ABBOTSFORD - Reigning U18 women's club champions Abbotsford RFC will battle Bayside Athletic Association this weekend in a rematch of last year's provincial final.
In their only meeting back on October 28th, it was Bayside who took the Fraser Valley derby spoils, running in a last minute try for the 27-20 victory. Abby's head coach Jen Ross knows Sunday's opponents well, having coached many of the players on last summer's Fraser Valley rep sides in the BC Summer Games and Provincial Regional Championships.
"[Bayside] have a great group of girls and the last time we played them it was a high quality game," said Ross. "They beat us by a converted try and we missed four kicks. I have a feeling it will again come down to the final minutes."
For Abboftsford to pull off the win on Sunday, they will have to shut down the Elidoros sisters - Jade and Jenna - who were lethal in their previous meeting during the regular season. Both sisters impressed for the Fraser Valley rep teams in July and went on to capture bronze at the National Festival Championships with BC this past August.
"Jade and Jenna are up and coming superstars," added Ross. "When we played them in October they were playing standoff and inside centre. They are fantastic to coach and tough to play against."
Abby's core group consists of four rep players who Ross calls the 'anchors' of this year's team. The quartet includes Tiffany Picketts, Shelby Pihl, Lauren Kerr and Kay Olsen.
"Our strength would have to be our depth this year with over 30 girls registered," Ross added. "They are all excellent athletes and our success really stems from the strength of the high school and middle school programs we have in the Valley right now. We also have a number of girls who have played rep rugby and they have brought their experience and helped out some of our younger girls"
This will be Bayside's third straight appearance in the U18 provincial final having previously lost 34-7 to Abbotsford in 2011 and coming up just two points short in a 10-8 loss to Cowichan in 2010.
Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00am at Abbotsford's CFV Exhibition Park on Sunday.
U18 Provincial Finals Results
2011: Abbotsford 34, Bayside 7
2010: Cowichan 10, Bayside 8
2009: Cowichan 24, United 10
2008: United 18, Abbotsford 10
2007: Capilano 22, Cowichan 17
2006: Cowichan def United