BC Rugby has won three of the four age-grade National Championships with U18 Boys, U18 Girls’ and U16 Boys’ Teams all returning to BC as Champions, while the U16 Girls played a tight Final against Ontario but had to settle for runners-up losing 17-10 to the hosts.
The U18 Boys’ Team were dominating throughout the 6-day competition, opening their campaign with a 34-0 win over the Prairie Wolfpack, followed a day later with a 62-3 win over Québec. The final match against the Atlantic side also saw a wide margin, with BC Rugby winning 57-7. But in facing Ontario on Friday, the Team were held to a 10-8 win.
“I am extremely happy with the way the athletes developed as a team,” said Dean Murten who, in addition to being BC Rugby’s Performance Development Manager, coached the U18 Boys Team. “We set out to play a very physical, direct game, and quickly move the ball from side to side with the mindset of looking to score tries at all cost. The players achieved this on the field and when coupled with showcasing the best basic skills, we looked outstanding.”
Special mention must be made of Logan Martin-Feek (Victoria, BC) who personally raked up 63 points through six tries, three penalty kicks and 12 conversions. Supporting Martin-Feek in the points department was Josh Long (Abbotsford, BC) and Seth Purdey (Mill Bay, BC) who each scored three tries.
The U18 Girls’ Team, coached by Marius Felix of Mill Bay, opened their campaign on Tuesday with a 42-0 win over Québec which was followed two-days later with a convincing win over Nova Scotia, 56 to 14. Friday saw their toughest match-up, facing Ontario the Girls’ Team lost a tight match 24-20 but by scoring four tries and staying within seven points of the winner picked up two bonus points, which would turn out to be the deciding factor in the round-robin series. By winning their final match against the Prairie Wolfpack 8 to 5, BC Rugby U18 Girls topped the points table and were crowned National Champions.
The high scoring matches saw several players make big contributions with Hera Sfikas (White Rock, BC) and Kate Richards (Surrey, BC) both score four tries, followed by Shaye Tudor (Victoria, BC) and Valerie Wideski (Vancouver, BC) each scoring three tries and Sofie Kennedy (Saanichton, BC) ran over twice.
The depth in U16 Boys Rugby in BC allowed three teams to be assembled, including a U15 Boys’ Team, who all competed in the National competition. While the U16 Boys’ 1st Team won two of their opening three matches and qualified straight to the semi-finals, the U16 Boys’ 2nd Team and U15 Boys’ Team needed wins in the quarter-finals to progress but suffered losses at the hands of Newfoundland and Alberta respectively. That resulted in the two BC Teams facing each other in the 5th place play-off which was won by the older team, 29 to 3.
Meanwhile, the U16 Boys’ 1st Team met Newfoundland in Saturday’s semi-final and played a thrilling match, coming away with a narrow win, 22 to 19. They met Alberta in Sunday’s Championship Final and were again well matched. Alberta opened the scoring but BC responded with 19 unanswered points to make it 19-7 at half time. Alberta came back but BC held a converted try margin to win 31 to 24.
The U16 Girls’ Team will be a little disappointed with how the tournament concluded, having won all their round matches which included a 34-19 win over eventual winners Ontario. The Girls from BC were dominating throughout the week, and posted their biggest win in the semi-final defeating New Brunswick 94-0. But Ontario had clearly learned from the earlier match and held BC to just two tries in Sunday’s Final with the final score 17-10 meaning BC finished as runners-up.
Jordyn Meyers (Langley, BC) topped the point scorer’s table for the U16 Girls competition, running in several tries and adding six conversions with her boot. She was joined by Hunter Czeppel (Abbotsford, BC) as the top try scorers for BC.
Joining the Teams in Markham was the BC Rugby U17 Boys’ Team who won three friendlies against Ontario. With strong representation from BC Rugby Clubs, the upcoming Fall Season will provide some exciting match-ups with Provincial teammates finding themselves on opposing sides.
For the full listing of the U18 & U17 Boys’ Teams, click here.
For the full listing of the U18 & U16 Girls’ Teams, click here.
For the full listing of the U16 & U15 Boys’ Teams, click here.