The girls rugby team at Vanier Secondary defeated North Kamloops in the B.C. championship final last weekend in Williams Lake, winning its third provincial banner in six years.
Over the last seven seasons, the Towhees’ girls rugby team has placed no lower than fifth in the province.
“We let the girls have fun and play,” said coach Steve Fagan, who is assisted by Vanier alumnus Tom Schaad. “There’s times where I’ll step it up a notch, but if they’re afraid to play, they won’t play.”
Vanier was the top AA seed in B.C. heading into the tourney, which featured 24 teams, eight of which were triple-A schools. En route to the final, Vanier defeated crosstown rival Isfeld Secondary.
“They (Isfeld) came out hard and strong,” Fagan said. “We had to work for everything.”
In the final against NorKam Senior Secondary, the number two seed scored a try within 30 seconds of the opening whistle. But by game’s end, the Towhees prevailed 34-10.
“That was a tough game,” Fagan said. “They played the same style as us. Basically we were playing a mirror image, and it was all a matter of who could break the other side’s glass first. It was a heart-pounding game. There were injuries, there was carnage after every ruck, but our girls stood fast and kept going the whole way.”
Next season, the team will be losing five graduating players.
“But the up and coming team for next year is still considerably strong,” Fagan said.
Isfeld defeated Lake City of Williams Lake 26-22 to win the bronze medal.
•The senior girls weren’t the only Vanier rugby players winning trophies this season. The junior girls development team won the Island Sevens recently in Duncan.