BC Youth 7s squads go undefeated on day two of Vegas 7s Invitational
Published Friday, February 10, 2012 5:00 am
by Andrew Smith, BC Rugby Communications
Games on Saturday to be played at Star Nursery fields surrounding Sam Boyd Stadium. FIELD 4 Las Vegas: All three BC Elite Youth Sevens squads went undefeated on Friday at the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens. The BC-3s, comprised of U17 provincial representative players, capped off an undefeated campaign with a 22-7 cup final win over Alberta's Celtic Barbarians to win the High School Sevens division. In the High School Elite Sevens division, BC-1 and BC-2 both went undefeated to advance to the semifinals. BC-1 went 3-0 and BC-2 went 2-0-1. The two sides will now square off in tomorrow's semifinal round.
"Today was outstanding," said BC Elite Youth Sevens head coach Shane Thompson. "Over the last two days, our teams have won 11 games and tied one which just shows how far along this program has progressed in the last year and a half. I'm especially pleased with the results of our BC-2 and BC-3 teams because it shows how much depth we have in the program. This trip is a great opportunity for these players to get the experience and I'm so glad that we made it happen."
BC-3s win Vegas Invitational High School Sevens The BC-3s again went undefeated on day two of the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens, outscoring their opponents in the playoffs 67-14. The squad conceded just three tries during their three pool matches and three playoff rounds.
"The final was definitely our best game. It was exciting for the fans and it had a bit of everything with tries, great runs and even some sin-bins," said BC-3 coach Barry Ebl "Our defence was a huge part of our game and our guys just never gave up. They kept going on offence and capitalized on their opportunities."
BC-3 cruised through their quarterfinal matchup against Fullerton Rugby, a program bases in California by a convincing 33-0 score line. Luke Zandbergen (Surrey Beavers) ran in three tries with tallies also recorded by Captain Harjun Gill (Richmond RFC) and Evan Cambridge (Castaway Wanderers RFC). Giuseppe Du Toit (Cowichan Rugby Club) kicked four conversions to round out the scoring.
Arguably their toughest matchup of the tournament was BC-3's semi-final opponent, the Arizona Bobcats. Arizona led 7-0 early on and BC had to come from behind for the first time in the tournament. Speedster Shane Dagg responded with two tries of his own, powering the BC-3 squad through to the division final.
In a heated exchange which saw multiple yellow cards handed out, BC-3 were able to match up against an older and larger Celtic Barbarians side in the championship game. Zandbergen and Dagg were again at the forefront of BC's attack, contributing two tries a piece. Du Toit tacked on the conversion to see BC-3 take the final 22-7.
After six games, the BC-3s had outscored their opponents 196-19.
BC-1s go 3-0 on day one of High School Elite Youth Sevens competition The BC-1s, the Elite Youth Sevens Under-18 squad, powered their way to a perfect 3-0 record on Friday and clinched the top seed in their pool.
The squad played their toughest match at 8:00am in the morning when they went head-to-head with fellow Canadians Ontario. On the back of two quick tries by Ryan Turley and James Mitchell, Ontario were up 10-0 at the half. The BC squad found their footing after the break, however, and scored three unanswered tries to take the match 15-7. Ian McMaster (Bayside RFC) crossed over twice and Quinton Willms (Bayside RFC) put the game out of reach with his game winning score. Willms tacked on the conversion to see BC-1 finish 17-10.
It was much smoother sailing for BC-1's second match when they blanked Washington rep side 33-0. Haydn Evans (Cowichan Rugby Club), a standout with Canada's Under-18 national team at the Youth Commonwealth Games this past September put his side up 5-0 early on. Jordan De Graaf (GP Vanier) and McMaster recorded two tries a piece. Fergus Hall (Castaway Wanderers RFC), a fellow U18 national team player with Evans, tacked on three conversions for six points with De Graaf notching another.
The team's most impressive win of the day was a 29-0 dismantling of USA All-Americans-2, a national sevens program featuring some of America's finest athletes. Gavin McLean (GP Vanier) and Jorden Best (Abbotsford RFC) recorded two tries apiece with another tally courtesy of Evans. Hall hit two conversions for a total of four points.
The BC-1 squad will now play BC-2 in tomorrow's semifinal matchup at 8:40am. The Cup final is tentatively scheduled for 11:40am.
BC-2s go 2-0-1, punch ticket to Cup semifinals The BC-2 Elite Sevens squad narrowly missed out on clinching top seed of their pool, when a last minute knock-on saw them wrap up the round robin with a 2-0-1 record.
Avi Howitz (Shawnigan Lake School) powered the BC-2s to their opening win over Utah, contributing two tries in their 15-7 victory. James Pitblado (Vancouver Rowing Club) also crossed over to round out the scoring.
Howitz continued on his rampage in BC-2's second matchup against Canadian Prairies-based side Dog River Howlers. Howitz ran in two tries in the 27-0 win with tries also scored by BC's Chris Miles (Shawnigan Lake School), Olly Nott (Shawnigan Lake School) and Robert Jones (Bayside RFC). Spencer Miller (Abbotsford RFC) added a convert.
In their third and final matchup of the day, BC-2s went toe-to-toe with the USA All-Americans-1, eventually tying the national side 12-12. The Americans went up 7-0 early on, before Miller evaded several tacklers to see BC cut the lead to 7-5. The US again powered their way across the try line to go up 12-5. Nott responded with an intercept try and a conversion by Pitblado drew the game level at 12 points apiece. In the final play of the game, BC was in scoring distance before knocking the ball on to finish the match. The draw saw BC-2 finish second in their pool behind USA All-Americans.