Captain Evan Cambridge

Oak Bay and St. Michaels take city rugby championships

The Oak Bay Barbarians retain the Howard Russell Cup as Lower Island high school boys rugby champs, beat Rams 39-17



The Oak Bay Barbarians retained the Howard Russell Cup as Lower Island high school boys AAA rugby champions with a 39-17 win over the Mount Douglas Rams at Oak Bay High on Thursday.

Grade 12 student Conor McDiarmid led the Barbs with a hat trick of tries. Captain Evan Cambridge scored the second try of the day as the Barbs used a well rounded attack to stymie the talented but new-to-rugby Rams.

“The Rams are a team of great athletes, you can see that, and we had to use our skill and structure to win,” Cambridge said.

Cambridge, a graduating senior and B.C. Youth 7s team member, will join the UVic Vikes rugby program next year. Vikes head coach Doug Tate was at the game watching his son, Barbs’ fly half Morgan Tate.

On the opposite side of the field, Rams’ fullback Mason Swift gave the Barbs all kinds of fits. Swift is headed to play running back for the Guelph Gryphons football squad in the CIS this year and showed his skills are transferable.

“Rugby’s in my blood, I’m half Tongan, but I never played until this year really,” Swift said. “I love it, but I just haven’t played enough.”

Swift lined up at centre most of the season but was moved to fullback for the Howard Russell Cup by coach Matt Staples.

And the decision paid off.

“I think we’d rather face Swift at centre so he has less space to start with,” said Cambridge.

Swift’s runs almost always started from standing, at times on his heels, not that it mattered, as he casually slapped off at least two tacklers per carry.

Early line breaks and a game’s worth of tackle breaks may have sapped Swift’s extraordinary fitness, though he continued to break Barbarians’ tackles at half speed. His fitness proved valuable as he made multiple try-saving tackles, of highlight reel quality, including two during one set of Barbarian phases late in the game, at opposite corners of the field, no less.

The Rams, to their credit, surged in the second half using its massive forward pack to barge ahead with a hard fought succession of phases.

But the inevitability of a knock-on was always there and the Barbarians could smell it. The Barbs were caught offside due to their eagerness to apply pressure at the breakdown, like sharks in search of a turnover.

The win is another notch in the historic rugby program so important to the Oak Bay High culture.

“It means a lot to win this trophy,” Cambridge said. “We hear about what it means to be a Barbarian from the time we’re in Grades 5 and 6. It’s passed down not just from older kids, but from our parents.”

Jags run over GNS

The St. Michaels Blue Jaguars romped to a 56-5 win over the Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons in the AA Colonel Hodgkins Cup immediately following the Howard Russell on Thursday.

GNS fielded a team full of Grade 10s and 11s and to their credit, scored the try of the day to end the game, said Blue Jags coach Ian Hyde-Lay.

All four above teams qualified for the first round of provincials, which happen Saturday (May 25) at Brentwood College.

The No. 3 seed Blue Jags are missing a handful of key regulars and will likely call up some talented Grade 10s when they face No. 14 seed Ladysmith in AA play.The 11 seed Gryphons will face the McRoberts of Richmond.

In AAA play No. 8 seed Oak Bay and faces No. 9 seed Carson Graham and No. 14 Mount Doug draws No. 3 Earl Marriott.

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria seventh most youth-friendly Canadian city: national index

B.C. capital tops YouthfulCities’ education and creative arts categories

Canucks host pre-season game, training camp in Victoria

Practices to be open to the public; Game against Calgary Flames set for Sept. 16

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Money to go towards teacher spots and Indigenous teaching practices

Province promises July policy changes to help break cycle of poverty in B.C.

Families providing room and board to kin will no longer be financially penalized

Verdict expected on July 22 in trial of care aide accused of sexual assault

Closing arguments heard Monday in Victoria courtroom

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Most Read