Burnaby Lake and Velox Valkyries set for fourth straight Provincial Final clash

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May 6, 2014, WEST VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – For the fourth straight year, Burnaby Lake Rugby Club and the Velox Valkyries will collide in the Women’s Adidas Premiership Gordon Harris Memorial Cup Final.

Women’s Adidas Premiership – GORDON  HARRIS MEMORIAL CUP FINAL

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs Velox Valkyries – Sat. May 10 (12:00pm at Klahanie Park) 

Over the last three seasons, finals between these two sides have been decided by six points or fewer. In 2013, Burnaby lifted a record sixth Gordon Harris Memorial Cup – their fifth in 10 years –  in a tight 17-13 decision at Victoria’s Wallace Field. The result was identical to the 2011 final when Burnaby pipped the top-seeded Valkyries for the trophy. Velox were victors in 2012, edging Burnaby in a narrow 20-14 nail-biter. 

“Last year’s final went down to the wire and hopefully this year will be just as exciting,” said returning Velox head coach Oli Scott.

The Valkyries have again gone undefeated in league play, posting a perfect 8-0 record. After running the table, Velox were pushed to the limit in the semifinals, edging fourth-seeded Capilano 27-26. 

The squad has gelled with a number of new additions and a veteran core that has guided the program to successive provincials appearances. Like most teams this late in the season, the Valkyries will be juggling national team player selections and injuries when fielding a team on Saturday. 

“Injuries and commitments out with rugby mean that we will be without many of our personnel who have been with us throughout the year,” added Scott. “But with the bulk of the team remaining from the second-half comeback against Capilano in the semifinals, it is safe to say that the strength of this team lies in the collective unit, rather than any individuals.” 

The Valkyries were led this season by top scorer Julianne Zussman who tallied 70 points. The squad also had strong showings from Capped players Barb Mervin and Marlene Donaldson, along with veterans Selina McGinnis, Chelsey Minter, and Brittany and Courtney Sims. 

Velox took the regular season tilt between these two sides, coming away with a 24-5 victory on April 12. Burnaby went 6-2 during the season and looked impressive in their semifinal, defeating United 32-15 on May 3rd. 2013 Canadian Direct Insurance Player of the Year Julia Sugawara has carried her form into the 2014 season, leading the league in scoring with 81 points. 

“Burnaby are incredibly good at the breakdown and make it very hard to put a number of fluid passes together,” said Scott. “Likewise, they have a number of players who have perfected the art of stealing the ball. They have a great back line that includes some fairly electric wingers and they will punish you on turnovers.” 

Burnaby were relentless defensively in their semifinal clash a week ago, dispatching United Rugby Club 32-15. The forwards kept the ball inside, denying United’s lethal back line of possession to produce points. When Burnaby did go out wide, new addition and speedster Ciara Malone tallied a pair of tries. 

“My gut tells me our ‘non-titled’ leadership will come from our back row. Their work rate has been phenomenal and their play has been truly inspirational to the rest of the squad,” said Walt Brandl, Burnaby Lake’s head coach. “The challenge in the final is always doing things the same when everyone thinks of ways to do things differently. We will try to keep players (and our staff) calm and focused.” 

Burnaby will be looking to secure their first back-to-back title defence since the 2006-07 season. 

“I think our players have accomplished most of their objectives from a process point of view. We have just one more big hurdle to clear,” added Brandl. 

The Women’s Adidas Premiership Final will kick off a full day of BC Rugby provincial club championships on Saturday. Five finals are slated for Klahanie Park and four more are on tap just across the bridge at Stanley Park’s Brockton Oval. Full event information and schedules are provided below. 

Check back to www.bcrugby.com for team rosters. 

Gordon Harris Memorial Cup Winners

  • 2013 – Burnaby Lake
  • 2012 – Velox Valkyries
  • 2011 – Burnaby Lake
  • 2010 – Capilano RFC
  • 2009 – Burnaby Lake
  • 2008 – Velox Valkyries
  • 2007 – Burnaby Lake
  • 2006 – Burnaby Lake
  • 2005 – Nanaimo RFC
  • 2004 – Capilano RFC
  • 2003 – Burnaby Lake
  • 2002 – Douglas Rugby Club
  • 2001 – Douglas Rugby Club
  • 2000 – Simon Fraser University
  • 1999 – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • 1998 – Britannia Lions
  • 1997 – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • 1996 – Britannia Lions
  • 1995 – Britannia Lions
  • 1994 – University of Victoria
  • 1993 – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • 1992 – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • 1991 – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • 1990 – Not Awarded
  • 1989 – Not Awarded
  • 1988 – Not Awarded
  • 1987 – Simon Fraser University
  • 1986 – Simon Fraser University
  • 1985 – Simon Fraser University
  • 1984 – Simon Fraser University
  • 1983 – Not Awarded
  • 1982 – Jericho Old Girls (Unofficial)

BC RUGBY FINALS AT KLAHANIE PARK

(Klahanie Main Pitch – 305 Klahanie Court, West Vancouver)

*General Admission tickets at Klahanie Park are $15.00

4:00pm – Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League ROUNSEFELL CUP FINAL

James Bay AA vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club 

2:00pm – Premier League First Division – CEILI’S CUP FINAL 

UVic Norsemen vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club 

12:00pm – Women’s Adidas Premiership – GORDON  HARRIS MEMORIAL CUP FINAL

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs Velox Valkyries 

(Klahanie Upper-Field)

1:45pm – Province Wide Third Division Tier A

Kats RFC vs Capilano(A) RFC

12:00pm – Province Wide Third Division Tier B

Abbotsford RFC vs Capilano(B) RFC

BC RUGBY FINALS AT BROCKTON OVAL 

(Brockton Oval Main Pitch – 1151 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver) 

*General Admission tickets at Brockton Oval are $10.00

4:30pm – Okanagan Spring Brewery League One – THE PROVINCE CUP

UBC Thunderbirds vs Seattle RFC

2:45pm – Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two 

UBC vs Seattle RFC

1:10pm – Women’s First Division: KAREN MOORE CUP

Cowichan Rugby Club vs Kamloops Rugby Club 

11:30am – Women’s Second Division: GED GRIFFITH’S CUP

Meraloma Rugby Club vs Nanaimo Hornets 

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