BC Rugby

Thursday was a massive day for Rugby in BC, with Rugby Sevens tournaments happening across the Lower Mainland in the lead up to this weekend’s HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament.

In Burnaby, the BC Rugby U18 Girls and U18 Boys Teams, competing in the first-ever Canadian U18 Sevens Championship, finished 2-0 and 2-1, respectively, against Provincial Rugby Union Teams from across Canada. The playoff round for both Teams begins early on Friday morning at Burnaby Lake, with the Girls facing Newfoundland (0-2) and the Boys taking on Quebec (1-2).

At the inaugural Vancouver Rugby Festival in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, the BC Rugby U23 Women were the only team to go undefeated on day one in the Open Division, and will come into Friday’s games as the favourites to win the competition. The BC Rugby U23 Men lost a pair of close games against very experienced sides in the Elite Division. They will wrap up their tournament on Friday afternoon with a game against a select team, Stars 7s, from the US.

The BC Rugby U18 Girls opened the action on Thursday, sailing to a tough 22-0 win against Ontario 1 in blustery conditions. The skies later cleared, which helped to produce some better quality on the field for their afternoon game against Ontario 2.

BC’s Sophia Belsher claimed an important try in the first 30 seconds of that game, which stood as the only score of the first half. A strong second half performance from BC, however, led to a lot of pressure in the Ontario side of the field, opening the door for tries from Denise Roy, McKenna Haz and a second score from Belsher. With the 20-0 win, BC moved to the top of their pool, but face a very early start against Newfoundland at 8:22am on Friday in the Quarter Final.

“Our girls picked up the wins in both games, which was the important part, said Head Coach,” Darcy Patterson. “I think we could have really taken over in those games if not for some small mistakes. We’ll focus on making the best decisions possible out there on Friday and we’ll need to win some tough games in order to get through to the Final, but I’m confident that our group has what it takes.”

The BC Rugby U18 Boys also had a positive start to the day, picking up a 24-0 win over Newfoundland, but found themselves in a tough mid-day contest against a motivated Ontario 2 Team. Evan Norris had a strong individual game, scoring a pair of tries for BC, but it was not enough, as a yellow card to BC’s John Jubinvill stalled any attempt at a late surge. Ontario scored at the death to claim a 20-12 win. The loss seemed to light a fire under the BC players, who blazed to a 32-0 win over Alberta to close out the day. BC’s Elias Ergas picked up a pair of tries in the contest.

“We played a bit slower at times today than our usual pace,” said Head Coach, Shane Thompson. “We’ll need to execute faster in the critical areas to be successful and the pressure only increases on day two, so we’re going to need to be at our best if we want to get to Saturday’s Final.”

The BC Rugby U23 Women continued the strong play shown last weekend at the Las Vegas invitational tournament, dismissing sides Central Washington University, Valkyries and the Grande Prairie Sirens. Their quest for a second consecutive tournament win continues at Brockton Oval in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on Friday at noon against Grande Prairie.

The BC Rugby U23 Men slotted in the Men’s Elite Division, and faced very tough competition against players with international experience. BC were edged 17-15 by Fiji Blond, a side made up of the best Fijian ex-pats here on the West Coast, before falling to the Sevens version of the Prairie Wolf Pack by a score of 17-7. The Wolf Pack, who won the Canadian Rugby Championship at Fifteens Rugby last summer, were bolstered by recently capped Canada Men’s XV Team players Clay Panga and Mozac Samson. BC’s other game saw them fall behind early to Stars 7s, before falling by a score of 17-0. The two sides will meet again to close out their tournaments on Friday at 1:00pm from Brockton Oval.

“Our men stepped up into the Elite Division and looked right at home against some very talented, high quality players. We were also missing five of our players due to injury from last week, which meant that all of guys really had to work hard to fill those gaps. We didn’t get the results that we wanted today, but I’m very pleased with the team’s effort and it was a great competitive experience for our young players.”

Schedules for Friday, March 11, 2016

Canadian U18 Sevens Championship

Event Location: Burnaby Lake Rugby Club, 3760 Sperling Ave, Burnaby
Attendance is free
Website: http://www.canadianuniversity7s.com
Live streaming on: www.sportscanada.tv/rugbycanada

BC Rugby U18 Girls
Quarter Final – BC vs Newfoundland, 8:22am, Burnaby Lake Rugby Club
Winner moves on to Semi Final – Teams TBD
Cup Final at BC Place, Saturday, March 12 at approximately 12 noon

BC Rugby U18 Boys
Quarter Final – BC vs Quebec, 10:12am
Winner moves on to Semi Final – Teams TBD
Cup Final at BC Place, Saturday, March 12 at approximately 12 noon

Vancouver Rugby Festival
Event Location: Brockton Oval, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Attendance is free
Website: bcrugby.com/vanrugbyfest
Live streaming: none

BC Rugby U23 Women
Playoff round – BC vs Grande Prairie Sirens, 12:00pm
Cup Final – Teams TBD – 4:00pm

BC Rugby U23 Men
Shield Final – BC vs Stars 7s, 1:00pm

To see the full Vancouver Rugby Festival schedule, click here.

About the Vancouver Rugby Festival

The inaugural Vancouver Rugby Festival has been created to provide Teams, from National to Club and School, the opportunity to join in the fun of playing Rugby in advance of the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament.

Matches will take place just outside downtown Vancouver at Brockton Oval (Elite and Open divisions), University of British Columbia (U18 and U16 divisions) and Connaught Park (Men’s 40-plus division).

The tournament will take place ahead of the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament at BC Place – which will be a great way to culminate a fantastic two days of competition!

Dates: March 10-11, 2016
For more information, visit www.bcrugby.com/vanrugbyfest

More information about BC Rugby

The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 7,500 individuals registered through around 60 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.

Web: bcrugby.com
Twitter: twitter.com/bcrugbyunion
Facebook: facebook.com/bcrugbyunion

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