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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Community fruit harvest program returns to Surrey, White Rock

Sources will send a team to harvest fruit trees, so less goes to waste

East White Rock crosswalk, speed bumps proposed

Report on costs and implications requested by council

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

UPDATE: Pedestrian dies after being hit by bus in uptown White Rock

Collision occurred July 3 at North Bluff Road and Johnston Road

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Most Read

l -->