TrueBlue BC U17s fall 17-19 to NorCal in San Francisco
Published Friday, July 27, 2012
by Andrew Smith, BC Rugby Communications

TREASURE ISLAND, CA - The TrueBlue British Columbia men's U17 provincial team were just two minutes away from lifting the inaugural TrueBlue BC NorCal Challenge Cup on Friday evening, when Northern California All Star Mark Qoro sprinted half the field and off-loaded to try scorer Marshall Godfrey who barrelled over for the game-winning score. The 19-17 win for NorCal combined with a 46-39 win in Victoria in June, saw the American side clinch the Challenge Cup series with a 2-1 record.

2012 TrueBlue BC NorCal Challenge Cup Results:
June 19 (Vancouver, BC): BC 36-34 NorCal
June 21 (Victoria, BC): BC 39-46 NorCal
July 27 (San Francisco, CA): NorCal 19-17

Match Report: NorCal 19, BC 17
NorCal's Mark Qoro opened the scoring on Friday evening and with a conversion by Aidan Flynn put the home side up 7-0 early on.

BC responded with a pair of tries, the first from Captain and no. 8 Marshall Fuller. The second score saw speedster James Oswald dash down the sidelines before diving in for the try. At the half, BC were up 10-7.

In the second half NorCal's Josh Short finished off several phases of powerful forward play before going over to make it 12-10. Aidan Flynn provided the extras and NorCal were up 14-10.

Although undersized against the U18 Norther California side, BC matched up in physicality holding their opponents and causing NorCal to commit numerous handling errors. After forcing their way into NorCal's 22, BC were grinding their way into the far corner when Fuller off-loaded to prop Christian Nonni who crashed through to make it 17-12. Joey Campbell hit a difficult conversion from the touch line to see BC lead 17-12.

With the clock wearing out, NorCal were gaining their momentum smashing the BC defensive line. Eventually NorCal's Qoro found a gap and accelerated to the open field and set up Godfrey for the game winning score to take the match 19-17.

"It was an exciting game all around," said BC coach Shane Thompson. "Our guys dug their heels in and didn't back down against a much larger opposition."

For BC Provincial Coach and Development Manager Dave Brown, the opportunity to play against the NorCal program has allowed players in the BC Rugby Academy to test themselves against quality opposition.

"We have exposed a large number of our Under-17s to a higher level of competition and that can only benefit the players and a program in the long run," Brown said. "We can take a lot from their performances this summer and build upon it next year."

On Sunday, July 29th, the BC U17s will then travel to Dixon to compete in a youth invitational seven-a-side competition. Dixon is home to the U19 US high school national champions Dixon Rugby Club, a region where rugby is rapidly expanding.

NCYRA (Northern California Youth Rugby Association)
The NCYRA is the USA Rugby sanctioned youth organizer for Northern California, and is one of the largest State Based Rugby Organizations (SBRO) in the United States. The NCYRA is comprised of more than 90 clubs, 200 teams, 4,000 players (both boys and girls), all playing in 13 Divisions ranging from co-ed Under-8 through to high school varsity. The NCYRA stretches from Kings County up to the Oregon border.

TrueBlue BC U17 Men's Provincial Team
Sina Alavi (Capilano RFC)
Ben Bethune (Capilano RFC)
Joel Campbell (Abbotsford RFC)
Toby Digney (Nanaimo Hornets)
Will Foss (Langley RFC)
Marshall Fuller (Capilano RFC)
Alex Klassen (Bayside Athletic Association)
Caleb Lee (Capilano RFC)
Spencer Loughlin (Abbotsford RFC)
Anton Metalnikov (Richmond RFC)
Connor McRae (Capilano RFC)
Christian Nonni (Capilano RFC)
James Oswald (Capilano RFC)
James Porter (Capilano RFC)
Jack Rainer (Capilano RFC)
Louis Retief (Abbotsford RFC)
Morgan Tate (Castaway Wanderers RFC)
Jenner Teufel (Cowichan Rugby Club)
Tomasi Vataiki (Bayside Athletic Association)

Team Staff
Coach: Dave Brown
Coach: Shane Thompson
Manager: Andrew Smith
Assistant Manager/Video: Randy Neville

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