The British Columbia Elite Youth Sevens program produced another round of impressive performances on day three of the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens, going undefeated to win the International High School Sevens competition.
The BC-1 squad defeated fellow British Columbia provincial representatives BC-2 in the semifinal round by a score of 15-5. The BC-1s went on to trounce national program USA High School All Americans 35-14 in the Cup Final. The BC-2s rebounded from their only loss of the tournament with a thrilling 22-12 win over Ontario to lift the Plate and capture third place overall.
The previous day had seen the BC-3 squad go undefeated to win the Invitational High School Sevens against programs from across North America.
“I think these results show that our process with the BC Elite Youth Sevens program is working,” said BC head coach Shane Thompson. “Our players competed with intensity this weekend and more importantly it was evident that our players have been playing and practicing sevens. These players have gone to the trials, camps and super camps and after a year and a half it shows we are moving in the right direction.”
“Heading down here, I wanted all three teams to at least make the semifinal rounds,” added Thompson. “And I believe we went way beyond that. The only loss all weekend was a result of our own two teams facing off in the semifinal and that’s something the players and coaches all have to be proud of. The results are there and what made it possible was the investment of our volunteers, sponsors, parents and the players.”
Semifinal: BC-1 15, BC-2 5
The semifinal round saw the two B.C. sides clash in a heated affair with the senior BC-1s coming out on top of a 15-5 decision. The match featured four tries, some heavy hitting and a red card. Gavin Mclean (G.P. Vanier), Jorden Best (Abbotsford RFC) and Haydn Evans (Cowichan Rugby Club) scored tries for BC-1. Joey Kenville (Bayside RFC) scored the only try for the BC-2 squad.
Cup Final: BC-1 35, USA All-Americans 14
The Cup final saw BC-1 record five tries against the USA All-Americans. Canadian Under-18 national sevens team players Nathan Yanagiya (Capilano RFC) and Haydn Evans (Cowichan Rugby Club) both crossed over twice, with the fifth try recorded by Jordan De Graaf (G.P. Vanier).
B.C.’s kicker, Fergus Hall (Castaway Wanderers RFC) produced a flawless performance going five-for-five between the uprights to round out the scoring. The All-American tries were scored by Allan Sakalia and Fitou Fisiiahi. Nu’u Aiva kicked both converts.
BC-1 went through the pool rounds with a 3-0 record, downing Ontario 17-10, Washington Loggers 33-0 and USA All-Americans-2 29-0.
Plate Final: BC-2 22, Ontario 12
In the Plate Final, to determine third place overall, the BC-2 squad bested Canadian rivals Ontario with a four-try performance. Joey Kenville led the charge for BC, crossing over twice. Avi Horwitz (Shawnigan Lake School) and Spencer Miller (Abbotsford RFC) also crossed over. James Pitblado (Vancouver Rowing Club) tacked on the final conversion.
BC-2 had gone undefeated in the pool round, defeating Utah state side 15-7, Prairies-based side Dog River Howlers 27-0 and drew the USA All-Americans 12-12.
– British Columbia Rugby Union