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Fraser Valley advance to Dunbar Keg U20 Provincial Final
 
Published Friday, July 22, 2011 5:00 am
by Andrew Smith, BC Rugby Communications

Langley, BC: Fraser Valley are through to the Dunbar Keg Men's Under-20 Provincial Final after eliminating the defending champs Vancouver Wave by a score of 36-27 on Friday evening.

The Valley now advance to the championship game against the Vancouver island Rising Tide, a team that handed them a 36-29 loss in week two of the round-robin competition.

Fraser Valley 36 - 27 Vancouver Wave
On Friday evening, the Valley and Vancouver Wave changed leads three separate times, with Vancouver leading 22-17 at the half.

"I thought we played a very good first 40 minutes," said Vancouver head coach Pat Fleck. "But in the end, I think we were just a little outmatched in fire power."

The Wave were up 10-0 early on with Connor Martin crossing over for a try. Connor Fuller converted and then added a penalty. 

Neil Mclagan opened the scoring for Fraser Valley when he went over for a converted try, narrowing the lead 10-7. Pat Shields added another score for the Valley, taking a 12-10 lead in the 25th minute.

Fuller responded soon after with a try for Vancouver, tacking on the conversion for a 17-12 score line.

In the 35th minute, Valley inside centre Cole Coventry drew the match level at 17-17. The high-scoring match saw one more try before the break, with Vancouver taking a 22-17 lead.

The second frame opened with Valley winger and Canadian international Keaton Styles crossing over for the 24-22 score line and the hosts never relinquished the lead. Pat Shields added another try for the Valley in the 52nd which was converted by Mclagan. Their final try was notched Evan Zhang who dotted down to make it 36-22.

Vancouver's Emil Wilson scored a final try in the 80th minute as his side fell 36-27.

"That was a great back and forth game," said Fraser Valley head coach Marc Filiatrault. "Vancouver played great and they never stopped coming. We executed some strong stuff and played really hard. Our defence was much better than last week. There was some great resistance put up against us but we got the win."

"Pat Shields was a powerhouse and for me, he was the man of the match," added Filiatrault. "He really dictated the game and brought it to them. Keaton Styles and Kurtis Appeldoorn produced some strong counterattacks, Josh Warner was solid in the back row and Neil Mclagan really performed well for us."

Fraser Valley now advance to the provincial final against the undefeated Vancouver Island Rising Tide on Saturday, July 30th at Klahanie Park.

For the Wave, this marks the end of the season and Vancouver's head coach Pat Fleck said there were plenty of positives to draw from their short campaign.

"I think we had a number of standouts that performed well at this level," Fleck said. "It gave these players at this age group something to play other than club rugby. There aren't many avenues for them to pursue high level rugby and it's vital that these guys are developed. If we don't push this age group more, there will be some serious repercussions for our national programs at the Under-20 level."

2011 BC U20 Dunbar Keg Schedule
Sat. July 9: Vancouver Island Rising Tide 46 - 24 Vancouver Wave
Sat. July 16: Vancouver Island Rising Tide 36 - 29 Fraser Valley
Fri. July 22: Fraser Valley 36 - 27 Vancouver Wave at  (Crush Crescent, Langley)
Sat. July 30: Dunbar Keg Provincial Final (Klahanie Park, West Vancouver) 12:30 kick off

Dunbar Keg Competition
Three regional representative teams will contest for the historic Dunbar Keg this summer in the revamped British Columbia Rugby Under-20 Championship. The Vancouver Wave, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island Rising Tide will compete in a round-robin competition, accruing points towards a championship appearance on July 30th. These three teams had previously competed against one another in the Pacific Conference of the now-annulled Rugby Canada Junior National Championship.

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