Liam Murphy-Burke

Liam Murphy-Burke

B.C. rugby players strike gold in Alberta

All four British Columbia age-grade rugby teams medaled at the 2011 National Festival Sunday, with the Men’s Under-18 team and Men’s Under-16 team crowned national champs.

Tricia Leslie

Black Press

All four British Columbia age-grade rugby teams medaled at the 2011 National Festival Sunday, with the Men’s Under-18 team and Men’s Under-16 team crowned national champs. The BC Women’s Under-18 team captured silver and the U16 BC-2 Men’s team took home bronze.

“It was really good. The boys all played really well and it was a great team effort,” B.C. head coach Jeff Williams said.

The most heated rivalry in Canadian rugby took centre stage on Sunday afternoon in the Men’s U18National Final, with reigning champs Ontario taking on British Columbia.

The highly anticipated championship final lived up to expectations with B.C. winger and Semiahmoo Secondary grad Liam Murphy-Burke (Bayside RFC) scoring the game-winning intercept try to lift B.C. to a 38-33 victory.

“That game may have been great for the fans, but the coaching staff were on the sidelines close to having heart attacks,” said a relieved Williams.

“That is how finals should be, with both sides putting everything into it and the game going right until the end.”

In a match that saw the lead change hands on several occasions, Ontario drew first blood to go up 5-0 when their prop Curtis Lawson barrelled over for a try. The score was converted by Lucas Hammond.

Ontario were up 21-14 at the half but let B.C. back into the game early in the second frame when scrum half Jorden Best (Abbotsford RFC) broke through for a try, with BC tacking on a conversion and a penalty.

The final 20 minutes of play were an entertaining display of high-scoring rugby with the lead changing hands three times.

With seven minutes to play, Ontario was in the driving seat with a 33-31 lead and were pressing deep inside B.C.’s twenty-two. Ontario swung the ball wide and a miss-pass move turned disastrous  as B.C. winger Murphy-Burke intercepted and ran the ball back for the game winning try. B.C. full back Connor Hunter (Abbotsford RFC) converted for the 38-33 score line and his side managed to fend off any further attacks from their Eastern foes.

“You have to give credit to Ontario because they posed a lot of problems for us,” said Williams.

“Their 8-9-10 combination was dangerous and caused us to make a lot of mistakes. That was a close game just as we expected, but our guys played well and they deserved it.”

Quinton Willms and Dan Lee also played on the U18 squad alongside Murphy-Burke, to help capture the gold.

Williams noted all the U18 players really came together to play their best.

“The coaching staff was just blown away by the camaraderie among the guys,” he said.

“It was probably one of the best groups I’ve ever coached.”

In U16 rugby action, the B.C. U16 gold squad went undefeated throughout the entire tournament. Calixto Martinez, Alex Klassen and Shane Dagg were on the team that trounced Newfoundland 88-5 in the Championship Final.

Nick Collett played with the B.C. U16 blue squad that won the bronze medal, beating Ontario 22-17 in an overtime thriller; the two B.C. U16 squads met in the semi-final, with the Gold team winning 29-17.

Silver is nothing to sneeze at either. Sarah Gordon, Jordan Palesch and Meghan Wellis came home with silver medals with the U18 Women’s squad.

B.C. went undefeated in in round-robin play, but fell to Ontario 34-18 in the final.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: partnershipsbc.ca)
Surrey gets one of three post-COVID-19 recovery clinics

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is located at 9750 140th Street

White Rock’s fire chief says a Jan. 21 kitchen fire in a third-floor apartment was a close call. (Garry Wolgemuth photo)
White Rock kitchen fire a ‘close call’

Fire chief says incident is reminder to not use stovetop as storage space

New Westminster-based musician Krystle Dos Santos in a promo photo.
Surrey’s ‘Digital Stage’ for Krystle Dos Santos’ Bloom/Burn songs starting Jan. 29

Black History Month-timed online concert focuses on musician’s album of R&B/soul songs

Surrey council has awarded a contract for the design of the Nicomekl Bridge replacement. (Google Streetview image)
Surrey approves $1M design contract for Nicomekl Bridge replacement

Construction anticipated to get underway in fall 2021

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Most Read