Athletics Review: May 31, 2010

The penultimate week of the rugby season featured a Junior Boys Sevens Tournament, with over 220 players from eight Island schools descending on SMUS for a wonderful afternoon of sport. Despite the constant rain and slippery conditions, 42 matches, over nearly five hours, were played with champions crowned at 10A, 10B, 9A and 9B levels.

For SMUS, at Grade 10 level, the decision to try and field teams in both the A and B competitions was probably unwise, as both squads only just made it to the end of the day after five matches each. The A squad, after going 1-1-1 in pool play, fell 20-15 to Shawnigan in a well played semifinal, while the B squad, in a six team round robin, beat Brentwood and Spectrum to open proceedings before falling to Oak Bay, Shawnigan and Claremont.

Of the Grade 10 players, Colin Hawes and Jorge Canedo played with distinction.

The Grade 9 teams proved more fortunate, with the A team mowing down all comers in an impressive performance. In every game, the speed and guile of Dawit Workie, allied to the experience and general ball skills of Dave Pollen, Sam Reid, Keenan Manhas, Fynn Kehl and Marcus Lelewski proved too much for the opposition, with Oak Bay on the wrong end of a 40-15 scoreline in the final. Colton Stockus, Wayne Lin and Cole Tamburri rounded out this championship squad.

The B team also acquitted themselves very well, drawing 20-20 with an athletic Spencer crew before upsetting Vic High in the semifinals. In the final, with Zach Kahn and Steve Whillans to the fore, a last second Shawnigan try proved to be the difference in a 10-5 final game.

After a regular season marred by setbacks and narrow defeats, the 1st XV took to the field in the first round of the BC AAA Tournament, hoping to write a good concluding chapter to an otherwise disappointing season. But it was not to be. Denied any possession for long periods by a well organized though limited Yale side, SMUS, led by Marc van de Wal, and Grade 10s Joe Erlic and Jeff Nishima, defended efficiently and in numbers. With ten minutes to play, flanker Joe Furness blocked a clearing kick and pounced on the ball for a try converted by Charlie Southwell. However, while this gave SMUS a 7-3 lead, the advantage was shortlived, as Yale scored shortly thereafter and hung on for a narrow 10-7 victory.

With the loss, SMUS is condemned to the consolation side of the BC draw, with Rounds 2-4 of the tournament set for the Fraser Valley from June 2-5. The team is matched first with #15 seed Rick Hansen of Abbotsford.


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