Oak Bay Reclaim Boot After Four Years: Oak Bay 41 - SMUS 0
from Times Colonist
- Cleve Dheensaw
posted March 10 2011
After having never seen a victory for his side in his years at Oak Bay Secondary, Grade 12 Barbs captain Luke Campbell knew the result he wanted against St. Michaels University School in Wednesday night’s 17th edition of the annual Rees Boot rugby game.
So Campbell held it high when presented the bronzed boot donated by Gareth Rees, the SMUS grad and Team Canada legend who played in four World Cups.
Rees is among several Canadian national team players to have come out of either SMUS or Oak Bay and he donated one of his old rugby boots 17 years ago to honour the rivalry between the schools.
The 41-0 Oak Bay win, before a boisterous throng of nearly 1,000 fans at Wallace Field, ended SMUS’ four-year run of Boot victories and evened the series 8-8-1.
“Four years is a long time to wait so we came out strong,” said Campbell, son of 1984 L.A. Olympic silver-medallist rower Marilyn Campbell and UVic rowing coach Howie Campbell.
“We kept the pedal down and ran straight at them. But we never expected this score.”
The sporting universe has a way of evening itself out as SMUS gave up the Boot to the Barbs.
“With the number of Canadian national team players who have come out of these two programs, you know the level of play was going to be high,” said Campbell.
Campbell is a case in point. The six-foot-three, 230-pound No. 8 is headed next fall to Australia to play for the Sunshine Coast Stingrays organization in Brisbane.
“I’ll see how far I can go in the sport,” he said.
That could be far.
“In 25 years, Luke Campbell is one of the best players I’ve seen put on an Oak Bay jersey,” said Barbs coach Murray Allen.
“He is something special.”
The win was savoured even more by Luke because brother Jeff Campbell played on the last Oak Bay team to win the Boot in 2006.
“After losing the last four, we’ve been waiting for this a long time,” said Allen.
There was a terrific atmosphere with the pitch ringed by Oak Bay supporters in green face paint and SMUS fans wrapped in blue.
“We had a good run and it’s hard to see it end,” said SMUS head coach Eliot Anderson.
“But Oak Bay has a great side this year and we showed a lot of guts in the first half in trying to keep it tight. But the mistakes and turnovers killed us. It was a lot of small things that just added up.”
The game was dedicated to an ailing Grade 12 player from each team.
Cole Braid, brother of former Oak Bay star and current James Bay and Canadian national team player Connor Braid, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is in hospital at Vancouver.
“We believe the prognosis is good for Cole,” said Allan.
Hubert Wang of SMUS recently came down with a serious viral infection and is also in hospital.
“We think he’s turned the corner,” said Anderson.
Alun Rees, Gareth’s father, dedicated the game to Braid and Wang in awarding the Boot trophy following the game.
Barbarians on tour in the UK, win first match in the Welsh snow [BTW have the IRB approved that scrum cap with the horns yet?]
[ed. The touring team have their own blog (abbreviation of weblog) which is quite impressive]
posted March 16 2006
You can visit it here www.barbsontour.blogspot.com/
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