BC RUGBY WEEKEND PREVIEW: SEMI-FINALS - APRIL 28TH

April 27, 2018

That’s the Playoff Quarter-Finals over and done with and in terms of action and excitement they did not disappoint!  There were equal parts jubilation and heartbreak as the results came in over Saturday afternoon and it was fantastic to see the respect and camaraderie from every player on the field.  So now we have our semi-final lineups confirmed and the debates can begin.  Who are the favourites to progress? Where could the potential upsets come from? Who has what it takes to go all the way?  There’s a whole week to go before we find out, but let’s look at the fixtures in advance.  There are some scintillating matchups including the Women's Premier semi-final on the Island (Westshore vs. Castaway Wanderers), not to mention the top guns in the Men's Premier League (UBC vs. Castaway Wanderers and UBCOB Ravens vs. Burnaby Lake).  But don't overlook the other divisions, with teams from over 12 different clubs from interior to island will be aiming to secure a spot at next weekend's BC Rugby Club Finals at Abbotsford.

As always, you can see full fixture lists here as well as comprehensive results & standings for each league just by following the link underneath each division preview.

Does your team know they’ve got your support this weekend? Get out on the touchlines and let’s hear those cheers!

Men’s Premier League - Sponsored by Onni

Despite spirited efforts from both James Bay AA and UVic, it is the top four seeds from the end of the regular season who are now lined up in the Men’s Premier League semi-finals.  First up we will see reigning title holders UBC hosting Castaway Wanderers on the out at the university campus.  UBC have won both of the encounters between the two sides in the 2017/18 season, though only by 8 points in their most recent match at the start of April.  The defending champions have not had a perfect season, losing to Burnaby Lake, UBCOB Ravens and Capilanos along the way, something Castaway Wanderers will doubtless take heart from.  Not only that, as the only remaining Island team in bidding for the title this year, there may be some extra voices backing them when the game kicks off on Saturday.  Meanwhile, Burnaby Lake have secured their semi-final spot against UBCOB at Jericho.  Once again the hosts have only tasted defeat three times during the regular season, conceding to UBC, Castaway Wanderers and UVic.  Burnaby Lake played a controlled match in their quarter-final win over James Bay AA, but without home-field advantage, will they be able to command the match in the same way?  An exciting prospect lies in wait this weekend.

Fixtures

UBCOB Ravens vs. Burnaby Lake - 14:30 @ Jericho Park

UBC vs. Castaway Wanderers - 15:00 @ UBC

Full results & standings 

Women’s Premier League – Sponsored by belairdirect

Despite a high scoring final weekend to the Women’s Premier League regular season, there was no change in the final table standings.  The big news, therefore, is the all-island showdown between top seeds and defending champions Westshore and fourth seeds Castaway Wanderers at Juan de Fuca Park, kicking off at 2:30pm PT.  Westshore holds a 3-0 winning record over the visitors and will start as favourites.  Those looking for a chink in the Westshore armour might remember that Burnaby Lake proved they were not invincible, inflicting their only defeat of the season so far just 3 weeks ago.  Expect a fierce clash when these two teams go head to head.  Meanwhile second seeds Capilano will host Burnaby Lake at Klahanie Park in the other semi-final.  This is a fascinating matchup as the sides have a perfectly balanced 2-2 record in head to heads this season and cumulative scores are edged by Burnaby Lake 67-66.  When the statistics tell you it’s too close to call, best to rely on gut instinct…who will triumph this weekend and reach the final?

Fixtures

Capilano vs. Burnaby Lake - 12:45 @ Klahanie Park

Westshore vs. Castaway Wanderers - 14:30 @ Juan De Fuca

Full results & standings 

Men’s Premier Reserve

Castaway Wanderers 2 showed their Men’s Premier counterparts how it’s done by dispatching UBC 2 at the weekend.  As a result, they earn the chance to take on Meraloma 2 in the semi-final.  With Loma’s home field closed for the summer, the venue for this clash is still TBC, but it will be in the Kitsilano area.  The hosts have won both encounters between the teams this season and are unbeaten since January.  Will Castaway Wanderers 2 pull off an upset?  In the other semi-final, UBCOB Ravens 2 will travel to east in the mirror image of their Premier League counterparts match, facing Burnaby Lake 2 at home.  The hosts and top seeds have only dropped two games all season long, but one of them was against their semi-final opponents and UBCOB Ravens 2 won’t be quick to forget that piece of information.  The action for both matches kicks off at 12.45pm PT

Fixtures

Burnaby Lake 2 vs. UBCOB Ravens 2 - 12:45 @ Burnaby Lake

Meraloma 2 vs. Castaway Wanderers 2 - 12:45 @ Prince of Wales Secondary

Full results & standings 

Women’s Div 1

The quarter-final matches in the Women’s Division 1 playoffs provided plenty of entertainment for those watching from the sidelines.  Kamloops came away confident winners over Comox Valley Kickers to set up a semi-final game against Bayside Sharks, to be hosted at South Surrey Athletic Park.  Bayside have been in dominant form all season, dropping just a single game against Meraloma.  Kamloops won’t be deterred though, showing dogged determination to reach this stage in the playoffs and knowing that they only lost by five points the last time the two sides met.  In the other semi-final, Meraloma will host Abbotsford (venue TBC).  The visitors completed a commanding 66-20 win against a spirited United side at the weekend and will fancy their chances against the team that they defeated in the opening match of the season back in September.  Who will come out on top and make it to the final on May 5th?  Your guess is as good as ours.

Fixtures

Bayside Sharks vs. Kamloops - 11:15 @ South Surrey Athletic Park

Meraloma vs. Abbotsford - 11:15 @ Prince of Wales Secondary

Full results & standings 

Men’s Div 1

Bayside Sharks secured a narrow victory over Langley this weekend to secure their semi-final spot against Cowichan, who will host the fixture.  The Piggies held off a spirited United side to advance to the next round of playoffs and will be the sole island team in left in the playoffs after Port Alberni lost to Surrey Beavers.  Surrey’s opponents in the semi-final will be Vancouver Rowing Club, convincing winners against Abbotsford at Brockton Oval over the weekend.  What more can we expect when the semi-final matches kick off this weekend at 2.30pm PT?

Fixtures

Cowichan vs. Bayside Sharks - 13:30 @ Cowichan Valley

Surrey Beavers vs. Vancouver Rowing Club - 14:30 @ Sullivan Heights

Full results & standings 

Women’s Div 2

Capilano 2 are the team to beat in this year’s Women’s Division 2, having only lost a single match so far this season.  Their opponents in the semi-finals, Vancouver Rowing Club, have only tasted victory twice this year but will take to the pitch at Klahanie Park ready to give every ounce of energy and skill they can summon.  In the other match, Scribes will host Ridge Meadows at Rupert Park.  The visitors hold a 2-1 record over the hosts from regular season but now it’s winner takes all.  Only two spots available in the final on May 5th, who will claim them?

Fixtures

Capilano vs. Vancouver Rowing Club - 11:15 @ Klahanie Park

Scribes vs. Ridge Meadows - 11:15 @ Trout Lake

Full results & standings

Men’s Div 2

Top two seeds Vancouver Rowing Club and Kamloops both secured safe passage into the next round of the Men’s Division 2 playoffs with wins over Brit Lions and Kelowna Crows respectively.  Elsewhere, Burnaby Lake three took a comfortable win against Langley 2 but there was an upset when third seeds Surrey Beavers lost a close battle with Bayside Sharks 2, finishing 42-30.  This means Burnaby Lake 3 will travel downtown to take on Vancouver Rowing club at Brockton Oval in the first semi-final while Bayside Sharks 2 will take a journey up into the interior to face Kamloops in the second match.  Both exciting match ups for the penultimate weekend of senior rugby in the 2017/18 season, but who will progress to the final?

Fixtures

Vancouver Rowing Club 2 vs. Burnaby Lake 3 - 11:00 @ Brockton Oval

Kamloops vs. Bayside Sharks 2 - 12:45 @ Kamloops Park

Full results & standings 

Men’s Div 3

Top seed Capilano 3 will host Meraloma 3 at Klahanie Park in the first semi-final of the Men’s Division 3 on Saturday.  The hosts are looking to level the playing field in their head-to-head record, which Meraloma 3 currently leads 2-1.  Capilano won this same fixture just two weeks ago, will they pull off a second victory in April and progress to the final?  In the other semi-final, Westshore 3 will host Squamish over at Juan de Fuca Park.  Both sides were comfortable winners in their respective quarter-finals, but with no previous encounters between the sides, this is a tantalizing unknown commodity of a match.  Which side has what it takes to win on the day and secure a spot at Club Finals weekend?

Fixtures

Capilano 3 vs. Meraloma 3 - 11:15 @ Klahanie Park

Westshore vs. Squamish Axemen - 12:45 @ Juan De Fuca

Full results & standings 

Men’s U23 Division

In the inaugural season of the Men’s U23 Division, the semi-finals will be contested between UBC A, Capilano Academy, United U20 and Richmond.  It has been an exciting opening season for this new division and many are keen to see it grow, providing a key stepping stone as players transition from high school teams to senior level competitions.  In the first semi-final, UBC A will host Capilano Academy, a fixture that Capilano have yet to win so far this season.  However, playoffs are a wonderful melting pot for upsets and anything can happen in 80mins of rugby action so watch this space.  In the other game, United U20 will host Richmond at Eagleridge Field (Harrier Park).  The visitors had a bumpy start to their season but came together to record some impressive victories as the regular season drew to a close.  Both matches kick off at 11.15am PT.

Fixtures

UBC A vs. Capilano Academy - 12:45 @ UBC

United U20 vs. Richmond - 14:30 @ Eagleridge Field (Harrier Park)

Full results & standings