EMILY VOSSLER OF Vanier hangs on but can't stop a speedy Ellie White of Cowichan scoring the winning try in overtime in the AAA Island girls high school rugby championship final at Brentwood College School on Saturday.

Towhees off to B.C. rugby championships

Vanier senior girls lose Island final in overtime to longtime rival Cowichan

One of the keenest rivalries in B.C. high school sports was renewed Saturday at Brentwood Bay when the G.P. Vanier Towhees took on the Cowichan Thunderbirds for the Vancouver Island AAA senior girls rugby championship.

This is the seventh year in a row Vanier has played Cowichan in the Island final and every game has been a close battle, noted Vanier coach Dwayne Mills. This year Cowichan is ranked #1 in the province and defeated Vanier twice during league play.  But Vanier was ready to play as for the first time in two months they fielded a full starting lineup as a number of players fought through injuries to strap on the cleats.

From the opening kickoff it was a battle as both teams sought to assert themselves, yet neither was successful. Buoyed by the return of Claire Janssen and newly named captain Georgia Bellamy, the Vanier forwards put constant pressure on the Cowichan pack as they struggled to move the ball down the field, while the backs under the direction of Emily Vossler moved the ball well around the field. Despite some excellent runs by inside centre Madi Gold, the score remained tied at half time.

In the second half the Vanier girls increased their pressure and pace to force Cowichan deep into their end and after a kick to try to relieve the Vanier attack, fullback Samantha Rumney ran the ball back and successfully scored in the corner.  A very narrow miss on a very difficult convert by Emma Rigsby opened the door for Cowichan to strike back as they sensed an upset in the making.

Over the final 15 minutes Cowichan maintained constant pressure in the Vanier end, but the Towhee girls dug deep under the hard defence of flankers Gloria Vankerrebroek and Danelle Campbell and the outside defence of backs Kassandra Sewell and Sienna Moir.

Unfortunately, on the last play of the game, Cowichan outworked the exhausted Vanier scrum and stole the ball only to score a few phases later during injury time. The convert was unsuccessful, the teams headed to sudden death overtime.

The Vanier girls, despite losing a number of starters throughout the game due to injuries, continued to fight in the overtime, but the well-conditioned Cowichan squad capitalized on some mental miscues to score between the posts three minutes in to win 10-5.

It was a great showing by the Vanier girls who are finally beginning to become a more cohesive group after a season full of injuries and roster turn-over.  Fortunately they are peaking at the right time and with this close loss to the #1-ranked Cowichan team they have realized that they have the potential to beat any team in the province. The Towhees now move on to the BCHSGRA provincial championships at UBC on May 22-25.


– Vanier Towhees Rugby



Just Posted

NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership certificate starts this fall

Seats are open for the September start of NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership… Continue reading

YANA Ride cruises past fundraising goal

The 2018 ride is expected to meet last year’s total of $62,000

Mid-Vancouver Island air quality risk very high

Residents of the mid-Island area went to bed last night and awoke… Continue reading

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

Beachcombers Academy offers bursary

Beachcombers Academy is offering a bursary for a family who would like… Continue reading

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Another person stabbed at a tent city on Vancouver Island

Incident happened Friday afternoon in Nanaimo; injuries were not severe

Most Read