Champs in Langford

At the end of the day the Alberni teams walked away as Plate Champions in both the under-135-pound and under-165-pound divisions.

The boys’ under-165 lb. combined middle school team from Neill and Dunn Middle Schools are plate champions following a tourney in Langford.

Fifty-three middle school rugby players travelled to Langford to compete in the Langford 7s tournament on Friday.   The teams made up of Grade 6, 7, and 8 players from Neill and Dunn Middle School did an outstanding job at what was for many their first rugby tournament.

At the end of the day the Alberni teams walked away as Plate Champions in both the under-135-pound and under-165-pound divisions.

The tournament was played at Rugby Canada’s National Training Centre at Westhill Stadium. It featured teams from some of the top rugby schools in B.C. and was refereed by some of Canada’s national team players.

Alberni entered a team in each of the tournament’s three divisions: Under 135 Pound Boys, an Open Girls Division and Under 165 Pound Boys.

In the Under 135 pound Boys Division the Alberni Team finished with a two win and one loss record to claim the title of Plate Champions.

Their first game of the tournament was a decisive victory versus Rockline.  In their second game, the Alberni squad faced a tough team from Abbotford, the Fraser Falcons.   Despite a great effort the Alberni team fell short against the more experienced and polished Abbotsford team.  The squad’s record and score in pool play landed them in the plate final where they played against John Stubbs Middle School from Sooke.  In the plate final the Alberni team used their speed and strength to dominate their opponents.   Hunter Buxton from Neill Middle School was selected by coaches as the team all start for the tournament.

The Alberni girls’ team had a mix of girls in Grades 6, 7 and 8 and all but one or two players had no playing experience outside of Port Alberni. Despite playing with a lot of heart their opponents capitalized on their inexperience and handed two tough losses to the Alberni Girls.

The girls played against Sooke’s John Stubbs School and Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford. Grade 8 Kylea Anderson was selected as the team’s all-star for her gritty play and leadership on the rugby pitch.

Alberni’s Under 165 pound Boy’s Team had the opportunity to play in some of the more exciting matches of the tournament finishing with a record of three wins, one loss, and the title of Plate Champions.

In pool play they played against two different teams from Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford.  They narrowly lost their first game by one try but then won their second.  Their record placed them in the semi-final game against Victoria’s Spencer School.  The Alberni boys got off to a slow start in the semi final quickly falling behind by four tries.   However, the team battled back to tie the game just before regulation and force it into sudden death overtime where the Alberni team came out victorious.  In the final game of the tournament Alberni played a tough squad from Ladysmith Secondary.  Once again the Alberni team fell behind early but battled back to win the game by two tries.  Hunter Banfield  from Neill Middle School was selected as the tournament allstar for the Under 165 Pound Boys.

The tournament success was great to see but SD70’s After School Sports and Arts Coordinator James Messenger was quick to point out the purpose of the activity. “At the middle school level the goal of our rugby program is to expose our athletes to the sport, start building their basic skills and of course make sure we have a lot of fun doing it. To accomplish this we play a modified version of 7 aside and mix up the teams to maximize playing time and get the best match ups possible.  This tournament was a great way to have a road trip and gauge our development”

Funding from the provincial government’s After School Sports and Arts Initiative provides financial support to the program.  Even more vital to the success of the program is the partnership with the Black Sheep Rugby Club.  “Donna Shannon, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and myself help sponsor and coach the program at the school level.  We wouldn’t be able to provide the same quality program without the help of the Sheep.  Bob Milton, John Symington, Dan Powell, James Reynolds, Anthony Selva, Ben Halychuk, Neal Thurley, Eric Mosley and others all volunteer their time to give back to the sport and the community.  It is a great partnership,” concluded Messenger.

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

Port Alberni’s ‘Army of Problem Solvers’ to the rescue

Facebook group gathers people who just want to help their neighbours

Hurricane Katrina inspires Alberni author’s new novel

Jacqueline Swann brings message of climate change to life with story of fictional journalist

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing teenage girl

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home on May 9

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses judicial review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Most Read