Victoria, BC – November 24, 2018: Head Coach Adam Roberts sends through this report on the BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Boy’s All-Star Game held last week. Taking place during the Men’s National University Rugby Championships at University of Victoria, the game was an opportunity to give some of the most promising young athletes a chance to show their skills, with an extra dash of regional pride for good measure.
The skies cleared and it turned into a perfect setting for the High School 7’s Showcase game at the University of Victoria Friday. The boys assembled at Wallace field in preparation for the halftime show. Both the Mainland All-Stars and Island All-Stars were already very familiar with one another, with many cordial exchanges going on while the players arrived.
Gregor Dixon and Nanyak Dala prepared the group of Island All-Stars led by Shawnigan Lake School player Ciaran Breen. The side had a blend of many players from the top Vancouver Island Schools: Abdulla Hammawah & Callum Blake-Currier (both Brentwood), Zach Moncton, Nic Bamford & Owen Smith (all Oak Bay), Max Nishma (SMUS), Graeme Norris, Brenner Kelava (both Shawnigan Lake), Caleb Sam (Esquimalt) and Alec Boegman (Glenlyon Norfolk).
Adam Roberts and Bryn Johnson prepared the group of Mainland All-Stars led by St. George’s player Thomas Kirkwood. Not to be outdone, this side also featured an impressive blend of players from across the Lower Mainland: Jacob Bourne, Max Brightingham & Dillon Hamilton (all St. George’s), Logan Weidner (Carson Graham), Josiah Levalle (Abbotsford Secondary), Ethan Fryer (Isaquah HS, Seattle), Takoda McMullin, Talon McMullin, Sam LaRoue, Daniel Shay, Simon Radcliffe, Jared Roe & Spencer McDonald (all Earl Marriott).
The teams waited eagerly to play the halftime show as they watched the Concordia Stingers finish a spirited first half against the Guelph Gryphons.
Takoda McMullin opened the scoring started shortly after the start of the game, spotting a gap and with a great burst of speed, he was off to the races. The ensuing kick-off to the Island was gathered in and Brenner Kelava went on a punishing run down the sideline. After a couple more breakdowns Ciaran Breen sprung loose down the middle of the field to score under the posts. The mainland got rolling again with Talon McMullin making a powerful run down the right-side wing, only to be stopped about 10 meters short of the line. The ball was swung wide the other way and found his twin brother on the opposite wing. Takoda put in a fantastic move, one on one on the outside, and scored a dandy in the corner…
The game was stopped at that point as Guelph and Concordia were set to take the field. We continued the game following the Concordia upset. The 7’s game reset and the high school players were at it again. Zach Moncton of Oak Bay looked dangerous in attack for the Island and Dillon Hamilton showed he possesses a quick burst with the ball in hand for the mainland team.
We want to impress how valuable this experience was for the players involved to observe what is happening at the next level. The top High School rugby programs across the country are situated in areas that expect their students to attend post-secondary institutions, so to be present at this event was a perfect link. The North American model of High School / College / Professional is starting to come to fruition and it is very exciting times for our young players.
Thank you to Max Fruend, a young up and coming referee, for officiating the game. A huge thank you to all the coaches and players that gave up a lot of their time for a 14-minute showcase.
The BC Youth Elite 7’s program will be announcing a roster of 70 U16 and U18 players to be attending the next stage of the 7’s training on January 12/13th at St. George’s and UBC.
Please contact Adam Roberts – email@example.com if you have any questions.