Centennial Stadium to Host Friday Stadium Series High School Matches Featuring Shawnigan v Oak Bay at 6pm
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The Senior Boys Rugby season kicks off in earnest this coming weekend, with the first of two cross zone "Stadium Series" taking place throughout the province. In addition, the Premier League, competing once again for the Derek Hyde-Lay Shield, will also begin.
Local rugby enthusiasts should note that UVIC's Centennial Stadium will play host to two highly anticipated matches on Friday, April 6. In the opener, a rapidly improving Belmont side, under the direction of Dan Beattie, take on Abbotsford's Robert Bateman SS.
The Bulldogs have enjoyed a solid pre-season, capped by a 40-0 victory over FE Madill of Ontario. Loose head prop Jordan Garand and #8 Gavin Kilpatrick have both been in excellent form.
For Bateman, returning to the AAA ranks and very much a legitimate Fraser Valley contender, prop Sean Moynahan and flanker Jordan Bahm anchor the forward pack.
Behind the scrum, centre Brock McCartney and wing Braeden Verleur, both national age grade trialists, are serious try scoring threats.
Kickoff is set for 430pm.
The back end of the doubleheader is a dynamite encounter between Shawnigan and Oak Bay, arguably the two best teams in BC this season. The Stags, winners of the BC AAA title eight of the past nine years, as usual field a formidable squad, liberally sprinkled with national level performers. Indeed, Reece Tudor-Jones and Jack Shaw represented Canada U18 at the recent Junior Olympic 7s qualifier, while fullback James Macdonald and #8 Dean Mason have just returned from 15s duty with Canada U18 in Hong Kong.
Not to be outdone, and fresh off an impressive unbeaten tour of Spain and Portugal, Oak Bay will field perhaps its strongest team in school history. Alex Hutcheson, Tom Abercrombie and Nick Carson combine in a big and physical back row, even if the latter will unfortunately miss this match due to his current Canada U19 commitments in Ireland.
Behind the scrum, outside centre Lachlan Kratz is big, skilled and vastly experienced, with flyhalf Jack Carson an equally capable operator.
Kickoff is 600pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.
Other Lower Island schools taking part in the "Stadium Series" will travel this weekend to the Mainland for their cross zone matches.
Three time defending AA champion SMUS take on West Vancouver's Rockridge SS, while GNS plays DW Poppy. At AAA level, the Claremont Spartans, just back from a tour of the UK, journey to Burnaby's Swangard Stadium to battle RE Mountain SS.
Scores for all games may be found on the BC Secondary Schools website. Go to www.bcssru.com