BC Based Players Competing in the Southern Hemisphere This Summer: Sixteen and Counting – Also Match Report on Gabe Casey and Merlin M’Cloud at Sumner RFC
[ed. we’ve updated the list to 16 now since we’ve had new information come in, details below. Also add Brady Reeleder from UBC who is in Japan playing rugby for Tokyo Koryo RFC this summer.]
There are at least 13 BC based players who are playing rugby in NZ right now. There’s a few in Australia as well, three that we have listed. If you have a chance, follow their clubs on social media, we’ve included the links below. We’ll update this article with new info as it becomes available.
Noah Bain (Premier, wing)
Izzak Kelly (Premier, lock)
Jacob Bossi (Premier, hooker)
Callum Botchar (Premier, lock)
Sam Reimer (Colts, scrum-half)
Gabe Casey (Premier, centre/wing)
Merlin M’Cloud (Premier Reserve, lock/#8)
Logan Feek (injured/unavailable)
Antonio Corbin (Div 2, hooker)
Dylan Cleaver (Colts, center)
Bay of Plenty
Chloe Hill-Huse (Women, hooker)
Regan Casey (Women, lock)
Kiri Ngawati (Women, centre)
Cody Nhanala (Premier, loose forward)
Payton Teneycke (Div 3, prop)
Kieran Martin (Colts, centre)
Report on Gabe Casey and Merlin M’Cloud at Sumner
If you had to name the best amateur rugby club competitions in the world, the Canterbury Metro competition in Christchurch, NZ would be right up there. Fringe Crusaders and members of NZ National Provincial Championship teams sprinkle through the club sides competing. As do high school graduates from some of the best Secondary School rugby teams in the world. Just getting into a club’s first team is highly competitive. Which means the second team competition is also very high quality.
On Saturday two Canadians featured for Sumner (home club of newly appointed All Black coach Razor Robertson) against perennial powerhouses Linwood (think the Franks brothers) and Lincoln University (recent graduates include Scott and Jordie Barrett, Jack Goodhue and Sam Whitelock).
Into that scene on Saturday stepped Merlin M’Cloud and Gabe Casey (both from U Vic Vikes). They played starring roles in the drama that followed. There were a few of us Canadian rugby folks on the sidelines privileged to witness and cheer.
Merlin was official Sumner player of the day against Linwood. Playing at number 8 – a new experience for the normal 6 or 7 – he lowered the boom on some really big boys, did not miss a tackle as far as I could see, and had one searing 40 yard line break that should have produced a try. It was not just skill be brought to this stage. Merlin just kept going full bore; what a battery! Rather ironically, as this is a brutal part of the world for keeping things in perspective, he also got “dick of the day”! With 5 minutes to go and the score ultra tight, in the ref’s view it was side entry and the hand emerged from his pocket flashing yellow. Disputed by all the Sumner fans of course. Still, Sumner won by a couple of points in a nail biting, try line stand finish!
Gabe, in the later game against Lincoln Uni, also had a huge performance. Selected to play out of position on the wing (normally a centre) he proved to be that rare combination for a wing – both bruising and elusive. This was hugely important for Sumner as his opposite winger was lightning quick. So after a few testers, Gabe sized up the situation and when he had the ball – which was often through a large number of long skip passes sometimes missing out both centres in order to bring the wings into play in space – he set about attacking, sometimes with direct, deliberate collisions and on other occasions with footwork and misdirection. This effectively neutralised his opposite number and was a significant contribution to Sumner coming back from 24-0 to win 47-36.
All reports – though details are understandably a little hazy – are that the club festivities, in the old style, full of character and history, Sumner clubhouse, went long into the night!
Just a quick taste of a Canadian rugby contribution to what is an outstanding, very high quality and hugely competitive rugby competition.