Boys High School Season Moves into Final Two Weeks: Island North v South Matchups for May 17th: SCHEDULE UPDATES
from BCRN high school correspondent (Island)
[ed. the GNS v NDSS has been moved to Shawnigan at 4pm]
posted May 16 2016
The High School Senior Boys rugby season moves into its final two weeks, as zones all across BC confirm their representatives for the May 25-28 Junior, AA, AAA and AAAA provincial championships.
On Tuesday, May 17, UVIC's Wallace Field and Brentwood College will each play host to three games involving South Island and North Island teams. The schedule is as follows
200pm - Frances Kelsey (North AA #2) vs Edward Milne (South AA #3)
330pm - SMUS (South AA #1) vs Brentwood College (North AA #1)
500pm - Oak Bay (South Junior #1) vs Shawnigan (North Junior #1)
400pm - GNS (South AA #2) vs NDSS (North AA #3)
330pm - Claremont (South AAA #2) vs GP Vanier (North AAA #3)
500pm - Cowichan (North AAA #2) vs Belmont (South AAA #3)
"For years, teams from the South Island and North Island qualified directly to the BCs. In 2016 however, a new provincial tournament format requires that the two Island zones be able to rank its AA and AAA teams in an exact order. Therefore, there will be a lot to play for in every game, as teams fight for a BC berth and even position themselves for a potential wildcard" noted Lower Island Commissioner Ian Hyde-Lay.
Also, the Junior game between Oak Bay and Shawnigan takes on great importance, with the winner advancing to play the Lower Mainland-Fraser Valley champion in the inaugural BC Junior Boys final May 27 in Abbotsford.
Here are the games at a glance
Frances Kelsey vs Edward Milne
Coach Craig Schmidt's France Kelsey rapidly improving squad looks to reach the BCs for a third consecutive year. The Breakers direct, physical game style is led by Karl Matison, Chad Garriock and Connor McGarry. In contrast, Edward Milne will want to move the ball wide at every opportunity. Flanker Carson Holmquist has been a real factor at the breakdown, with winger Jacob Dyer leading the team in tries.
SMUS vs Brentwood College
Defending BC AA champion SMUS is again showing strong end of season form, with wins over archrivals Oak Bay and Collingwood in the past two weeks. Co-captains Jonas Robinson and Josh Graffi, along with senior centre Josh Kahn, are in fine form, while grade 11s Quinn Ngawati and Bryce Forbes have also been very influential. A young Brentwood outfit, currently #5 in the BC rankings and fresh off a commanding 44-5 victory in the North Island final vs Frances Kelsey, features electric scrum half William McDougall-Percillier and powerful No. 8 Thomas DiFiore.
Oak Bay vs Shawnigan (Juniors)
Multiple stars of the future will be on display in this Island Junior title showdown. The large and powerful Oak Bay side, undefeated in Lower Island league play, is led by back row mates Nick Carson and Conor Hills, while Lachlan Kratz and Dave Fennerty form an imposing midfield pairing. Shawnigan, which won an exhibition match between the teams a month ago, are led up front by Nolan Young, Jacob Lillywhite and Kyle McCallum. Centres James Macdonald and Jack Shaw underpin a slick back division.
GNS vs NDSS
GNS, unbeaten this season bar an unexpected 28-24 reverse to Fraser Valley's Southridge on May 7, should account for Nanaimo without undue difficulty. Indeed, Brenning Prevost, Jamie Shillington and Mackenzie Cole drive a dangerous and unpredictable back line, with all three in outstanding form in last week's comprehensive Colonel Hodgkins Cup triumph vs Claremont. Still, the pesky Islanders must not be overlooked, as they seek a long overdue starting position in the BCs.
Claremont vs GP Vanier
Claremont will hope for some consistency in its match vs Courtenay's GP Vanier. The Spartans, after impressive cross zone victories over Prince of Wales and Lord Byng, followed up with an off colour performance vs GNS in City Cup action. However, they will take confidence from the building blocks put in place during a spring tour to England and Wales, as well as an early season 14-10 win over Vanier. Logan Martin-Feek, Jay Pereira and Kyle Clarke are three dangerous attackers, while hooker Aren Ozker leads up front. It has been a difficult season for Ken Erikson's Towhees, with a series of niggling injuries hampering development and continuity. Alex Parsons, playing at both hooker and centre, has been a bright light.
Cowichan vs Belmont
This should be one of the most intriguing matches of the day. The play of the Duncan based Thunderbirds has, in past weeks, gone from one extreme to the other. Still, when Peyton Eagar, Colten Smith, John-Henry Morten and Haele Ferguson are all on song, the team is a handful. Dan Beattie's Belmont squad has been one of the surprise packages of the season, with Canada U17 centre Julian Foggitt and flyhalf Rahul Roy orchestrating the attack. A solid pack, anchored by props Devo Nelms-Horton and Tanner Haywood, should ensure enough quality possession to threaten the Cowichan defence.
Oak Bay vs Shawnigan (Seniors)
In the only drawback to what should be a wonderful day of rugby, the much anticipated meeting between AAA #1 Shawnigan and AAA #3 Oak Bay, scheduled for 630pm, will unfortunately not take place. However, both teams have already qualified for the upcoming BCs, as one of four teams (along with the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley AAA champions) that will take part in a newly minted AAAA competition. Hopefully, the injury bug that has severely impacted Oak Bay over the course of a very demanding season will have eased by May 26.
The full BC tournament runs May 25-28 at Abbotsford Rotary Stadium. In the new format, six provincial banners will be up for, with champions set to be crowned at AAAA, AAA Tier 1, AAA Tier 2, AA Tier 1, AA Tier 2 and Junior level. Go to www.bcssru.com to follow all the action.