BC Rugby Union Finals Crown Provincial Champions

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Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

April 30th, 2016    Victoria, BC ( ISN ) – The BC Rugby Union held it’s 2016 Provincial Championships Saturday in both Vancouver’s Klahanie Park, and Victoria’s MacDonald Park as thirteen teams went head to head, vying for their respective championship titles.

Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Club finals featured five teams all looking to defend their 2015 titles.  Victoria would play host to three championship matches, all showcasing local sides looking for a championship result.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

Men’s Division 3A – Kelowna vs Westshore

In opening game action, Jeff Lohse, of the defending 2015 champion Kelowna Crows, would run for two trys in the first half and a third in the second frame, to power the visiting side to a 40-22 win over Westshore RFC to claim their second crown in as many years.

 

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The undefeated regular season Crows, not willing to grind it out with the notably larger Westshore side, relied on their fleet-footedness to jump out to a 14-0 lead on trys by Ricky Schouten and Jeff Lohse before Westshore’s Tanner Holland provided his team’s first mark in the opening half, stepping in front of an errant Crow’s pass at mid-field and running in for the score to the left side of the sticks to pull within a try. A successful penalty kick by Westshore would pull them to within four points before Kelowna’s Lohse would punish the Westshore defense scampering in with his second try of the half, taking his team into halftime up 19-10.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

An early second half try by Kelowna’s Jed Anderson would provide a 16-point margin to go up 26-10. Both sides would trade a total of four additional trys in the second half, including the Crow’s Jeff Lohse’s third and final try. Despite the greater offensive prowess of Westshore in the second half, the Kelowna Crows would match pace to take the 2016 Men’s 3A Cup Championship.

“We had a couple of really good physical contests recently to help prepare us for this. This was no easy match,” Crows Head Coach Aaron Frisby would comment about his team’s lopsided play against the physical Westhore RFC side. “Hats off to Westshore. They are a big, big bunch of guys out there.”

These guys (The Crows) practice like a Premier or First Division team. They train hard, run hard every week, and when that happens a win like this is the result. This is what that effort is all about.”

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Image by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca)

With a team that plays above it’s tier potentional, aspirations of moving his team up in the BCRU league are not far from Coach Frisby’s mind. “ We would love to have an opportunity to go up. I think the BCRU will look at the circumstances. The rule is that you have to have two teams, and our numbers don’t support it. I hope they ( BCRU ) will look at it and come up with the right conclusion.”

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca

 

Women’s Premier Division –

Westshore vs Castaway Wanderers

Westshore RFC, playing in their second consecutive Women’s Premier Division final in as many years, took on a speedier CW squad, falling to the tricolors by a 31-15 score, relinquishing the BC Women’s Premier Championship to the cross town rivals.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Fans were treated to a hard-hitting game between to very different teams. Westshore RFC, a tactical powerhouse, “grind you down” style of playing team, against a well paced, sure-handed CW team with an eye for the open wings.

Castaway Wanderer’s Julianne Zussman would prove to be the fire for CW, scoring three tries in the second half to power her team to the victory. Rosie Lang would mark the board with two tries of her own in the second half for Westshore in the losing cause.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Both sides would play a tight tackling first half, with much of the play held at centre field. Westshore would break the ice mid first half, on a try by Shannon Fitzpatrick. Castaway Wanderer’s Jenn Appleby would help put her team on top 7-5 with her own try before the half expired.

CW would exploit the Westshore defense in the second half with quick passing and impressive field vision, hitting Zussman on the run to shoot through the Westshore defensive line three times for trys, literally running away with the 31-15 win.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

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Castaway Wanderer co-captains pose with their winning, championship hardware – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Castaway Wanderers Head Coach Jess Dovanne was all smiles post game when commenting on the win. “I’m so proud of the girls. They worked so hard for this. This win means so much, especially playing against Westshore who also has so many valuable players.” Surprised by the lopsided victory, Dovanne would add, “ we thought it would be a war the whole way. I don’t think the score really reflects the game. Maybe the last ten minutes. We’re to very evenly matched teams, but with very different games. We played to our strengths, and they played to theirs. Sometimes it has worked to their favour, but this time our running worked to our advantage.”

 

Men’s Division 1 – Capilano vs James Bay

In the day’s final marquis match, the Division one Capilano Caps would survive a late, second half push by the James Bay Bays to win the Library Square Cup 24-17.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Undefeated in league play, the 8-0 Caps looked every bit the team to beat early, holding the majority of play in the James Bay end. Caps Ryan Scott would push the ball across the try line to open the scoring fifteen minutes into the match, after a strong ruck would camp the visitors on the James Bay doorstep.  James Bay would be equal to the test, after some strong defensive play to hold an ambitious Caps side in their own end, the Bays Lucas Horton would block the clearing attempt and take the ball in for the James Bay try to pull close 7-5.  Trys by Caps Eligh Papin, and James Bays Kieran McAuley would see Capilano hold a slim margin 14-12 at the half.

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

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Image by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Capilano would hold fast to their lead in the second half, taking advantage of a James Bay penalty and a try to strangle hold on the lead, jumping out to a 24-12 lead.  James Bay would, not to go down easily, would pressure the Caps into a few untimely ball turnovers and defensive lapses with only 2 minutes remaining in the game that would result in Lucas Horton scoring on a Caps missed defensive crossover cover and allow him to run the wing to grace the try line for his second try of the game. Time not a cooperating with the home side, would see full time, giving the Caps the 21-17 win and the Cup Champonship.

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Capilano Caps hoist the 2016 Division One Championship trophy – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

“Our game plan came to fruition”, Caps Head Coach Craig Rice about the win. “ We studied them over the last six weeks of game film and place our players accordingly. We got a little disjointed in the second half, and the kids heads didn’t always stay focused and we allowed James Bay to get in some point that punctured a hole in our sails, but our guys came back. Our covered defense saved us more than it should have. Some of our young kids stepped up to make the difference.”

 

In Finals play held in Vancouver, the results were as follows:

Division One Women’s – Abbotsford (48) vs United (24)

Division Two Women’s – Seattle Saracens (38 ) vs Ridge Meadows (24)

Division One Men’s Abbotsford (38) vs Surrey (31)

Division Two Men’s – Merloma (40) vs Abbotsford (15)

Division Three B Men’s – Merloma (31) vs Abbotsford (20)

Premier Division CDI League Final – UBC (27 ) vs Burnaby Lake (12)

 

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