Story BC Rugby Communications / Images Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
Saturday July 9,2016 Victoria, BC – The BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s Program has produced a tournament winning team for yet another time in 2016, taking care of business on home turf at the Victoria International 7s. The win follows on the heels of victories at the Las Vegas Invitational 7s and the Vancouver Rugby Festival earlier this year.
BC Boys U18 Gold, following up with a cup win at the 2016 Victoria 7’s on Saturday on the heels of this win at the Las Vegas Sevens in March – Erich Eichhorn file photo (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In the U18 Elite Boys’ Final, BC held off a late surge from Durham School to claim a narrow 24-19 victory. A lineup loaded with BC Rugby talent powered Rugby Canada’s (West) Maple Leafs to a confident 27-0 victory in the U18 Girls’ Division. Durham claimed top honours in the U16 Boys’ division, while Rangatahi took the Cup in the U14 Boys’ division.
This year’s tournament was an outstanding example of both the depth of youth rugby 7s in BC, and the growing interest in the 7s code across North America. From the nearly 40 teams involved, a majority were comprised of BC-based rosters, including the Aboriginal Thunder Rugby Program, Vancouver Rugby Union, Fraser Valley Rugby Union, Vancouver Island Rugby Union, White Rock Barbarians, plus the host BC Rugby Elite Boys’ & Girls’ 7s Programs. The tournament also featured club and school teams from the United States, England and New Zealand.
“Our U18 Girls had two close matches against Utah Cannibals (who went on to finish runner-up in the tournament), losing on the last play of the game on both occasions,” said Darcy Patterson, who oversees the BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s Program. “It was a good learning experience, and they finished the day strong with a win over the Thunder.”
Eight of their BC colleagues had drawn into the Maple Leafs U18 Girls’ side, with all the players auditioning for roles on Canada’s U18 Sevens Team tour to France in September. Oak Bay Secondary School teammates Sophie de Goede and Caroline Crossley (both Castaway Wanderers RC / Vancouver Island Rugby Union) made a strong case for inclusion with a solid showing at the tournament, while Brooke Bazian (South Kamloops Secondary) and Tausani Levale (Abbotsford Senior Secondary / Abbotosford RFC / Fraser Valley Rugby Union) offered the selectors a chance to see their superior work-rate both on and off the ball.
The Victoria International 7s mark the conclusion of the youth 7s season, with many of the BC players getting ready for Provincial Age-Grade Fifteens competitions, which take place in August.