VANCOUVER - Day two of the 2013 B2GOLD Provincial Regional Championships wrapped up at UBC on Saturday with several dramatic victories setting the stage for an eventful finish on Sunday.
The pre-tournament comment of a "tightly contested U16 Men’s division" was clearly evident by the end of Day 2 action in Pool A. Three teams closed out the day with identical 3-0 records, each coach knowing that bonus points would be the deciding factor between first and third.
In the first match of the morning, Vancouver North and Vancouver Island North Tsunami battled it out in an all-out defensive contest. In a match as close as this, usually one mistake costs you the match and today was no exception. During an attempt at goal by a Tsunami player that would miss the uprights, the kick was charged down by the opposing team. In accordance to the laws of rugby, this move results in a second attempt. Making good on his second chance, the goal was slotted. This lone goal turned out to be the only points of the match as the Tsunami took the surprise win, 3-0 over Vancouver North.
After the match, Tsunami head coach Dave Cowie had this to say, "it was a fantastic response by our boys to the loss to Fraser Valley East yesterday. We watched some game footage last night and saw that we really needed to be better on defensive. The boys stepped up their defensive and that turned out to win the game for them today - it was a tough, gritty win and we're very proud of them."
The conclusion of the first match led to a showdown in the clash between Fraser Valley East and Vancouver North later in the day. If Vancouver North won and secured themselves a bonus point, they would take the top seed in Pool A. However, winning without a bonus point (and Fraser Valley earning a point themselves in the loss) would have caused a three-way tie at 15 points, bumping Van North out of the Semi-Finals based on tie-breaking rules. For Fraser Valley East, a lone bonus point would have secured them a spot into the U16 Men's Semi Finals. The Tsunami team had to wait eagerly on the sidelines and hope Fraser Valley didn't earn a single point or Vancouver lost.
At the end of 40 minutes of play, the Vancouver North side looked to redeem themselves from their earlier loss by putting up a convincing 19-5 bonus point win against Fraser Valley East. The bonus point removed any necessity to look into the tie-breaking rules as they came away with 16 points after two days of play. For the North Island Tsunami, the strong defense of the Van North side that stumped them earlierin the day proved to their advantage in this match as FV East was prevented from scoring more than a try and therefore kept them from gaining the necessary bonus point to keep them in the hunt for gold.
In reflection of the day, North Vancouver head coach Daniel Weidner commented, "[the Tsunami match] was a tough game, they came out firing...the three to zero score line pretty much showed how close the game was." He added, when they headed into the Fraser Valley East match "our guys wanted it, we came out firing...they knew it was due or die and they pulled off they pulled off the bonus point win."
In Pool B play, the TrueBlue U15 Provincial Team continued to roll. Although sometimes playing against bigger and more experienced teams, the overall skill level and athleticism on the young squad has proven to be too much for their competitors. Head coach Spencer Robinson remarked, "I'm proud of the resilience of the boys, they've been playing through some adversity..." and "only having three days to get the guys playing as a team...I'm happily surprised [by the results]." Spencer and the U15 TrueBlue staff also wanted to thank the parents who have been supporting the boys along the way, especially the Vancouver parents who have added extra for a team that has a mix of players from around the province.
Up next for the U16 Men's division is the placement round. The first matches of the day are the Semi Finals which kick-off at 9:20am.
Friday, July 5th:
(Pool A) Vancouver North 69 - 0 Cariboo Coast
(Pool A) Fraser Valley East 34 - 7 Vancouver East
(Pool B) Fraser Valley West 10 - 34 TrueBlue U15 Provincial Team
(Pool B) Vancouver West 42 - 12 Vancouver Island South Tide
(Pool A) Vancouver Island North Tsunami 59 - 0 Cariboo Coast
(Pool B) Fraser Valley Central 0 - 40 TrueBlue U15 Provincial Team
(Pool A) Vancouver North 39 - 0 Vancouver East
(Pool B) Fraser Valley West 24 - 0 Vancouver Island South Tide
(Pool A) Fraser Valley East 12 - 10 Vancouver Island North Tsunami
(Pool B) Vancouver West 36 - 0 Fraser Valley Central
Saturday, July 6th:
(Pool A) Vancouver North 0 - 3 Vancouver Island North Tsunami
(Pool B) Fraser Valley West 43 - 0 Fraser Valley Central