LANGLEY, BC - With the McKechnie Cup on the line and players getting one last chance to impress selectors for BC Rugby’s upcoming tour to South America, Fraser Valley successfully defended their provincial title on Saturday afternoon, edging Vancouver 17-14 at Langley’s Crush Crescent Park.
The match came down to the final minutes when Fraser Valley scrum half Cody Rockson (Burnaby Lake RC) made a break off the base of the scrum and darted through the 22 for a 15-14 lead. Fly half Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake RC) tacked on the extras to see Fraser Valley go undefeated for the second straight year and lift their third McKechnie Cup on the trot.
Fraser Valley’s points came courtesy of tries from Rockson, Jeke Gotegote (Burnaby Lake RC) and a pair of converts and a penalty from Ryan.
“During the last 20 minutes there was a feeling that we had the game,” said Fraser Valley head coach Kris de Scossa. “Our defence was solid and they couldn’t get past us.”
Vancouver went into Saturday’s clash fresh off a narrow 25-22 win over Vancouver Island on June 7 and were looking to lift their first McKechnie Cup since 2001. Vancouver led 7-3 at the half on Saturday but were unable to close out the win.
“We stuck to it and never doubted that we were going to come back,” added De Scossa. “We were strong in attack and I think Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake RC) coming on in the centres and having Adam Timler (Bayside AA) on the wing gave us more options. It was really nip and tuck all the way through and I’m very proud of the way the guys played.”
It was the second week in a row a McKechnie Cup fixture was decided by three points and the level of competition between Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Fraser Valley has certainly improved according to De Scossa.
“It’s challenging games like today’s that allow the selectors to see what they need to,” De Scossa added. “I’m confident that the BC team will be strong and we will have a good representation from the Fraser Valley.”
As part of BC Rugby’s 125th Anniversary, the BC Bears senior men’s provincial team will be touring South America next month. The McKechnie Cup was used as a selection tool for BC staff ahead of the Bears’ matches against Buenos Aires (July 16) and Uruguay (July 19).
In the third leg of the senior women’s Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup, Vancouver edged Fraser Valley 24-0. Vancouver Island clinched the title back on June 7 with a 43-20 win over Vancouver. The Island had previously defeated Fraser Valley 24-12 on May 25.
In Under-20 Dunbar Keg competition, Vancouver blanked Fraser Valley 54-0. Vancouver Island had also previously lifted the Dunbar Keg on June 7th, after edging Vancouver 12-7 at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.
June 14 Cups Results:
McKechnie Cup (Senior Men): Vancouver 14 - 17 Fraser Valley
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup (Senior Women): Vancouver 24 - 0 Fraser Valley
Dunbar Keg (Under-20 Men): Vancouver 54 - 00 Fraser Valley
June 7 Cups Results:
McKechnie Cup (Senior Men): Vancouver Island 22 - 25 Vancouver
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup (Senior Women): Vancouver Island 43 - 20 Vancouver
Dunbar Keg (Under-20 Men): Vancouver Island 12 - 7 Vancouver
May 25 Cups Results:
McKechnie Cup (Senior Men): Fraser Valley 29 - 16 Vancouver Island
Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup (Senior Women): Fraser Valley 12 - 24 Vancouver Island
Dunbar Keg (Under-20 Men): Fraser Valley 12 - 78 Vancouver Island