Vancouver Island High School XVs League Wraps Up Wednesday with AAAA, AAA, AA and Junior Finals at Wallace
The Vancouver Island high school Boys 15 aside rugby season comes to a conclusion Wednesday, May 23, with five South zone vs North zone games scheduled for UVIC and SMUS. Each encounter carries special significance, for not only are Island bragging rights at stake, so to is seeding at the various BC tournaments the following week.
Admission to all games is free.
at UVIC's Wallace Field
130pm - Claremont vs NDSS (AAA final)
300pm - SMUS vs Brentwood (AA final)
430pm - SMUS vs Shawnigan (Junior final)
600pm - Oak Bay vs Shawnigan (AAAA final)
230pm - Belmont vs GP Vanier (Island AAA crossover)
In the first of four matches at UVIC, Claremont and NDSS tangle in the Island AAA final. The Spartans have been led all year by Gareth Sander, their savvy and experienced fly half. Prop Adam Jay anchors an improved forward pack, while expect to see both Ryder Heaney-Corns and Mason McAdams operating both up front and in midfield.
For the Islanders, much revolves around Zephyr Melnyk. The starry flanker has already represented BC in both 7s and 15s, and provides outstanding leadership to a steadily developing program.
The AA championship pits long time rivals SMUS and Brentwood College. The Mill Bay crew, after an early April hiccup vs #1 Collingwood, has been in tremendous form, as evidenced by a comprehensive exhibition victory over the Blue Jags some three weeks ago. Captain Jose Gregorio, hooker Jacob Bossi and flanker Liam Mitchell have been consistently excellent, while scrum half Matt McDougall-Percillier serves a dangerous back division.
In contrast, SMUS hopes to recover from a mid term swoon, and perhaps turned a corner of sorts last week when coming within seconds of upsetting Oak Bay in the Howard Russell Cup final. Centre Luke Rainier-Pope, scrum half Ephraim Hsu, full back Harry Shaw and lock Bolu Osasami will need to continue their fine play.
In what could easily be the most entertaining contest of the afternoon, SMUS and Shawnigan meet in the Junior final. For the up Island visitors, #8 Nico Falcon, fly half Jamin Hodgkins and outside centre Will Mann have been potent attackers.
The Blue Jags counter with flanker Max Nishima, prop Josh Mao, fly half Ben Shaw, and midfielders Will Kinahan and Andres Vega-Perez. Both sides have shown real enterprise and skill over the past two months, with this game a possible preview of a BC semi-final on May 30.
In the finale, Premier league contestants Oak Bay and Shawnigan renew acquaintances. Expect the Barbarians to rebound from an off colour performance last week vs SMUS. Captain Tom Abercrombie, #8 Nick Carson, fly half Jack Carson, and centre Lachlan Kratz will no doubt ensure the entire team shows its best form.
Shawnigan, who retained the Derek Hyde-Lay Shield after going unbeaten through the 2018 Premier league, features a strong senior leadership group, with tight head prop Luis Gui Sala de Melo an imposing figure.
While all eight teams playing at UVIC have qualified for the various May 30-June 2 BC tournaments, perhaps the most important Island crossover game takes place at SMUS. Indeed, for GP Vanier, led by centre Miquel Medina and lock Sydney Woodrow, and Belmont, with #8 Gavin Kilpatrick and prop Jordan Garand to the fore, there is no tomorrow. Very simply, the winner advances to the provincials while the loser is eliminated.
GNS, last year's BC AA Tier 2 winner, with fly half Chris Graham in wonderful form, has already secured its passage to the provincial event.