High School Rugby - March 2020

March 12 2020

Rees Boot Trophy

Boot Game Between SMUS and Oak Bay on Today at Centennial Stadium

[ed. with files from BCSSRU]

The BC high school rugby season is gearing up for action, Round One of the Stadium Series is scheduled for April 3rd. There are several schools on tour in Europe and NZ including Shawnigan (Scotland), Brentwood (Ireland) and Lord Byng (NZ). Exhibition matches are taking place across the province. One of premier games early in the season is the "Boot Game" between SMUS and Oak Bay, that's happening today at Centennial Stadium and will be shown on Shaw TV next week. Pertinent information from the BCSSRU is appended below.


The “Boot Game” began in 1995 as a partnership between SMUS alum and Rugby Canada’s Gareth Rees and Oak Bay High and Rugby Canada player and coach, Gary Johnston. In fact, the trophy is a bronzed rugby boot worn by Rees himself.

Although the “Boot Game” began as a boys’ contest only, this year these schools’ girls teams will also take part. At 5:45 pm the Lady Barbarians will take on the St. Michaels Lady Blue Jags in a Rugby 7s match as the curtain-raiser. Then, at 6:30 pm the main event will be a 15-a-side tilt between Pete Atkinson’s Oak Bay Barbarians and Ian Hyde-Lay’s SMUS Blue Jags for early season bragging rights in Victoria.

Fans wishing to see the games live will need to come to UVIC because this clash of South Island titans will be broadcast at the following times:

Tuesday, March 17th with the girls at 7 pm and the boys at 8 pm.
Wednesday, March 18th with the girls at 12 Noon and the boys at 1 pm.
Friday, March 20th with the girls at 7 pm and the boys at 8 pm.
Saturday, March 21st with the girls at 2 pm and the boys at 3 pm.
Sunday, March 22nd with the girls at 10 am and the boys at 11 am.

After 25 years the record stands at 13 wins for Oak Bay, 11 for SMUS and one tie in 1998. No school has ever won the contest more than 4 years in a row, which the Barbs did from 1997-2000 and SMUS did from 2007-2010. In fact, upsets such as SMUS stunning a heavily favoured Oak Bay in 2014 by 23-14 and an epic comeback by Oak Bay, down 22-0 at half-time but defeating SMUS 26-22 in 2015 have become almost expected.

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