VANCOUVER - British Columbia's Under-16 provincial teams lifted a pair of national titles on Sunday afternoon as both the men's and women's sides wrapped up the five-day tournament undefeated in their respective divisions. The Under-18 men's and women's programs each finished as runner-ups to Ontario, while the TrueBlue Under-17 men's provincial team also dropped the Plate final to their Eastern rivals.
Men's U16 Cup Final: BC-1 50 - 0 Ontario
BC's Under-16 men's team wrapped up the tournament with their third shutout and only conceded 13 points over the course of six games. In their 50-0 win over Ontario that sealed the 2013 title in the Cup round, BC's tries came courtesy of a pair from no.8 Jake Thiel and single tallies from Liam Mahon, George Barton, Sam Hagong and Chris Atkinson. Aaron Hersant notched four conversions while Ben Scher contributed another two as well as a convert.
"It's an amazing feeling having everyone behind you and winning at home," said Captain Josh Thiel after he was presented with the trophy. "We had a great group of guys and we all pushed and supported each other throughout the tournament."
"We had a really bright group of guys who weren't afraid to make mistakes," said BC U16 head coach Ken Erikson after guiding the program to back-to-back titles. "The development with this squad has been exceptional and they all played for each other. I was impressed with their conduct both on and off the field and this was a hard working group who really put in the hours over the last five weeks."
Women's U16 Cup Final: BC 19 - 0 Ontario
In the inaugural year of the Under-16 women's competition at Nationals, Rugby Canada Female Coach of the Year Jen Ross led the top side to an undefeated record. Their defence was especially impressive in the Cup final as they held Ontario scoreless in a 19-0 decision. All of BC's points came in the second half as Sophie Belsher paced the squad with a pair of tries for the win. BC had previously beaten Ontario 23-15 in the pool rounds.
"We couldn't be more pleased with how these girls game together in our inaugural year of the U16 competition. Everything we asked of the girls they accomplished," Ross said after the win. "Our aim was to engage and enhance their love of rugby and for us to set some expectations of fitness and skill level. Both [assistant coach] Buffy [Cornell] and I are so proud of these young women. It was an amazing experience for us all."
Women's U18 Cup Final: BC 5 - 25 Ontario
BC's return to the national championship game after missing out on the 2012 title match saw the young side come up short on Sunday afternoon, as Ontario produced a four-try performance to defeat the hosts 25-5. Shelby Pihl scored the lone BC try as they were unable to cross the white wash in the second half.
"We put a game plan in place but we made some mistakes and they were able to capitalize on them. Our girls worked hard but we didn't have our A-game today, but that's rugby," said BC head coach Brad Baker. "But full marks to our players as we have improved a lot over the past few weeks and second in the nation is pretty impressive."
BC had gone 2-1 in pool play and defeated defending champions Alberta 15-13 in the Cup semifinals on Saturday afternoon.
U18 Men's Cup Final: BC-1 21 - 29 Ontario
In a tightly contested final that featured historic rivals, it was Ontario who took the spoils as British Columbia were denied their first national trophy at the Under-18 men's level in three years. Ontario used their size to push BC back throughout the match and tallied four tries in the win.
"It was a good final and you could tell both sides were well prepared. But they just had a little more fire power than we did," said BC head coach Jeff Williams.
BC drew first blood in the opening minutes as Guiseppe du Doit hit a long range penalty to put the hosts up 3-0. Ontario's full back Andrew Coe then answered back with 10 points as he recorded a penalty and then converted his own try to make it 10-3. Du Toit would reply with a penalty of his own as the fly half smoothly slotted another three points to make it 10-6. Ontario would go over once more and it was Du Toit who kept the hosts in the game with another penalty to see BC trailing 15-9.
BC would take a 16-15 narrow lead into the half after winger Karsten Leitner went wide and then cut back in through two tacklers to dot down.
After the break the two sides traded tries as Ontario's pick and drive worked it's way down the near touch line for a try. Then it was BC who had a well-worked forwards try of their own when Jonas Blomberg barrelled over. The conversion was wide, however, and BC found themselves down 22-21 with the clock wearing out.
Ontario flanker John Shaw then punched in the final try and with the convert the visitors recorded a 29-21 final decision.
"Our guys really played out of their skins and we asked them to learn things that they had never done before in preparation for this tournament," Williams added. "I'm very proud of them and have to thank all the coaches at the high school, PRCs (Provincial Regional Championships) and BC levels for preparing these guys so they could produce such a great performance on the national stage."
U18 Men's Plate Final: BC-2 (U17) 7 - 26
The TrueBlue men's BC Under-17 provincial team suffered their first loss of the tournament in the Plate Final round when they were downed 26-7 by Ontario on Sunday. The loss was just the second of the year for the new program that has been preparing a new crop of players for Nationals since trials back in early June and a run in the U18 BC Rugby Provincial Regional Championships in July.
BC No.8 Nick Allen scored the lone try for BC in the final as they were unable to produce the high-octane offence that had seen them notch 40-plus point wins through the pool rounds at Nationals.
"At the end of the day this program is performance based and I think our goal was to show the importance of having players at this age competing on a team," said BC head coach Curry Hitchborn. "We obviously would not have been able to do this without the support of TrueBlue and our regional coaches. Through this program this group will have a smoother transition to the next level and it will be easier for them to step up to the Under-18 age grade next year."
U18 Men's Nationals Results (BC)
BC1 36 - 10 Newfoundland
BC1 13 - 15 Ontario-1
BC1 54 - 10 Alberta
CUP SEMIFINAL: BC-1 14 - 0 Alberta FIELD 2
CUP FINAL: BC-1 21 - 29 Ontario FIELD 1
BC-2 40 - 0 Saskatchewan
BC-2 40 - 7 New Brunswick
BC-2 45 - 3 Nova Scotia
PLATE SEMIFINAL: BC-2 20 - 12 Newfoundland
PLATE FINAL: BC-2 7 - 26 Ontario-3
U18 Women's Nationals Results (BC)
BC 0 - 27 Ontario
BC 29 - 7 Nova Scotia
BC 53 - 5 Manitoba
CUP SEMIFINAL: BC 15 - 13 Alberta
CUP FINAL: BC 5 - 25 Ontario
U16 Men's Nationals Results (BC)
BC-1 43 - 7 BC-2
BC-1 75 - 0 Newfoundland
BC-1 12 - 0 Alberta
BC-1 60 - 3 Ontario-2
CUP ROUND: BC-1 25 - 3 Alberta FIELD 1
CUP ROUND: BC-1 50 - 0 Ontario-1
BC-1 43 - 7 BC-2
BC-2 7 - 14 Ontario-1
BC-2 22 - 5 New Brunswick
BC-2 32 - 10 Quebec
CUP ROUND: BC-2 29 - 22 Ontario-1
CUP ROUND: BC-2 35 -12 Alberta
U16 Women's Nationals Results (BC)
BC-1 29 - 5 Alberta
BC-1 23 - 15 Ontario
BC-1 60 - 0 BC-2
SEMIFINALS: BC-1 31 - 0 BC-2
Cup Final: BC 19 - 0 Ontario
BC-2 3 - 31 Ontario
BC-2 0 - 32 Alberta
BC-1 60 - 0 BC-2
SEMIFINALS: BC-1 31 - 0 BC-2
Plate (Bronze) Final: BC-2 0 - 20 Alberta
U14 Boys Nationals Results (BC)
BC-1 66 - 0 Ontario-2
BC-1 50 - 0 Barbarians/Nfld
BC-1 5 - 5 Barbarians
BC-1 38 - 10 BC-2
BC1 7 - 17 Ontario-1
BC-2 28 - 15 Washington
BC-2 50 - 0 Washington
BC-2 10 - 5 Ontario-1
BC-1 38 - 10 BC-2
BC-2 19 - 15 Ontario-2
Barbarians (BC/Nfld) 5 - 53 Ontario-1
Barbarians 5 - 5 BC-1
Barbarians 0 - 50 BC-1
Barbarians 28 - 29 Ontario-2 FIELD 2
Barbarians 21 - 22 Washington
Thanks to official partner Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.