by Andrew Smith
March 31, 2014, HONG KONG (ISN) – The BC Elite Youth Sevens program returned from their trip to Hong Kong this past weekend after successfully defending their title at the Standard Chartered Bank International Youth Sevens.
The under-18 men’s provincial program lifted their third straight title in dramatic fashion with a double overtime 12-7 Cup Final victory against local side DP Pirates.
BC won all three pool games in Thursday’s tournament without conceding a single try before going on to lift the Cup. It was the third straight year BC had gone undefeated in Hong Kong.
The day opened with a 49-0 win over Singapore-based DHL Lions where seven BC players crossed over for tries. Up next was a 35-0 win over DEA Tigers followed by a 47-0 victory over the Flying Kukris.
The Cup Final was an exhausting double overtime match that saw Joe Carter (Cloverdale, BC) and Matt Gallagher (South Surrey, BC) each cross over for tries. Gallagher provided a convert to round out the scoring.
“The team came from behind in double overtime,” said BCEY7’s Team Manager Doug Tate. “The tournament chairman said it was the most exciting game he’s seen here in the past three years.”
The trip was the third annual tour to Hong Kong for the BC Elite Youth Sevens, a program implemented to identify, train and develop athletes who can go on to represent their regions, their province and Canada at age grade level and beyond. The trip to Hong Kong saw the players compete in an international tournament, travel around one of the world’s most vibrant cities and then take in the renowned Hong Kong Sevens, an official stop on the International Rugby Board’s Sevens World Series.
“It was a great tour where our players were exposed to a unique culture, world class rugby and an international competition,” said Shane Thompson, Head Coach of the BCEY7’s program. “Everything is magnified at the Hong Kong Sevens and with 40,000 people in the stands it’s an experience that you can’t get anywhere else.”
The players battled jet lag, trained with international touring programs and academies and even got to meet the senior men’s national sevens team.
Hong Kong was the second major event on the 2014 calendar for the BCEY7’s program that recently sent three teams to the Las Vegas High School Sevens. The under-18’s finished as runner-ups to the American junior national team in February, losing by a single try. Up next for the under-18’s and under-17’s is the Victoria International Youth Sevens, scheduled for July 11-12 at the University of Victoria. BC are two-time defending champions and are looking for a rare three-peat against teams from Ontario, Utah, Washington and England.
Standard Chartered Bank International Youth Sevens – Tournament Results:
Game 1: BC 49, DHL LIons 0
BC Tries: Cali Martinez, George Barton, Cole Keffer, Wes Wong, Elias Ergas, Liam Mahon, Joe Carter
Conversions: Aaron Hersant x7
Game 2: BC 35, DEA Tigers 0
BC Tries: Cole Keffer x2, Jason Hignell, Wes Wong, Matt Gallagher
Conversions: Aaron Hersant x5
Game 3: BC 47, Flying Kukris 0
BC Tries: George Barton x2, Joe Carter, Cole Keffer, Tyler Beselt, Cali Martinez, Elias Ergas
Conversions: Aaron Hersant x4, Liam Mahon x2
Cup Final: BC 12, DB Pirates 7 (Double Overtime)
BC Tries: Joe Carter, Matt Gallagher
Conversions: Matt Gallagher
BC Elite Youth Sevens Roster – Hong Kong 2014 Tour
- 1. George Barton (Shawnigan Lake School / Cowichan Rugby Club / Duncan, BC)
- 2. Tyler Beselt (Shawnigan Lake School / Cowican Rugby Club / Shawnigan, BC)
- 3. Joseph Carter (Lord Tweedsmuir / Bayside AA / Cloverdale, BC)
- 4. Elias Ergas (Collingwood School / Capilano RFC / Vancouver, BC)
- 5. Matt Gallagher (Semiahmoo / Bayside AA / South Surrey, BC)
- 6. Ryan Gray (Mulgrave / Capilano RFC / Sydney, Australia)
- 7. Aaron Hersant (Brentwood College / Victoria, BC)
- 8. Jason Hignell (Yale Secondary / Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford, BC)
- 9. Cole Keffer (Sutherland Secondary / Capilano RFC / North Vancouver, BC)
- 10. Liam Mahon (West Van Secondary / Capilano RFC / West Vancouver, BC)
- 11. Cali Martinez (Earl Marriott / Bayside AA / White Rock, BC)
- 12. Wesley Wong (Shawnigan Lake School / Hong Kong)
- Head Coach: Shane Thompson
- Manager: Doug Tate
- Physio: Gareth Adams