Morten provides comeback try for victorious B.C. U18 women

Cowichan's Hannah Morten barges across the line for a try for the B.C. U18 women's team in the national championship final against Ontario.
— image credit: Daryl Griffith

Team B.C. needed a quick pick-me-up and Cowichan's Hannah Morten provided it.

The B.C. U18 women trailed 7-0 at halftime in their gold medal game at the national rugby championships in Calgary. Morten's try brought the team back to even terms and a penalty goal by Abbotsford's Chantal Maclean propelled B.C. to an eventual 10-7 victory.

B.C. rolled through the round robin by beating Alberta 19-7, Nova Scotia 38-0, Manitoba 45-0, Saskatchewan 24-0 and Quebec 38-0 before running into Ontario and losing 17-0.

But everyone knew the rematch between B.C. and Ontario for the gold medal would be a dandy and that proved true. Morten said lessons learned from that first meeting really helped B.C.

"We knew for the next game we had to fix up our mistakes and tighten up our game and play smash-mouth rugby,'' she said.

The girls did that, but fell behind after giving up a try on the last play of the first half.

"We were kind of baffled by that,'' said Morten. "We didn't really know what the call was and they quick-tapped it and went over for the try.''

The score was not at all indicative of the play in the first half and the B.C. gals knew they had to just keep pushing hard.

"We stuck it out and came out harder in the second half,'' said Morten. "Ontario is an amazing team. We had something a little bit to prove. I think what we really saw is we could actually beat them.''

The road to recovery started with Morten's try and Maclean's tying conversion. Maclean's penalty then decided the issue and avenged B.C.'s loss to Ontario in last year's final in Vancouver.

Shawnigan Lake's Nicole Crowley of UVic was co-captain of the team with Morten and the two hoisted the big championship trophy on behalf of the team after the game.

The valley was also well-represented on the team by Brentwood College's Ciel Arbour-Boehme, Jenn Lemon, Brooklyn Navarette and Avi Sharabi. Cowichan's Adrienne Saari was also a member of the squad, but played a limited role while still recovering from illness.

Overall, B.C. teams won four national titles. The U18 men joined the U18 women as Tier 1 champs, the U17 men went undefeated to claim the Tier 2 crown, the B.C. U16-1 men blanked Alberta in the Cup final to win the division for the fourth straight year, the B.C. U16 women placed second in their division and the U16-2 men were edged by Ontario in the bronze medal game.

Other Cowichan reps included: Sam James and Wes Wong of Shawnigan Lake School on the U18 men; Frances Kelsey's Alex Hedley, Karl Mattison and Connor McGarry, and Shawnigan Lake School's Nicholas Mouret, Seth Purdey and Nathan Bice on the U16 B.C.-2 men; Kyle Joe of Cowichan on the U16 B.C.-1 men's team; and McKenna Haz of Brentwood on the B.C. U16 women's squad.

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