What's Happening in Island High School Rugby: Cross Zone Exhibition Series Starts May 6th; Victoria Playoffs May 12th; North v South May 17th
from BCRN high school correspondent (Island)
[ed. any readers interested in covering high school rugby from a mainland perspective please contact firstname.lastname@example.org]
With the BC club competitions now complete, fans can turn their attention to a very busy month of high school rugby.
On the Boys side, at Tier 1, Tier 2 and Junior level, the local Victoria competitions are winding down, before playoffs kick into gear May 12.
To date, and following a last second 26-22 victory over BC AAA #2 Oak Bay this past weekend, SMUS tops the Tier 1 league, while GNS, now riding a nine game unbeaten streak, is in pole position in Tier 2.
Oak Bay currently leads the Junior table, with Claremont pushing hard behind them.
However, prior to local and Island playoffs comes a much awaited cross zone exhibition series, set for Victoria on Friday, May 6 and Shawnigan on May 7.
UVIC's Centennial Stadium is the venue for a May 6 doubleheader, with SMUS (BC AA #2) meeting North Vancouver's Collingwood (BC AA#3) at 430pm. This game is followed by Oak Bay vs St. Georges (BC AAA#3) at 6pm. All four teams feature multiple provincial and national level U17 and U18 players. These include Elias Ergas, the Collingwood centre who played for Canada U18 this past March in Ireland, #8 Gavin Kratz of Oak Bay, winger Lucas de Vries from SMUS and St. Georges scrum half Owen Pitblado.
Admission to the above games is $5 for adults and $2 for students.
Six games at Shawnigan the following day conclude with the BC AAA#1 ranked hosts, led by Canada U18 fullback Mostyn Findlay, battling AAA #5 Earl Marriott. In a key AA matchup, top rated Rockridge meets AA #5 Brentwood College. The full schedule for May 7 is as below.
GNS vs. Southridge - 1230 pm
Brentwood vs. Rockridge - 1230 pm
Claremont vs. Lord Byng - 2pm
Cowichan vs. Lord Tweedsmuir - 2 pm
GP Vanier vs. Argyle - 3:30 pm
Shawnigan vs. Earl Marriott - 3:30 pm
Then, on Thursday, May 12, the local Victoria playoffs take place at SMUS. In a new venture, the teams placing second to fifth in the Tier 2 league will meet for the inaugural Community Bowl and Shield, while the traditional finals will see Claremont take on GNS in the Colonel Hodgkins Cup. In the finale, Oak Bay and SMUS tangle for the Howard Russell trophy. Kick offs are set for 130pm, 3pm, 430pm and 6pm.
In the last series of matches, prior to the BC championships in Abbotsford, the South Island playoff teams will play their North Island counterparts on Tuesday, May 17. Three games will be played at Brentwood College, with exact matchups still to be determined. What can be confirmed are three matches that afternoon at UVIC's Wallace Field. In the Junior final, the winner of Shawnigan and Brentwood meets Oak Bay, with SMUS and Brentwood then to play in the AA Senior decider. Finally, in a much anticipated meeting between arguably the two best sides in the province, Oak Bay will clash with Shawnigan. Kickoffs are set for 3pm, 430pm and 6pm.
Once Island play is complete, the draws for the revamped BC championships, set for May 25-28 at Abbotsford's Rotary Stadium, will be published.