Surrey, BC: The Bayside Sharks U16 Men made it two BC Championships in a row with a nail-biting 15 - 12 victory over the Capilanos U16s on Sunday at South Surrey Athletic Park.
After a dream start with Bayside scoring two quick tries through a charge down by Man Of The Match and open-side flanker Liam Wilson and a short range effort from scrum-half Gavin Rowell, it looked like a BC Title was secure.
Bayside controlled the play and Capilanos did not see the ball for the opening 15 minutes.
Out of respect for their strong opposition, Bayside opted to take any points on offer and Gavin Rowell made it 15-0 with a penalty kick meaning Capilanos would have to score 3 times to get the win - how crucial that would prove to the outcome of the game.
However, Capilanos had different ideas and bounced back using their bigger and heavier forwards as human battering rams to wear down the smaller Bayside forward pack.
Capilanos scored their first try at the end of the 1st half and a 2nd try with 10 minutes to go to make the score 15-12 to set up a thrilling last 10 minutes which saw Bayside players forced to make tackle upon tackle to the point of exhaustion.
Cole Keffer, the Capilanos full-back was a constant threat throughout the game entering the back-line at every opportunity. Fortunately, Bayside were aware of the Capilano danger man and managed to close the gaps and winger Aiden Conte made several last-ditch tackles to ultimately save the game for Bayside.
Andrew O'Connor, Gordo Dobson and Carson Burgin were immense in their containment of the speedy Capilano backs and their big hard running forwards and Bayside captain and 8th man Christian Haldane led by example as he has done all season long with both his strong ball-carrying and tackling.
The Bayside squad has completed what has been an incredible back to back BC Provincial Championship "Double" to make them BC U15 and now BC U16 Champions.
This hard fought victory and 2nd BC Championship was all the more rewarding as the 58 man strong Bayside squad have competed for 2 seasons now with 2 evenly balanced teams throughout the regular season, losing only 1 league game this season to their worthy final opponents Capilanos.
With the pressure off and a job well done, The Bayside U16 squad will take over 30 of it's 58 man squad to represent BC and Canada in Las Vegas this coming February to play 4 games in a 3 day tournament against some of the best teams in The USA.