Greater Victoria had a healthy representation at the Youth Rugby Nationals held in Vancouver last weekend, including a crew of Castaway Wanderers who spurred B.C.’s U16 Gold and Blue teams to gold and bronze, respectively.
U16 Gold players Sophie De Goede, at scrum half, and Caroline Crossley, at fullback, helped defeat Ontario 19-0 in the championship final. Former Velox and CW youth player Ciel Arbour-Boehme, a Victoria resident at Brentwood College, scored the third try of the game.
It’s the first year the nationals had a U16 division for women.
Rugby Canada’s female coach of the year Jen Ross led team Gold to an undefeated record.
“Our aim was to engage and enhance their love of rugby and for us to set some expectations of fitness and skill level. It was an amazing experience for us all,” Ross said to B.C. Rugby.
Crossley led the U16 division with six tries.
Five more Castaway Wanderers, Cachelin Hall, Miranda Llewellyn, Alexandria Bos, Adrienne Graham and Imogen White, were named to the U16 Blue roster that finished fourth.
Brooklyn Navarrete (Stelly’s secondary) was the lone Greater Victoria representative on B.C.’s U18 team that won silver, falling 25-5 to Ontario in the final. B.C. went 2-1 in pool play and defeated the defending champs Alberta 15-13 in the semifinals.
Chris Miles and Morgan Tate won silver with the B.C.’s first tier team, falling 29-21 to Ontario in the gold medal game.
“It was a good final and you could tell both sides were well prepared. But (Ontario) just had a little more firepower than we did,” said B.C. coach Jeff Williams, a longtime James Bay Athletic Association player.
Oak Bay’s Jack Nyren, who starred with B.C.’s U16 championship team last year, was with B.C.’s U17 team that went undefeated into the plate (consolation) final of the U18 second division, but lost 26-7 to Ontario’s third team.
The B.C. 1 men’s team dominated the U16 final with a 50-0 win over Ontario.
Simon Gray, Gavin Kratz and Dante Morandin were part of the B.C. 1 team that earned three shutouts and went undefeated in six games and surrendered just 13 points in total.
Oak Bay’s Lachlan Kratz was part of the silver-medal winning B.C. 1 team which lost 17-7 in the U14 men’s final to Ontario-1.
Earlier this summer a crew of Greater Victoria players, Hayden Evans (No. 8), MacBryan Bos (prop), Jeff Nishima-Miller (flanker), Joe Erlic (centre) and Crosby Stewart (wing), helped Team B.C. win the U19 men’s Canadian Rugby Championship.