Canada U20 Men Overcome BC U23 in Warm Up Fixture

June 05, 2018

Abbotsford - June 1, 2018:  The BC U23 Men's XV took the field at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford on Friday in the afterglow of the BC boys high school finals. There was no fanfare to be had going into this match, it was an all business affair: BC were there to provide a real test for Canada going into their Junior World Rugby Trophy qualifiers against the USA. It was a field full of talent from the province, with eight out of the 15 starters for Canada hailing from BC and a further five on the bench.

A big forward pack led by James Bay and Canada Selects notable, Liam Murray, challenged Canada early, proving too much for some of the U20 Canada side.  With one player down (Reid Davis yellow-carded inside the first five minutes), Canada was unable to stop BC from scoring, with Nick Allen (UBC), going over for the match’s first points. Canada’s fly-half, Will Percillier, who currently plays for UBC, answered with a penalty kick through the posts when BC was penalized in their end. Then the game started to open up and those in the crowd who were hoping to see a fast-paced game were not disappointed. Three tries for each team in the first half. Bayside fans were pleased to see their elusive outside-centre, David Dinbandhu, go over to make the score 10-3, BC. UBC’s Cole Keffer put over the extra two points. UVic player, but Alberta native, James O’Neill, rumbled over the sidelines for Canada’s first try, bringing the score to 12-8, BC. Percillier converted and then added another three after a penalty. His boot seemed to be the difference in the first half as Canada took the lead, by a score of 20-17 at halftime.

It looked like BC might hang around and make a game of it, but they wore down in the second half and were unable to add to their points tally. A set piece off the attacking lineout led to Canada’s first try in the 2nd half, finished by Percillier. Adding salt to the wound, it was BC’s turn to take a yellow card, when Burnaby Lake RFC’s, Taitusi Vikilani, was sent to the sin bin. Ontarian hooker, Jack McRogers, pushed his way in for a try, making the score 30-17. Logan Martin-Feek, of Victoria, added the conversion.  Despite continued attacking play from BC, the momentum had clearly shifted in favour of the men in red shirts.  Two further tries from Owain Ruttan and Jack McCarthy secured the win for Canada U20, 47-17.

Cohesiveness amongst the BC side was a problem, admittedly hard to achieve after having no more than two practices before the game. Head coach Dean Murten commended the BC boys’ efforts, while also mentioning the mistakes, “We started off really strong, really physical, but we didn’t keep the ball enough. We’re making too many basic errors and allowing Canada to get back into the game. They certainly looked a lot fitter than us. All credit to them, they’re well organized and it showed”.

A loss for BC, but mission accomplished, the goal of the BC U23 squad was to provide a real test for the U20s before the Junior World Trophy Qualifiers, and that’s what they did. Canada’s Assistant Coach, Adam Roberts, was pleased with his side’s grit and composure, “they were up against some pretty stiff competition. That’s what we wanted, to challenge these guys, to feel that pressure, to feel that against them, to feel adversity and overcome it and to just keep in the battle.” Roberts added that he was pleased with the team’s ability to play as one on the field, noting their improvement as the game went on.

We caught up with Percillier after the match and he had this to say on the close first half, “the whole time we were trying to stretch our legs, we were trying to keep it running. I don’t think we satisfied ourselves in terms of how fast we wanted to play. We still have a bunch left in the tank”.

Murten’s plans for 2019, when the U23 program was meant to commence, is for development, “this is the age group that we’ve got to keep working on. If we could train more and we could work as a team, then that’s the way ahead and that’s what we look forward to next year”. BC looks to develop the U23 age group as a bridge between players who are just out of high school and players that are looking to represent at a higher level, on both provincial and national teams.

This will be the team’s final warm-up fixture before they head to Houston to face the USA in a two-match qualifying series for the Junior World Trophy. USA will pose a stiff challenge to Canada in Texas and the men have been hard at work preparing for the two-match qualifying series.

The World Rugby Under-20 Trophy is an international rugby union competition contested by 8 second-tier men's junior national teams with an under-20 age requirement. The 2017 World Rugby U-20 Trophy was the tenth annual edition of the competition and was won by Japan. Canada finished in 7th place.

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Scoring Report - Full time Canada U20 Men 42 - 17 BC U23 Men

BC U23

Tries – Allen, Dinbhandu, Ikeda

Conversions – Keffer

Canada U20

Tries – O’Neill, Ruttan (2), Percillier, McRogers, McCarthy

Conversions – Percillier (2), Martin-Feek

Penalties – Percillier (2)

BC U23 Men

1 Liam Murray – James Bay AA (Langley, BC)

2 Stephen Ng – James Bay AA (Ottawa, ON)

3 Nick Hildebrand – Burnaby Lake RFC (Victoria, BC)

4 Trevor Helgason – Queens University (Vancouver, BC)

5 Jesse Burns – UVic Vikes (Vancouver, BC)

6 Taitusi Vikilani – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)

7 Jacob Ikeda – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

8 Nick Allen – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)

9 Cole Keffer – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)

10 Josh Theil – Abbotsford RFC (Aldergrove, BC)

11 Jossiah Morra – Castaway Wanderers RFC (Victoria, BC)

12 John Franklin – Capilano RFC (Vancouver, BC)

13 David Dinbandhu – Bayside Sharks RFC (Delta, BC)

14 Cathal Long – UVic Vikes (Vancouver, BC)

15 Fraser Hurst – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

16 Nick Frost – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

17 Hans Stander – United RFC (Coquitlam, BC)

18 Donald Carson – UBC Thunderbirds (Delta, BC)

19 Jason Hignell – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)

20 Siaki Vikilani – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)

21 Callum Botcher – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

27 Christoph Stangl – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)

23 Gino Paolella – Burnaby Lake RFC (Langley, BC)

24 Noah Jensen – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)

25 Will Sauder – Queens University (Vancouver, BC)

26 Flynn Heyes – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)

22 Evan Norris – UBC Thunderbirds (Victoria, BC)

28 Nicolas Mouret – UVic Vikes (North Saanich, BC)

29 Logan Smith – Bayside Sharks RFC (White Rock, BC)

Coach: Dean Murten

Asst. Coach: Tony LaCarte

Canada U20 Men

1 Gavin Kratz – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC)

2 Jack McRogers – McMaster University (Toronto, ON)

3 Tyler Rowland – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)

4 Reid Davis – Bayside RFC (Surrey, BC)

5 Quentin James – Perpignan (Vancouver, BC)

6 Michael Smith – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

7 James O’Neill – UVIC Vikes (Cochrane, AB)

8 Jackson Matthews – UVIC Vikes (Montreal, QC)

9 Will Percillier – UBC Thunderbirds (Victoria, BC)

10 Steven Commerford – Brock University (Toronto, ON)

11 Jack McCarthy – Vandals RFC (St, John’s, NL)

12 Kevin Vertkas – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)

13 Seth Purdey – UCal at Berkeley (Shawnigan Lake, BC)

14 Elias Ergas – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

15 James Hammond – Toronto Nomads (Toronto, ON)

16 Tyler Wong – UVIC Vikes (Vancouver, BC)

17 Sam Turner - UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

18 Emerson Prior – Trent University (Toronto, ON)

19 Brandon Schellenberger – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)

20 Harrison Smith – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)

21 Owain Ruttan – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)

22 Logan Martin-Feek – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC)

23 Tyler Rockwell – James Bay AA (Calgary, AB)

24 Peter Ingoldsby – Exmouth RFC (Devon, England)

25 Ben Newhook – Vandals RFC (St, John’s, NL)

26 Brock Gallagher – James Bay AA (Edmonton, AB)

27 Mostyn Findley – UVIC Vikes (Regina, SK)

28 Stephen Mallard – Swiler’s RFC (St. John’s, NL)

29 Brennig Prevost – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC) - injured

Jeff Williams – Head Coach
Adam Roberts – Assistant Coach
Adam Kleeberger – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Pat Parfrey – Manager
Mike Flynn – Co-Manager
Derrick Pue – Video analyst
Kiyomi Thompson – Physiotherapist

Canada U20 Junior World Trophy Qualifier Schedule:

Tuesday, June 12th
Canada U-20 vs USA U-20
Houston, Texas
Kick off: TBD

Tuesday, June 16th
Canada U-20 vs USA U-20
Houston, Texas
Kick off: TBD