By Brendan Munro
The BC U19 men won the Canadian Rugby Championship in Regina on Sunday thanks to an 11-8 victory over Ontario.
Ontario’s Andrew Coe had a chance to tie the game with a penalty kick at the death, and thereby bump his team to the top of the podium via tie-breaking math, but his attempt was repelled in mid-flight by heavy winds. The nail-biting finish was the third consecutive game for BC that saw the outcome decided in the final minutes. BC had put themselves in position to hoist the CRC hardware following a 15-10 win over the Prairie Wolf Pack on Saturday and a 12-7 win over the Atlantic Rock on Friday.
Following a 56-5 thumping of Voyageurs to open the tournament, the offense frustratingly sputtered for BC. Luckily the team was able rise to the occasion on defence, especially in the final, and take points opportunistically.
“The boys really stepped up their physicality, particularly against Ontario,” said BC Rugby Performance Development Manager Dean Murten. “It was really good to see that type of effort from them.”
BC’s lone try against Ontario came just before half-time, courtesy of centre Phil Berna (Vancouver / UBC Thunderbirds).
Murten also singled out the play of Jason Hignell (Mission / Abbotsford RFC), whom he felt was the player of the tournament.
“All our boys had solid performances this week, but Jason really showed great leadership, both on and off the field, and was a real difference maker for us.”
This marks the third time in the last four years that BC have won the U19 Canadian Rugby Championship, with previous victories coming in 2013 and 2012.
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Fixtures and results
|July 15||6:00 pm||Voyageurs||W 56-5|
|July 17||3:00 pm||Atlantic||W 12-7|
|July 18||2:00 pm||Prairies||W 15-10|
|July 19||10:00 am||Ontario||W 11-8|
The BC U19 men arrived in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Tuesday. The team held a training session at the CRC Grounds, then later were there in support for the BC U20 Women’s game.
The morning included a team meeting, announcing the squad and having a BC shirt presentation, then a captain’s run and some activation.
“We are looking forward to taking the pitch against the Voyageurs tonight,” said Coach Kris de Scossa. “Players have set their goals and objectives and understand that their natural flare added to the process will give us the performance we need. Having come from an ‘out of season’ setting against teams who are ‘in season’ is always a challenge, but one we are ready to face.”
BC faced the Voyageurs in their opening game and looked confident with a 56-5 victory. Game video.
Day 3: Non game day today, Alvin T doing a great job in recovery, Yoga done, treatment done. Performance analysis completed, lads are focused. Squad culture is in full flow, players in good spirits. Ready to train this evening for our game Friday against the Rock.
Day 4: BC plays is second game of the tournament today against the Rock; the first of three games in three days.The Rock have a good squad and have been touted as a favorite in this years CRC, with their over aged players making a difference.
“They had a good outing against Ontario, holding them for large parts of the game, so we know the challenge ahead of us,” said coach de Scossa.
“Dr. Pat Parfrey is famous for his pre game ‘encouragement’ and I am sure will have his team pumped right up.” The team finished a 40 min activation rehearsal session today, working on some of our exit strategies and open play defence and attack process. The men are focused and have our performance goals locked and loaded. Kick off is at 3pm (BC / Pacific Time) so we are are going to fuel for the game and relax.Jason Hignell our Captain spoke today to the squad about the messages of support we are getting from you all in BC. Thank you from all of us your messages are seen, noted and appreciated, keep them coming 🙂 “GO BC GO”
BC held off a late push from the Rock and came away with a scrappy 12-7 victory. Game video
Day 5: Prairie Wolf Pack did a good job of bottling up BC’s attack, but they found the try line in the second to come from behind with a 15-10 victory. Game video. With the win, the stage is set for a gold medal encounter with Ontario.
Day 6: It was another close, defensive slog, but the BC U19 men emerged as the victors, winning the Canadian Rugby Championship today with an 11-8 victory over Ontario. Phil Berna scored the game winning try just before half time and BC (with a wind assist) were able to repulse a late charge from Ontario to close out the game and capture the title. Full game video replay here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/68093196
|Curtis Delmonico – UBC Old Boy Ravens – Vancouver|
|Foster Dewitt – UBC – Courtenay|
|Tanner Holland – Velox – Victoria|
|Charlie Macdonald – UBC – North Vancouver|
|Jack McWilliam – UBC – Vancouver|
|Connor Sampson – UBC – Vancouver|
|James Carson – UBC – Victoria|
|Trevor Helgason – Queens – Vancouver|
|Nolan Howell – UBC – Richmond|
|Nick Allen – UBC – North Vancouver|
|Luke Bradley – UVic – Port Alberni|
|Jason Hignell – Abbotsford RFC – Mission|
|Nakai Penny – UBC – Penticton|
|Hans Stander – United RFC – Coquitlam|
|Cole Keffer – UBC – North Vancouver|
|Andrew O’Connor – Bayside – Surrey|
|Gavin Rowell – UVic – Langley|
|Nick Belyea – Velox – Victoria|
|Nick Collett – UBC – Surrey|
|Phil Berna – UBC – Vancouver|
|Gino Paolella – Grammar Tec (NZ) – Langley|
|Wes Wong – UBC – Vancouver|
|Cathal Long – Uvic – Victoria|
|Jack Nyren – Uvic – Victoria|
|Tyler Beselt – Western University – Shawnigan Lake|
|Sean Hase – UBC Old Boy Ravens – Vancouver|
U19 Team Staff
|Head Coach||Kris de Scossa|
|Assistant Coach||Curry Hitchborn|
|Athletic Therapist||Alvin Tseng|