Orlando, FL – April 21, 2019: BC Rugby’s Elite Youth Sevens Boys’ Team were competing in the Tropical 7s tournament in Florida this weekend. Up against some of the top Rugby Academies in North America, the squad faced some tough competition and even more challenging weather conditions during the event. Head Coach Adam Roberts provided the following summary of the competition.
“The Tropical 7s in Orlando, Florida is a MUST. The tournament is a very professional experience for teams with a massive support staff, in a very picturesque setting and with great weather (for the most part).
After a great 6 months of build up the through the Elite Youth Sevens program, including LAs Vegas Invitational and the Vancouver Sevens Invitational, the Tropical 7s was the culminating event for our season. The BC U18 program headed down to Orlando for some unfinished business, having suffered a disappointing loss to Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA) in the final of the Las Vegas tournament. The team had many changes from the Las Vegas, since the Tropical 7s overlaps the start of the High School Rugby Season for the BC players, with injuries and availability issues compounding selections.
In the end, we were still able to select a strong team of exciting athletes, capable of proudly representing BC in Orlando. The team was led by Captain Nathan Holm from Collingwood Secondary, who has a ton of athletic potential, fantastic in the air and a tough edge. Ethan Turner from Thomas Haney Secondary is calm, cool and collected when he plays 7s and is able to create holes. Austin James from Carson Graham Secondary is big, tough, fast and athletic and leads from the front. These are just some of the talented players on the team, and I could easily ring the praises of each of them at length.
The tournament draw was released and pitted BC against EIRA right out of the gates, but the opponents would have a slight advantage as it was their second game of the tournament, but BC’s first. BC fought hard and contested well, but early mistakes left them trailing EIRA and while they kept them in their sights, they couldn’t quite overcome the deficit. BC ended up losing 17-14, unfortunate to start with a loss but sometimes you have to be able to hit form straight out of the gate and on this day, we were just not quite there quick enough. The second game of the day for BC was against an Academy from Texas. The side were playing much stronger and more efficiently….and then mother nature took over! You would not believe the storm that came in a suspended the tournament for the day.
When the tournament started up again the format needed to change to facilitate the 112 team tournament. After the restructure, and with the opening loss to EIRA, the BC Elite Youth Sevens Boys’ were not able to get into the top echelon, taking the wind out of the team’s sails a little.
Despite this setback, the team finished with a convincing win over Kahuku from Hawai to wrap up the tournament with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses. Weather is something we can never control in the sport of Rugby and it was unfortunate to battle the conditions as well as the opposition. However, this was still an important learning experience for the players, both in terms of the resilience required when a tournament isn’t going your way but also what it is like competing in an elite level atmosphere. The teams top performers were Torren Kaiser from Brentwood College and Jacob Bourne from St.Georges. Thanks to all of the players, parents, staff and supporters for helping to pull the trip together.