This past Sunday the Comox Valley/Campbell River Kickers RFC’s U18 men’s and women’s rugby teams hosted the Vancouver Island semifinals at Cumberland Village Park in Cumberland.
First up, the second-ranked U18 women faced the Velox Valkaries from Victoria and with little difficulty on the way came out with a 44-0 win. Tries were recorded by Lauren Sargent (3), Kristine Osachuk (2), Chloe Baird (2) and Dawson German (1), with two conversions by Osachuk.
“The team, made up of girls from different schools in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, really came together throughout the season,” said coach Aimee Burley.
“Things we once struggled with individually and as a team really came together these last few weeks and the way they played today proved it. We luckily had a good mix of girls. Our forward pack was powerful against our competition and would set up good ball for the speedsters to score,” said Burley.
“To place second is a big accomplishment for our program, which is in its first year. We have some talented athletes in Comox and Campbell River. The future looks bright for them.”
The Island final was played Nov. 24 at Cowichan RFC, with Abbotsford beating the hosts 29-7.
The U18 men played their North Island rivals from Nanaimo in the second game of the day on Nov. 17 and also came away victorious with a score of 56-5.
After a close opening 10 minutes of the first half which saw the score tied, the bigger and more experienced Kickers started to control the tempo and pace of the game with some excellent forwards play. The Kickers scored two more tries before halftime by Trevor Caton and Jackson Locker, going into the half leading 15-5.
The second half started with tries from Callum Passingham and Foster Dewitt and two more from Caton putting the game out of reach for the visiting Hornets. Arne Neuman had a strong game for the Kickers including a 55-metre run off of a Nanaimo kickoff for a try under the posts. After playing in the forwards for most of the game the Kickers then started to play some entertaining and open rugby which saw Caton control the backs with some excellent play-calling and helped Blair Schmelz and Brad Doig finish the day with a try each.
The men travelled to Victoria on Nov. 24 and defeated the powerhouse Oak Bay Castaway-Wanderers 31-29 to win both the Island and B.C. U18 championships.
– Comox Valley/Campbell River Kickers