Comox Valley talent helped B.C. boys rugby teams sweep the opposition on day one of the 2013 National Festival in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Defending U18 men’s national champions British Columbia, with G.P. Vanier’s Foster DeWitt, defeated Alberta 54-10 in the final match of a successful day one. In a rematch of the 2012 national final, B.C. posted a convincing eight-try win.
B.C. rallied after a slow first half to defeat their western rivals. Karsten Leitner, Theo Sauder and Jason Hignell each crossed over for tries and with a pair of converts from Giuseppe du Toit were up 19-10 at the half.
Alberta were physical at the breakdown and gave the defending champs little room to run.
“It really took us 25 minutes to wake up and get the wheels turning. Alberta really came to play and although we knew they would, they still managed to outplay us in the first half,” said B.C. head coach Jeff Williams. “The first half was about individuals and then in the second it was really a team effort.”
Second half tallies came courtesy of a pair of tries from Thomas Choi and singles from Thomas Cheung, Spencer Gordon-Miller, and Captain Harjun Gill. Du Toit added a further five conversions for the win.
The B.C. squad will face their storied rivals Ontario at 1:30 p.m. today (Thursday).
Meanwhile, the B.C. TrueBlue U17 men’s provincial team, with G.P. Vanier’s Braydon Williams, were convincing 45-3 winners over Nova Scotia on Wednesday.
The home side found themselves down 3-0 early on but the opening match jitters soon subsided and they tallied seven unanswered tries. The scores came courtesy of Nick Allen, Phil Berna, Tyler Beselt, Nick Collett, Jack Nyren, Andrew O’Connor and Tim Stephens. Gavin Rowell kicked a penalty and conversion while Nyren added a pair of converts.
“We finished on a high when Jack Nyren went over for the last score and we’ll now look to carry the momentum into tomorrow,” said B.C. head coach Curry Hitchborn.
The U17s take on New Brunswick Thursday morning in their second match of the competition.
National Rugby Festival updates are available at the British Columbia Rugby Union website.
– British Columbia Rugby Union