VANCOUVER - The final round of the 2013 BC Rugby Cups Competitions saw the Fraser Valley Rugby Union defeat Vancouver in both senior men's and women's divisional play to take home the McKechnie and Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cups. In the men's Under-20 competition, it was Vancouver who put up 48 points to defeat the Valley as they went on to lift the Dunbar Keg title on Saturday.
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup - Fraser Valley 30, Vancouver 29
A thrilling back-and-forth contest between the senior women's rep sides was decided in the final minutes of the game when United Rugby Club's Shannon Craig stepped up and converted a penalty to edge Vancouver by a score of 30-29.
The two sides had already scored five tries a piece and some precise goal kicking by Vancouver's Julia Sugawara had the home side up 29-27 as the clock wore down. Sugawara had crossed over for a try and along with tallies from Ciara Malone (Meraloma), Devon Luca (Burnaby Lake) and a brace from Demi Stamatakis (SFU), appeared to have the win secured.
Fraser Valley had taken a 17-12 lead into the break but a second half lapse saw them go down 24-22, before taking the lead back at 27-24, before once again finding themselves trailing 29-27. Alicia Guerin (United) and Emily Young (Kamloops) recorded two tries each with the fifth coming courtesy of Tanya Leigh.
"My heart was in my throat. That's the kind of rugby that makes this such a great competition," said Fraser Valley's head coach Steph Murphy. "There couldn't have been a better way to finish it off this year."
Fraser Valley wrapped up this year's Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup series at 2-0, having previously defeated Vancouver Island 36-10 in Abbotsford on February 2nd. Vancouver went 0-2 after narrowly falling 17-10 to the Island in the series opener on January 26th.
"One of the good things about rep rugby is the rivalries from our leagues carry over and they get magnified in a series like this," said Vancouver's head coach Walt Brandl, who also coaches Burnaby Lake's women's premier side against Steph Murphy's United. "This is a great competition and those rivalries are what really make this a lot of fun."
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup
Fraser Valley 30, Vancouver 29
Valley Tries: Alicia Guerin x2, Emily Young x2, Tanya Leigh
Valley Conversions: Emily Young
Valley Penalties: Shannon Craig
Vancouver Tries: Demi Stamatakis x2, Julia Sugawara, Ciara Malone, Devon Luca
Vancouver Conversions: Julia Sugawara x2
U20 Dunbar Keg - Fraser Valley 8, Vancouver 48
Vancouver's Under-20 men's side overcame the loss of 11 starters on Saturday to defeat Lower Mainland rivals Fraser Valley with an impressive eight try effort. It was a vastly different lineup to the Vancouver roster who had downed Vancouver Island 34-27 in Victoria in late January with many of their stars representing UBC on a road trip to California competing in the annual 'World Cup' competition.
Fraser Valley fronted up and matched their counterparts in physicality, trailing just 12-8 at half time. But ultimately their lack of depth cost them as Vancouver began to open up the defence and five of their six backs went over for tries.
Fraser Valley's try was recorded by United Rugby Club's outside centre Iliesa Draunimasi and a penalty was converted by Connor Hunter of Abbotsford RFC.
Captain Cully Quirke (UBC) led the charge for Vancouver with an 18-point performance through two tries and four conversions. Tries also came courtesy of Brian Murphy (Burnaby Lake), Lucas Martin (Capilano), Scyler Dumas (Vancouver Rowing Club), Ryan Mills (UBCOB Ravens), Santiago Luna (Capilano) and Jason Galbraith (Meraloma).
U20 Dunbar Keg
Fraser Valley 8, Vancouver 48
Valley Tries: Iliesa Draunimasi
Valley Penalties: Connor Hunter
Vancouver Tries: Brian Murphy, Lucas Martin, Scyler Dumas, Ryan Mills, Santiago Luna, Cully Quirke x2, Jason Galbraith
Vancouver Conversions: Cully Quirke x4
McKechnie Cup - Fraser Valley 46, Vancouver 15
71 points in offence and just 22 against was how Fraser Valley wrapped up their 2013 McKechnie Cup campaign, dispatching the Vancouver Wave by a score of 46-15 on Saturday afternoon. Fraser Valley had previously beaten Vancouver Island 25-7 back on February 2nd in Abbotsford.
On Saturday, the Valley side again fielded a number of forwards in their back line and their heavy-hitting blitz approach paid off as they crossed the whitewash on seven occasions against Vancouver.
Matt Alexander (Burnaby Lake) accounted for two tries with single tallies provided by Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake), Cody Rockson (Bayside), Richard Pearce (Langley), Craig McLaughlin (Burnaby Lake) and Preston Petrovich (Burnaby Lake).
Fraser Valley successfully repeated as McKechnie Cup champions, having won the coveted trophy when it was last contested back in 2004. This marks the sixth time Fraser Valley have been crowned provincial champs, while Vancouver will remain at 39 McKechnie Cup titles for another year.
Fraser Valley 46, Vancouver 15
Valley Tries: Andrew Lackner, Cody Rockson, Richard Pearce, Craig McLaughlin, Preston Petrovich, Matt Alexander x2
Valley Conversions: Alec Douglas x3, Stu Morrison
Valley Penalties: Alec Douglas
Vancouver Tries: Garner Lea, Kevin Gurniak, Justin Law