Four BC teams competed in the Rugby Canada National Championship Festival in Ottawa from August 18-24. Many Abbotsford and Fraser Valley athletes and coaches were involved in these teams and helped contribute to the BC success. The U-16 and U-18 Men won gold medals, while the U-17 and U-19 Women won silvers. Read on for the game summaries from the finals (courtesy of BC Rugby) and note Abbotsford players highlighted in the scoring summaries.

August 24, 2008

The morning began for Team BC with the U16 Men taking on Ontario. BC began to exert some early pressure and was unlucky not to take the lead when full back David Turner made a sparkling 70 meter return on the counter attack. From a line out in the Ontario 22, Ontario secured possession and started a driving maul from which Marc Webster of BC emerged with the ball and passed off to scrum half Lucien Nel who dove across for the opening try, converted by Clayton Meeres.

BC then added to its 7-0 lead when Ontario was penalized for not retreating following a quick tap penalty. Meeers slotted the penalty to extend the gap to 10-0. At the 20 minute mark, Ontario won a line out in the BC 22, and spread the ball wide to the right for the winger to go over for an unconverted try at the corner. Minutes later the same winger looked certain to score again before he was tracked down by flanker Chase Kelliher. The score at the half was 10-5 for BC.

Playing with the breeze in the second half, BC got the start it needed. Constant pressure from the inside three had troubled Ontario most of the game and when Ontario misexecuted in mid-field, Meeres was on hand to push the ball forward with his foot, collect and ground; 15-5 to BC. Miinutes later, when Ontario infringed at a ruck, Meeres stepped up to stroke over another penalty and stretch the lead to 18-5. The game was then sealed when Ontario once again turned the ball over in BCs 22 and David Turner ran the ball back 80 meters to score under the posts. With Meeres converting once again, the scoreboard read 25-5. Meeres had the final word when his late penalty made the final score 28-5 and gave BC the first Gold of the day.

BC U16 Men 28 – Ontario 5

U16 Men Scoring Summary   after Day 5
Played 5: Won 5 – Lost 0
Points For 128 – Against 46

Tries: Kapi Vataiki (3), Wes Black (2), Allan Dicks (2), David Turner (2), Clayton Meeres (2), Alex Wimmer, Marc McCutcheon, Marc Webster , Michael Fuailefau, Henry Recinos, Steven Bouchard, Mike Neufeld, Lucien Nel (2).
Cons: Clayton Meeres (7)
Pens: Clayton Meeres (3)

Immediately following this game came the U17 Women against Ontario. BC had beaten Ontario 12-0 in its final pool game and took the game to Ontario in the opening minutes. This early pressure was converted to points when Tiffany Freeborn converted a penalty to give BC a 3-0 lead. With the teams feeling each other out over the next 10 minutes, there were no real scoring opportunities until a poor line-out by Ontario was punished by flanker Christina Brewer, extending the margin to 8-0 for BC. Ontario was next to profit from a turnover when BC was isolated at a tackle in its own 22 and Ontario recovered the ball quickly and scored in the right corner. The half ended with BC leading 8-5. The late score seemed to energise Ontario and in the second half the home team put enormous pressure on BC. Defending heroically, it seemed like BC might just manage to steal the game. But with 5 minutes remaining Ontario prospered from a poor clearance kick and went over in the left corner to seal a 10-8 victory and leave BC with Silver.

BC U17 Women 8 – Ontario 10

U17 Women Scoring Summary  after Day 5
Played 6: Won 4 – Lost 2
Points For 113 – Against 39

Tries: Kiera Chicquen (3), Cassy Stevens(3), Christina Brewer (3), Madeline Harden (2), Mackenzie Edwards(2), Tiffany Freeborn, Jessica Bingham, Catie Ryan, Kobi Rope, Kelci Roperr  
Cons: Tiffany Freeborn (6), Madeline Harden
Pen: Tiffany Freeborn  (2)

The match between BC and Ontario U18 followed with BC having produced the best rugby of the tournament and with Ontario desperate to upset the winning sequence. Ontario started off with confidence and kept the ball away from BC for almost 4 minutes. Then from a turn-over, BC struck instantly, Liam Murray broke the first line of the defense and offloaded to a charging Jeff Mckinnon. Shane Bates carried the movement down to the Ontario line where Andrew Crow crossed from the back of the ruck. Kayne Tapiki converted and BC lead 7-0.

Ontario continued to deny BC the possession that had made them some dangerous throughout the tournament until Tapiki’s long clearance kick was chased down by Bates and forced Ontario to concede a line-out in its own 22. From the Line-out, flanker Murray again made the initial break. It was carried on by full back Sean Ferguson to the Ontario line where Crow once again provided the killer blow; 12-0 for BC. With half time looming, it looked as though Ontario had weathered the half. Then from a quick ruck following a Ferguson break on the right, the Ontario midfield opened up and Sahne Bates accepted the invitation, striding 40 meters and round the fullback to score under the posts. Tapiki duly converted and BC led 19-0.

Any hope of an Ontario come back with the breeze at its back, was snuffed out early when following a counter attack on th right by Crow, the ball was shifted quickly to the left for Mackenzie Poole to power over and then for Tapiki to convert, extending BC’s lead to 26-0. BC Captain Andrew Crow then capped off a magnificent performance by crossing for his hatrick. Tapiki added the extras once more to take BC clear at 33-0. Full back Ferguson was next to score following a blistering break by Braid. The conversion under the post for Tapiki was a formality. With time running down and BC getting in its bench, the final score of the day came from Spencer Thorpe who, with his first touch, powered 40 meters to the line for an unconverted try and a 45-0 BC Gold victory.

BC U18 Men 45 – Ontario 0

U18 Men  Scoring Summary  after Day 5
Played 7: Won 7 – Lost 0
Points For 399 – Against 14

Tries: Andrew Crow (10), Sean Ferguson (8), Connor Braid (6), Spencer Thorpe (6), Liam Murray (5), Matt Yanegiya (4), Dan Dibadj (3), Mackenzie Poole(4), Ben Mittlestaed (3), Shane Bates (3), Keaton Styles (2), Alex Kam (2), Josh Pilkinghorne, Pat Fraser, Kayne Tapiki, Pete Johnson, Gareth Dyer, Kurtis Appeldorn, Chris Chalmers, Rob Manning
Cons: Connor Braid (14), Kayne Tapiki (20), Rob Manning (3), Keaton Styles,

The final game of the day saw BC U19 Women take on its Ontario counterparts. Ontario, buoyed by the home crowd, began to take the game to BC from the onset. and spent almost 15 minutes trying to break down a staunch BC defense. It appeared that BC had weathered the storm when it finally began to make inroads into the Ontario half. A series of BC attacks was eventually rewarded when Ontario infringed at a breakdown in its own 22. Randi Hunter stepped forward to kick the resultant penalty from the 22 and give BC a 3-0 lead. Undeterred, Ontario came back again and added two unconverted tries before the break to turn around with the breeze at its backs up 10-3. This lead stretched to 15-3 early in the second half and despite valiant efforts by BC to get to close the gap, a further converted try stretched the home province lead to 22-5. BC finally crossed the Ontario line when the outstanding Meagan Hamm scored and Tia Croteau converted. The game finished at 22-10 for Ontario and gave BC a Silver upgrade from its 2007 Bronze.

BC U19 Women 10 – Ontario 22

U19 Women Scoring Summary  after Day 5
Played 6: Won 5 – Lost 1
Points For 192 – Against 32

Tries: Kayla Moleschi (4), Tia Croteau (4), Marissa Bachand (3), Paige Norgaard (3), Jaqui Tanner (2), Jacquie Laidlaw (2), Kendra Reeves (2), Sarah Logan (2), Krystle Carpenter (2), Meagan Hamm (2), Trixie Pacis, Michelle Moore, Jesse Olynyk, Sandra Rijken, Chelsey Minter,
Cons: Laura Murphy-Burke (4), Randi Hunter (4),Tia Croteau (4)
Pens: Laura Murphy-Burke, Randi Hunter

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