What can happen when a national team takes on a provincial team? Losing a two-game series by a combined scored of 103-17 can happen.
And that is precisely what did happen Aug. 21 and 23 when the BC U18 women hosted the USA U18 women in two exhibition matches at Brentwood College. The visitors won the first match 58-0 and took the second game 45-17.
There were seven G.P. Vanier Towhees on the B.C. team. In the forwards were Adel Arndt (lock/prop), Chloe Baird-Titcombe (flanker) and Taya Gagnon (hooker). In the backs were Lauren Sargent (scrum half), Dawson German (fly half), Madi Gold (centre) and Olivia Kellinghusen (wing/fullback).
Of the Aug. 21 match, BC Rugby noted: “There’s not a lot of positives to take out of a game where the opposition runs in 10 tries and you barely get a sniff of the goal line but it is a national team vs. a provincial team.
“You look at the USA team and you can see some players that are almost certain to be on the senior USA national team one day. For B.C., probably the best player was scrum-half Lauren Sargent from Vanier high school.
“It shows a lot of character when you’re keeping your level of play up when the score is going against you and some of your teammates have given up. She has a bright future ahead of her.
“The B.C. women, however, deserve praise for playing positive and enterprising rugby. They were largely undone on account of not having the pace and athleticism of their counterparts.
“’We learned right away how diverse and amazing their group is,’ said B.C. centre Madi Gold of Vanier. ‘It will be nice for us to have Saturday to team bond, learn from the game today, try to change some things and get back at it on Sunday.’”
“The result may sting in the short time, but going head-to-head against a national program is sure to benefit B.C.’s athletes in their long-term development,” BC Rugby reported.
The game marked the first-ever performance from the Girls High School All Americans 15s program.
Following the 45-17 Aug. 23 loss, BC Rugby said: “The good news is that this was an improvement over Friday’s 58-0 loss. Coach Marius Felix seemed buoyed by that fact. The B.C. defence, for the most part, was tighter except for a flurry of tries midway through the second half. This time B.C. managed to cross the line three times, a big improvement from Friday when they were blanked.
“Overall the American players had an edge across the board, their bigger players were a little bigger, their fast players were a little faster and their physical players were a little more physical.
“South of the border in a battle of the national U20 women’s teams, the USA defeated Canada 32-5, a margin of 27. So for B.C. to stay within 28 of the USA U18 team is a small victory of sorts. Hopefully some of the B.C. players will be inspired now that they know the skill, fitness and physicality required to make it to the national level.”
With a file from BC Rugby