BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens - November 2018

November 26 2018

BC Rugby Youth 7s

Adam Roberts Updates on Elite Youth 7s Program - Mainland v Island Match During University Championships

Head Coach Adam Roberts sends through this report on the BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Boy's All-Star Game held last week.  Taking place during the Men’s National University Rugby Championships at University of Victoria, the game was an opportunity to give some of the most promising young athletes a chance to show their skills, with an extra dash of regional pride for good measure.

The skies cleared and it turned into a perfect setting for the High School 7’s Showcase game at the University of Victoria Friday. The boys assembled at Wallace field in preparation for the halftime show.  Both the Mainland All-Stars and Island All-Stars were already very familiar with one another, with many cordial exchanges going on while the players arrived.

Gregor Dixon and Nanyak Dala prepared the group of Island All-Stars led by Shawnigan Lake School player Ciaran Breen. The side had a blend of many players from the top Vancouver Island Schools: Abdulla Hammawah & Callum Blake-Currier (both Brentwood), Zach Moncton, Nic Bamford & Owen Smith (all Oak Bay),  Max Nishma (SMUS), Graeme Norris, Brenner Kelava (both Shawnigan Lake), Caleb Sam (Esquimalt) and Alec Boegman (Glenlyon Norfolk).
Adam Roberts and Bryn Johnson prepared the group of Mainland All-Stars led by St. George’s player Thomas Kirkwood.  Not to be outdone, this side also featured an impressive blend of players from across the Lower Mainland: Jacob Bourne, Max Brightingham & Dillon Hamilton (all St. George’s), Logan Weidner (Carson Graham), Josiah Levalle (Abbotsford Secondary), Ethan Fryer (Isaquah HS, Seattle), Takoda McMullin, Talon McMullin, Sam LaRoue, Daniel Shay, Simon Radcliffe, Jared Roe & Spencer McDonald (all Earl Marriott).

The teams waited eagerly to play the halftime show as they watched the Concordia Stingers finish a spirited first half against the Guelph Gryphons.
Takoda McMullin opened the scoring started shortly after the start of the game, spotting a gap and with a great burst of speed, he was off to the races. The ensuing kick-off to the Island was gathered in and Brenner Kelava went on a punishing run down the sideline. After a couple more breakdowns Ciaran Breen sprung loose down the middle of the field to score under the posts. The mainland got rolling again with Talon McMullin making a powerful run down the right-side wing, only to be stopped about 10 meters short of the line. The ball was swung wide the other way and found his twin brother on the opposite wing. Takoda put in a fantastic move, one on one on the outside, and scored a dandy in the corner…

The game was stopped at that point as Guelph and Concordia were set to take the field. We continued the game following the Concordia upset. The 7’s game reset and the high school players were at it again. Zach Moncton of Oak Bay looked dangerous in attack for the Island and Dillon Hamilton showed he possesses a quick burst with the ball in hand for the mainland team.

We want to impress how valuable this experience was for the players involved to observe what is happening at the next level. The top High School rugby programs across the country are situated in areas that expect their students to attend post-secondary institutions, so to be present at this event was a perfect link. The North American model of High School / College / Professional is starting to come to fruition and it is very exciting times for our young players.

Thank you to Max Fruend, a young up and coming referee, for officiating the game. A huge thank you to all the coaches and players that gave up a lot of their time for a 14-minute showcase.

The BC Youth Elite 7’s program will be announcing a roster of 70 U16 and U18 players to be attending the next stage of the 7’s training on January 12/13th at St. George’s and UBC.

Please contact Adam Roberts - aroberts@bcrugby.com if you have any questions.

St. George's Camp Wraps Up: Island v Mainland Battle on Friday During University Championships

Head Coach Adam Roberts sends through this report on the BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Boy's Camp held at St. George's School over the weekend.  The program is currently in the process of identifying top talent from across the Province before continuing with selection and development of Rugby Sevens teams that will represent BC in tournaments in Spring 2019.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for the BC Elite Youth Sevens (EY7s) Open Camp on the campus of St. George’s School in Vancouver, BC. Over 100 kids from over 60 schools from around the province came to earn a spot in future camps for the EY7s Boys' Program.  The day began at noon with the players being put through a rotation comprised of 10 stations, focussing on various skills and games.

The next generation of players looks to be in good hands. While there are many talented athletes in the field, there are a few from this weekend that are worth a particular mention.  Thomas Kirkwood of St. George’s is smooth, skilful, and has a noticeable positive influence on the players around him.  Nathan Holm of Collingwood School was an athletic presence, had speed and ran hard. Talon and Takoda McMullin of Earl Marriott Secondary are impressive with a mix of size and speed, coupled with great game sense.  Ciaran Breen of Shawnigan Lake has the poise, athleticism and skill which will make him dangerous.

There was great support from the rugby community on the day, as coaches from all over the lower mainland came together to put on the camp. Huge thank you to the coaching staff and selectors: Greg Byron (Yale Secondary), Moreno Stefanon (Byrne Creek), Mike McMartin (Semiahmoo Secondary), Pose Semielafa (Bayside Sharks), Harjun Gill (BC Youth Alumnus), Andy Evans (TWU), Leanne Marton (Kelowna Secondary), Karsten Leitner (BC Elite Youth Sevens alumnus and Canada Sevens Cap), Mike Stiles (St. George’s), and maybe the biggest thank you needs to go to Neil MacDonald (UBCOB) who oversaw all the data entry, ensuring all players had the correct information. The day would not have gone so well without the tremendous support of the staff.

Later this week, the EY7s Boys' Program takes the show on the road, heading to play a halftime show at the Men's National University Championships on Friday, November 23, at the University of Victoria.  Two regional teams of top players in this year's program will be in action during the break of the 4:00pm match at Centennial Stadium.  Gregor Dixon and Nanyak Dala will lead the Island All-Stars, while the Mainland All-Stars will be led by Adam Roberts and Bryn Johnson.  Not only is this a great development opportunity for the players, and a spectacle for the gathered crowds, but it also brings an element of pride into the mix, pitting Island and Mainland stars head-to-head.

For all island players that have not been able to make it to an ID session so far, one will be held on Friday, November 23, from 2:30-3:30pm on Wallace field (preceding the Island vs. Mainland exhibition match).  If you have any questions about this session, please contact Adam Roberts at aroberts@bcrugby.com.

Finally, thank you to Chris Blackman and his staff at St. George’s school for their incredible hospitality.

Lineups for Friday’s Showcase 7’s Game will be announced on Thursday, November 22

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