The 2018 CRCs: Ups and Downs

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BC Senior Women,Photo courtesy Louis Christ (https://www.lchrist.com/)

The 2018 CRCs have wrapped up for the BC Senior Women, the U20 Women and the U19 Men. Saskatoon played host to these three teams from July 16th to July 22nd. Teams from Alberta, BC, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario competed in the tournament. Overall, BC has done better at this tournament, with only one team finding a spot on the podium. However, there were stellar performances by each team though throughout the tournament and lots of new players from our province got to get a taste of representative rugby.

BC Senior Women

The Senior Women started their CRCs off right with a win over the Prairie Wolfpack. It was a tight game though, the boot of Fly-Half Jess Neilson making the crucial difference. This was a comeback win for the BC Women and offered them some points to improve on and also a boost at the beginning of the tournament. Final score: 29-24 for BC.  After a day of rest, the BC Senior Women took the field against the Nova Scotia Keltics. This game was highly competitive and saw both teams on the opposition’s side for extended periods. BC held the lead until the last 15 minutes when the Keltics mounted a last-ditch attack to steal the game and win 17-15.  Following the Keltics, the Senior Women faced off against a talented Québec side. This game saw strong performances from Valerie Wideski, who moved to starting Prop, and Macy Munson who started at Outside-Centre instead of Fullback. Québec’s pack proved too strong and the side was able to stretch BC’s defence with creative and quick ball movement and the final score was tacked up to 34-5, a hard loss for BC.  The last game of the BC Women’s tournament was against Ontario. This game was a thriller and a fight until the very end.  The final score was 14-12 for Ontario which, despite being their third loss of the tournament, was probably the team’s most impressive performance of the tournament.

BC’s Senior Women finished in 4th place (1-0-3 record ) at the 2018 Canadian Rugby Championships, with Macy Munson from Kamloops finishing as the joint highest try scorer (4-way tie) and joint 4th highest point scorer.

Game 1 report: vs. Prairie Wolfpack

Game 2 report: vs. Nova Scotia Keltics

Game 3 report: vs. Équipe Québec

Game 4 report: vs. Ontario Blues

For all match statistics on the Senior Women’s CRC tournament, visit the CRC website

BC U20 Women

The BC U20 Women were a very young side with most of their players not long graduated from the U18 age-grade. In their first match of the tournament, BC saw a strong Ontario side. BC scored first but Ontario answered by scoring the remainder of the match’s points, opening a torrent of offence that didn’t seem to stop and eventually winning 69-5.  A tough opening match, but the team knew this tournament would be a learning curve.  After a day of rest, the U20s took the field again to play the Alberta Wolfpack. After the loss against Ontario, they needed to see improvement and duly delivered.  The game still finished with a clear points gap, 49-12, but the team showed real signs of improvement.  This trend would continue in to their third match when they faced Québec, a match that was much closer than the 39-14 scoreline would suggest and hailed by Head Coach Walt Brandl as their strongest of the tournament.  BC was unable to secure a win in the 2018 tournament, losing their final match to Nova Scotia  32-12 in very windy conditions.  Results aside, this was a team that showed resilience and a willingness to learn from their errors.  It will be interesting to watch a number of the players in the coming season

Game 1 report: vs. Ontario Blues 

Game 2 report: vs. Alberta Wolfpack

Game 3 report: Équipe Québec

Game 4 report: vs. Nova Scotia Keltics

For all match statistics on the U20 Women’s CRC tournament, visit the CRC website

BC U19 Men

The BC U19 Men had big shoes to fill with the teams prior to this one winning for the past three years. Their first game against Équipe Québec was a very tight game and very entertaining. Both teams traded nice runs and phases in the first half and the teams seemed evenly matched. BC was in the lead until the final minute when Québec scored a try to steal the game. It was a tough loss but an encouraging first game for the U19 Men.  After the hard loss on the first day of the tournament, the young BC men wanted to storm back and they did just that against Alberta Wolfpack. The U19 Men’s XV was able to keep Alberta at an arm’s length for the whole game, notching tries after every Alberta push, eventually winning 39-10. It was a great team win for the guys and the best way to reassert some self-confidence.  The third game of the U19 Men’s CRC campaign came against the Atlantic Rock. BC had a hard time winning the ball at strongly contested rucks and in the second half, BC was fighting the wind and trying to come from behind.  Unfortunately, while BC found their form, it emerged too late in the game and Atlantic Rock won 17-7 to progress to the final.  This left the BC team competing for the Bronze Medal, coincidentally against Québec, a rematch of their opening game.  This time the U19 Men’s XV looked much more composed and confident, executing a good game plan and defeating a tough opponent that battled right to the end.  The final score was 20-10 for the BC U19 Men’s team and secured them the bronze medal.

BC’s U19 Men’s XV finished the 2018 Canadian Rugby Championships in third place (2-0-2).  Jack Scher from North Vancouver was the joint fourth highest points scorer of the tournament with 21, while Corben Bowen of Chilliwack was in a five-way tie for the fifth most tries by a single player.

Game 1 report: vs. Équipe Québec

Game 2 report: vs. Alberta Wolfpack

Game 3 report: vs. Atlantic Rock

Game 4 report: vs. Équipe Québec

For all match statistics on the U19 Men’s CRC tournament, visit the CRC website

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