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BC Rugby – LAS VEGAS – March 7, 2016: BC Rugby programs took the Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) by storm over the weekend, capturing an unprecedented four Cup victories at North America’s largest rugby tournament.

The BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s Program, sponsored by the Onni Group, shocked the Atavus All-Stars with a 19-7 victory in the U18 Varsity Division Final of the LVI on Saturday, while the U16 Girls followed on with a 15-5 Cup Final victory over South Bay Spartans in the Junior Varsity Division. The BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s Program, sponsored by Adera, won its second consecutive Elite U18 Boys’ Division with a 25-5 Finals victory over Atlantis Rugby, while BC Rugby’s U23 Women’s 7s Team captured the their first ever title in the Women’s Open Division.

BC Rugby also sent teams to the LVI in U23 Men’s, U17 Girls, U17 Boys and U16 Boys competitions, with all of those sides each finishing among the top four in their respective divisions.

The BC Rugby U23 Women finished a perfect 6-0 run in the Open Women’s Division, besting Atlanta 41-7 in Friday afternoon’s Final. The U23 Women outscored opponents by a combined total of 226-29 during their incredible run.

“We really started clicking in our first couple of games,” said BC Rugby U23 Coach, Aaron Frisby. “We had some strong individual talent in this group, and as we came together, working as a team, it felt like we were going to be unstoppable.”

Female athletes from BC took centre stage again early Saturday morning, as the BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s Program, making its international debut, squared off in Sam Boyd Stadium against the Atavus All-Stars.

The All-Stars, drawn from Atavus programs across America, fell behind in the Final’s opening moments, but edged their way to a 7-5 halftime lead. BC, however, would not be denied, scoring a crucial early second-half try to regain the momentum. BC were able to land a decisive third try to seal the game at 19-7. Scoring for BC were Sophie Belsher, Shaye Tudor and Denise Roy, while Tausani Levale added two converts.

“It was an awesome experience,” said U18 Captain Mackenzie Carson. “We were really focused on working as a unit and pulling all our individual talents together in order to get the win today, and it was a great feeling to know we did it as a team.”

“It’s an incredible accomplishment for a provincial program to beat a team drawn from an entire country,” said teammate McKenna Haz.

Hours later, BC got tries from Kally King, Jordyn Meyers and Amelia Gordon in a confident 15-5 victory over South Bay Spartans in the U16 Junior Varsity Final. The win wrapped up the team’s perfect 6-0 tournament.

A third group of BC Rugby female athletes, competing in the High School Open Division, posted a 3-1 record before being stopped in the Cup Semi Final by View Park Prep from Los Angeles.

The LVI represented the first competition abroad for BC Rugby’s high-performance female Rugby Sevens program, and while hopes were high that the girls would be competitive, the strong performances from all 36 athletes exceeded expectations.

“It was an amazing tournament and a real testament to the potential of Girls’ Rugby in BC,” said BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s Head Coach, Darcy Patterson. “It is also strong evidence of all the hard work that local club and school coaches are putting into developing the game of rugby and these athletes.”

BC Rugby Boys and Men’s Programs fared equally well at the LVI, capped by a second consecutive U18 Boys’ Division title over Atlantis Rugby in front of several thousand spectators at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The U18 Boys controlled the game from start to finish, cruising to a 25-5 victory. Surrey’s Michael Smith was named Finals MVP.

“We have a solid core of guys who have been playing sevens together for four years,” said Smith. “After a disappointing loss in the U17 Division last year in Las Vegas, it’s an incredible feeling to take home the trophy this year on the big stage. The BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s is an amazing program, and it provides great opportunities for sevens players. We owe it all to the parents, trainers and coaching staff, especially Coach Shane Thompson, who have helped make all of us into the players we are today.”

The BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s U17 and U16 sides also enjoyed strong tournaments, with the U17’s losing a 19-22 heartbreaker in the Final against Herriman, while the U16’s went 4-0 before being edged 17-12 by Rhino Rugby Academy in the semi-Final.

The BC Rugby U23 Men equally enjoyed a strong run at the LVI, finishing in the top four of the Men’s Aces Division.

“We really showed a lot of poise, focus and determination,” said Frisby, “We beat Atavus, who were probably the best team in the tournament, in the quarter Final, and were disappointed that we did not go all the way through, but the guys had an incredible tournament and played up to their full potential.” 

“This is such a hardworking group of athletes and I’m very happy with how things went for all three of our girls teams in Las Vegas,” said Patterson. “Everyone is really excited to get right back at it in a few days with the National U18 Sevens Championship and Vancouver Rugby Festival competitions being held on home turf.”

To see the schedule for the inaugural National U18 Sevens Championship, which begins March 10th in Burnaby, click here.

BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s – U18 Girls Varsity Division
Emily Baker of Mission, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Mission Secondary School)
Sophia Belsher of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Robert Bateman Secondary School)
Tanika Bonneville of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks RC / Elgin Park Secondary)  
Mackenzie Carson of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary School)     
Mckenna Haz of Mill Bay, BC (Brentwood College School)      
Camille Irvine of Victoria, BC (Castaway Wanderers RC / Claremont Secondary School)
Tausani Levale of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford Senior Secondary)        
Denise Roy of Cowichan, BC (Brentwood College School)      
Shoshanah Seumanutafa of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks RC / Pacific Academy School)     
Shaye Tudor of Victoria, BC (Castaway Wanderers RC)       
Shalaya Valenzuela of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary School)

Results:

W 29-12 over Minnesota Tundra

W 22-12 over Atlantis

W 43-10 over Utah Lady Cannibals

W 48-0 over Rhino Rugby Academy

W 24-5 Utah Rugby Academy – Cup SF

W 19-7 over Atavus AllStars – Cup Final

 

BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s – U18 Girls Open Division
Maggie Banks of Coquitlam, BC (Burnaby Lake RFC / Shawnigan Lake School)
Rachel Choboter of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / St John Brebeuf)        
Zoe DeFaveri of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC / Windsor Secondary School)   
Emma Dupuis of Port Alberni, BC (Alberni District Secondary School)
Danika Elias of Chilliwack, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Brentwood College School)
Denae Grange of Houston, BC (Houston Secondary School)     
Vivianna Johnson of Chilliwack, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Sardis High School)      
Sofie Kennedy of Saanich, BC (Castaway Wanderers RC / Stelly’s Secondary School)       
Alex Motoc of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary)
Berlyn Seselja of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks RC  / Semiahmoo Secondary School)  
Avi Sharabi of Cobble Hill, BC (Brentwood College School)    
Val Wideski of Richmond, BC (Capilano RFC / Hugh McRoberts Secondary School)   
Liriel Yurick of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford Senior Secondary)

Results:

W 54-0 over Rugby Virginia Red

W 50-0 over Aztec Warriors

L 10-12 against Summit High School

W 22-12 over Mavericks Red – Cup QF

L  17-31 to View Park – Cup SF

 
BC Rugby Elite Girls 7s – U16 Girls Junior Varsity Division

Kashish Arya of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford Senior Secondary)
Payton Cochrane of Saanich, BC (Castaway Wanderers RC / Claremont School)
Chloe Cullen of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC / Handsworth Secondary)
Hunter Czeppel of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Clayburn Middle School)
Alexis Dunning of Sooke, BC (Westshore RFC /Edward Milne Community School)
Amelia Gordon of Victoria, BC (Castaway Wanderers RC / Oak Bay High School)
Kally King of Kamloops, BC (Nor Kam Secondary School)
Cynthia Martin of Burnaby, BC (Burnaby Lake RFC/ Burnaby North Secondary School)
Jordyn Myers of Langley, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Walnut Grove Secondary School)
Nicola Smith of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks RC / Earl Marriott High School)
Kelsey White of Victoria, BC (Castaway Wanderers RC / Oak Bay High School)
Rori Wood of Sooke, BC (Westshore RFC / Edward Milne Community School)

Results:

W 26-10 over Maverick 7s

W 14-0 over Fallbrook

W 29-0 over Foothill Lions

W 21-12 over South Bay Spartans

W 20-5 over Mavericks – Cup SF
W 15-5 over South Bay Spartans – Cup Final

Program Staff:
Darcy Patterson of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC) – U18 Head Coach
Julia Sugawara of Surrey, BC (Burnaby Lake RC) – U16 Coach
Jen Ross of Abbotsford BC (Abbotsford RFC) – U18 Assistant Coach
Ashley Robinson of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC) – Manager
Naomi Ogawa of Victoria, BC (James Bay AA) – U16 Trainer
Morgan Sangster of Vancouver – U18 Trainer

BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s – U18 Elite Boys Varsity Division

Lucas Devries of Nanaimo, BC (St. Michaels University School)
Elias Ergas of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC / Collingwood School)
Kyle Joe of Cobble Hill, BC (Cowichan RFC)
Wiley Gillette of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks RC / Earl Marriot Secondary School)
John Jubenvill of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks RC / Earl Marriot Secondary School)
Logan Martin-Feek of Victoria, BC  (Westshore RFC / Claremont Secondary School)
Matthew Houghton of North Vancouver (Capilano RFC / Rockridge Secondary School)
Evan Norris of Victoria, BC (Shawnigan Lake School)
Brennig Prevost of Victoria, BC (Castaway Wanderers / Glenlyon Norfolk School)
Thomas Rennie of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary School)
Brandon Schellenberger of Victoria, BC (Castaway Wanderers / Oak Bay High School)
Michael Smith of Surrey, BC (Earl Marriot Secondary School)

Results:

W 28-12 over Eagle Impact Academy

W 26-0 over Tribe

W 26-12 over Utah Cannibals

W 39-0 over Upright Rugby – Cup QF

W 17-14 over Maryland – Cup SF

W 27-5 over Atlantis – Cup Final

BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s – U17 Boys High School Open Division
Corben Bowen of Chilliwack, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Sardis Secondary School)
Connor Byron of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary School)
Henry Davitt of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano / Sutherland Secondary School)
Liam Gray of West Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC / Mulgrave School)
Koro Korobasaga of Surrey, BC (Queen Elizabeth Secondary School)
William McDougall-Percillier of Mill Bay, BC (Cowichan RFC / Brentwood College School)
Lucas Portillo of Mill Bay, BC (Cowichan RFC / Brentwood College School)
Carter Proc of West Vancouver, BC (Capilano / Collingwood School)
Jack Scher of Vancouver, BC  (Vancouver Rowing Club / St. George’s School)
Jake Scott of West Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC / Sentinel Secondary School)
Conor Sinclair of Cranbrook, BC (Shawnigan Lake School)
Chris Small of North Vancouver (Capilano RFC / Sutherland Secondary School)

Results:

W 29-7 over South Side Irish

W 32-5 over View Park Prep

W 41-5 over Virginia Rugby Red

W 31-7 Virginia Rugby Blue – Cup QF

W 26-24 over Rock Rugby – Cup SF

L 19-22 to Herriman – Cup Final

BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s – U16 Boys Junior Varsity Division
Ciaran Breen of Mill Bay, BC (Cowichan RFC / Brentwood College School)
Cameron Bruk of West Vancouver, BC (Capilano / Collingwood School)
Jarvis Dashkewytch of Delta, BC (Brit-Lions RC / South Delta Secondary School)
Hector Jardine of Saanich, BC (Castaway-Wanderers / Oak Bay High School)
Lachlan Kratz of Victoria, BC (Castaway-Wanderers/ Oak Bay High School)
James MacDonald of White Rock, BC (Bayside Sharks / Shawnigan Lake School)
Dexter MacDonald of Vancouver, BC (Lord Byng Secondary School)
Carter Miller of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Shawnigan Lake School)
Cooper Powell of North Vancouver (Capilano RFC / Sutherland Secondary School)
Hans Senger of Vancover, BC (Vancouver Rowing Club / St.George’s School)
Sam Sirlin of Vancouver, BC (Vancouver Rowing Club / St.George’s School)
Reece Tudor-Jones of Shawnigan Lake, BC (Cowichan RFC / Shawnigan Lake School)

Results:

W 21-13 over Rhino Rugby Academy

W 19-14 over Loudoun Rugby

W 22-12 over Maverick 7s Red

W 41-7 Tennessee Tri-Star – Cup QF

L 12-17 to Rhino Academy – Cup SF

BC Rugby U23 Women’s 7s Team – Open Women’s Division
Chelsea Fowler of Mission (Abbotsford RFC)
Camilla Maslo of Surrey (Brit Lions RC)
Courtney Sims of Victoria (Westshore RFC)
Demi Stamatakis of Burnaby (SFU Rugby)
Elyssa Phillipson of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Jess Harvey of Vancouver (Burnaby Lake RC)
Kara Galbraith of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Laura Crowe-Hutchon of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Lauren Sargent of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Mackenzie Fowler of Mission (Abbotsford RFC)
Maira Acevado of Surrey (Bayside RC)
Meghan Wellis of White Rock (Abbotsford RFC)
Morgan Walker of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)

Results:

W 45-5 over Avalon Alley Kats

W 43-0 over Laie Parkside

W 26-0 over Lady Vipers

W 44-5 over The Rock – Cup QF

W 27-12 over Scion – Cup SF

W 41-7 over Atlanta – Cup Final

 
BC Rugby U23 Men’s 7s – Men’s Aces Division
Brendan Kelliher of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Aaron Hersant of Victoria (UVic Rugby)
Chris Wadsworth of Coquitlam (SFU Rugby)
Connor Llewellyn of West Vancouver (Westshore RFC)
David Dinbandhu of Surrey (Brit Lions RC)
Jared Douglas of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Jason Gagnier of Victoria (Westshore RFC)
Jordan Tait of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Mark Cheong of Vancouver (UBC Rugby)
Mike Dalsin of Victoria (no club affiliation)
Tomasi Vataiki of Richmond (Burnaby Lake RC)
Shane Dagg of Delta (Burnaby Lake RC)

About the BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s
The BC Rugby Elite Girls’ 7s Program is designed to help develop young athletes into the rugby players who will be best qualified to represent Canada with distinction at future Olympic Games and on the World Rugby 7s circuit.
 
The age groups targeted, from a technical development perspective, are girls aged 14 to 18. The program is geared towards identifying, training and developing athletes who can go on to represent their Regions, their Province and Canada at Age Grade Level and beyond.

The BC Rugby Elite Girls 7s Program is proudly supported by the Onni Group.

About the BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s
The BC Elite Youth Sevens program is designed to help develop young athletes into the rugby players who will be best qualified to represent Canada with distinction at future Olympic Games and on the World Rugby 7s Circuit.
 
The age groups targeted, from a technical development perspective, are boys aged 14 to 18. The program is geared towards identifying, training and developing athletes who can go on to represent their Regions, their Province and Canada at Age Grade Level and beyond.

The BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s Program is proudly supported by Adera.

More information about BC Rugby

The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 7,500 individuals registered through around 60 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.
 
Web: bcrugby.com
Twitter: twitter.com/bcrugbyunion
Facebook: facebook.com/bcrugbyunion

BC Rugby
Brendan Munro
Communications Manager
Tel: +1- 604-737-3070
Cell: +1-604-349-3104
bmunro@bcrugby.com

BC Rugby Elite Youth 7s Program U18 Boys (photo: Atavus Rugby)

BC Rugby U23 Women’s 7s. Pictured Morgan Walker, with ball, and Demi Stamatakis (photo: Cherisse du Preez)

(photo credit: BC Rugby)