris May

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