Sports

Kelsey back on the provincial AA rugby map

Jed Leech is an Very Important Player for the Kelsey rugby team. - Don Bodger/file
Jed Leech is an Very Important Player for the Kelsey rugby team.
— image credit: Don Bodger/file

Frances Kelsey's senior boys' rugby team is looking forward to its first appearance in the provincial championships since 2006.

The team is primed to play in the AA tournament at the Rotary Stadium and Exhibition Park complex in Abbotsford.

"This has been an unbelievable season to date, as we have a very young group of players and they have played above all expectations,'' noted Tom Fogarty, assistant coach to Craig Schmidt.

The program is clearly back in the forefront at the school, under the direction of Schmidt and athletic director Adam Johnston.

"These guys dedicate literally countless hours in supporting the students on this team in becoming not just better rugby players, but better men,'' noted Fogarty. "I think I echo the thoughts of the school, the players and the community in thanking them for their time and effort.''

In ideal weather, Kelsey handily beat Wellington 52-10 in the North Island playoffs. The conditions benefited Kelsey's desire to play an expansive running game.

"Despite Wellington's relentless defensive display, the Kelsey boys were able to benefit from a stronger set piece and superior support play in the contact area, which resulted in positive attacking opportunities,'' Fogarty pointed out.

Inside centre Jed Leech led the scoring with 22 points on a combination of tries and conversions.

Robert McDermit was awarded man of the match honours for his excellent defensive effort in tackling and controlling the flow of the game. He also scored a spectacular try on a solo 60-metre run.

Other tries were scored by No. 8 Karl Mattison, flanker Mitch Empey, Rhys Fowler, winger Masaru Evans Kimoto and lock Connor McGarry.

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