BC High School Girls' Sevens: Belmont and Shawnigan Claim Titles

May 15, 2018

Langford, BC - May 12, 2018:  Belmont Secondary secured the BC High School Girls' Provincial Sevens senior title this weekend, capping off a fantastic two-day tournament showcasing some of the best Age-Grade talents in the Province.  The Senior Division final was an all-island affair, with Belmont taking on 2017 runners-up Shawnigan Lake School.  Playing in front of cheering fans at Westhills Stadium, during Day 1 of the HSBC Canada Women's Sevens tournament, it was the local side who seized the initiative in the afternoon sun and secured the victory with a 19-5 win.  The Junior Division final was also settled just moments earlier, with Shawnigan Lake again contesting another all-island final, this time against hosts Brentwood College.  In the first ever final for this new division, it was Shawnigan Lake who edged a close-fought game, winning 17-12.

The BC High School Girls' Provincial Sevens tournament ran for two days, with Brentwood College serving as the host venue for the majority of the games and Langford's Westhills Stadium, where the final matches were staged as part of the HSBC Canada Women's Sevens program.  Overall, the tournament was a great showcase of the strength of girl's rugby in BC. Teams came from schools right across the Province, from Smithers/Houston to Dawson Creek to the Kootenays, Lower Mainland and the Island.  This level of representation was a real triumph for girls' grassroots rugby and bodes well for the future of rugby in BC, particularly the upcoming BC Summer Games in Cowichan.  BCHSGRA President, Brad Baker, was full of praise for the event, saying "The tournament this past weekend was outstanding, particularly seeing representation from all regions of the province.  The continued growth of the female game is impressive to see and we have great hopes for the future.  Congratulations to all teams that competed."

The overall standard of play was widely complimented by those watching from the sidelines, with some particularly tough pool games and competitive quarterfinal matchups.  This was also the very first time the Junior Division was run as part of the tournament, an indication of the continued successful growth of female rugby.  The Division also gave grade 8-10 players the opportunity to play in a more age appropriate sphere, as well as watching the performances of the Senior teams.  The growth of the event, along with the setting for the final matches, was highlighted by Darcy Patterson, Rugby Development Officer for BC Rugby and Elite Youth Sevens Head Coach.  "The opportunity for High School girls to play in the stadium alongside a top-level world tournament is amazing," Patterson explained, "Hopefully, a few of them will go on to play for Canada themselves one day."

Thank you to all of the players, coaches, match officials, parents, volunteers and fans who made this year's championships such a wonderful event and big shout out to hosts Brentwood College.


For more information on the event - Click Here (Final scores will be updated ASAP)


Senior Division - Third Place Playoff

Esquimalt Secondary 5 - 19 Earl Marriott Secondary

Esquimalt had narrowly missed out on a spot in the Final, tied with Shawnigan Lake Secondary going into the dying seconds of their semi-final.  to the dismay of Esquimalt fans, Shawnigan was able to keep possession as the clock ticked down, eventually touching down taking the win. Their opponents in the Third Place Playoff, Earl Marriott, had initially kept pace with eventual finalists Belmont Secondary, but couldn't contain the threat and eventually succumbed.

Earl Marriott scored a try in the opening seconds of the game to set the tone in Westhills stadium. The try was scored by the speedster Jordan Jacobs and was followed closely by another try from Nicola Smith. Esquimalt fought back with a try by Emily Parker making it 12-5 and the teams entered a period of mixed possession.  Esquimalt had a handful of chances, but suffered the loss of Brittany Gardiner and were just not able to break the Marriott defence. Melissa Jongedijk's try secured the victory for Earl Marriot in what was a very entertaining and well-played game by both teams. 

Try Scorers 

Jordan Jacobs - Earl Marriott

Nicola Smith -  Earl Marriott

Emily Parker - Esquimalt 

Melissa Jongedijk - Earl Marriott 

Conversions 

Nicola Smith x2 - Earl Marriott 

(L - R): Earl Marriott Secondary, BCHSGRA President Brad Baker presents 3rd Place Plaque, Esquimalt Secondary School


Junior Division - Final

Shawnigan Lake School 17 - 12 Brentwood College

The first ever running of the Junior Division had already produced some exciting matches, including two nail-biting semi-finals.  Shawnigan Lake School had secured their place in this finals via a last-minute score against the formidable Gleneagle Secondary.  This would be one of two finals that Shawnigan qualified for, demonstrating the strength of their program being coached by Laura Russel, Dani Robb and Shannon Atkins.  Their opponents, Brentwood College, had also battled hard to earn their spot in the final.  Finishing runners-up in their group, they had to come from behind against a dominant Lake City Secondary to tie their semi-final.  Heading into overtime, and spurred on by plenty of home support, the hosts were able to score first and land that advance to the final at Westhills Stadium.

The Junior Division Final was fun to watch, with the young players relishing the chance to showcase their developing 7s and rugby skills in front of a healthy HSBC Women's Sevens crowd.  It was a close fought game, including an uninterrupted stretch of almost 4 minutes that really tested the stamina, resilience and fortitude of the players. In the end, it was Shawnigan who came out on top, winning by just 5 points in a very competitive game.  Tausani Levale, an Abbotsford Senior Secondary alumni BC, Canada Youth and now Canada Senior player, presented Shawnigan Lake Secondary with the inaugural Junior Division title. 


(L - R): Shawnigan Lake School Juniors,  Brentwood College Juniors

Tausani Levale presents plaques to the captains of Shawnigan Lake School Juniors (L) and Brentwood College Juniors (R)


Senior Division - Final

Belmont Secondary School 19 - 5 Shawnigan Lake School

After already securing the Junior Division, Shawnigan Lake School came into this match hoping for a double victory and started quickly, Avery Champion getting a try in the opening minutes.  Their opponents didn't take long to respond though, taking the game into their hands with a strong run by Olivia De Couvreur. Belmont was able to keep this momentum going and soon Ashley Stephensen went over the line to score under the posts and level the game. The conversion by Maliyah Colombes was good and handed Brentwood a slim lead.  Looking to strike while the iron was hot, good team play and a strong run by Sierra Gillis, Grade 10, resulted in another score, ably converted once again by Colombes to give Belmont a 14-5 lead at the half.  The game slowed down a little in the second half, unsurprising given the heat and the work rate of both teams over the two days. However, no one handed this memo to Belmont's Carmen Izyk, who was able to put on the afterburners and score a scintillating try to give Belmont a 14 point cushion.  Despite valiant attacks from Shawnigan, they were unable to make further headway and the final whistle blew with the scores at 19-5 in favour of Belmont.  This called time on a game that was a great showcase of the growth of female rugby and sevens rugby in BC. 

Try Scorers 

Avery Champion - Shawnigan 

Ashley Stephenson - Belmont 

Sierra Gillis - Belmont 

Carmen Izyk - Belmont 

Conversions

Maliyah Colombes x2 - Belmont 


(L - R):  Belmont Secondary School,  Shawnigan Lake School

BCHSGRA President Brad Baker presents plaques to the captains of  Belmont Secondary School (L) and Shawnigan Lake School (R)

Image Credit: Darcy Patterson, Courtesy of BC Rugby