The U14 TORA team captured the Bronze Medal at the 2017 PRCs. Many of those same athletes were now a year older and elected to compete in the U15 PRC competition. Unfortunately, only one other region could muster a U15 team, and they were a combined northern and southern Vancouver Island side. The two-team competition meant the same two strong sides played each other three times. Although the all-star VIRU team won all three games, the TORA U15’s side was competitive in every match.
The U15 team was coached by Bob Monaghan, George Curran, and John Milligan. All the coaches were impressed with the team’s improvement when offered the opportunity of higher quality play. Coach Monaghan said, “We are very proud of the way the boys handled themselves both on and off the field. Coaches from around the province approached us and complimented our players’ skills. This shows how much TORA has been improving over the past several years. Our region is generating respect within the BC rugby circles.”
Coach Curran agreed. “TORA forwards dominated the weekend in loose play, rucks, scrums, and lineouts. Our overall brawn and determination was inspiring. The BC U15 coaches took notice. 12 of our U15 players have been invited to try out for the provincial side.”
Congratulations to the following TORA U15 athletes who have been invited to the BC U15 tryouts: Sully Curran (Kelowna), Cam Haverstock (Kelowna), Sol Jacques (Penticton), Lewis Jenkins (Kelowna), Jacob Jobst (Kelowna), Emerald Lockhart (Nelson), Brandon McCarty (Kelowna), Kieren Messier (Summerland), Tanner Milligan (Kelowna), Declan Monaghan (Kelowna), Cruz Thorpe (Kelowna), and Alan Woodhouse (Penticton).
The focus for the TORA program continues to be to offer elite athletes an opportunity to experience higher levels of competition and camaraderie through team play. This is a unique value of the sport of rugby – it provides a high quality place to discover the real value of a team. Coach Bob made this clear when he said, “One of the key values we hope that the boys are taking from rugby is ‘respect’ – respecting themselves, fellow players, opposition players, coaches, and referees. The value of respect is the most important aspect we are trying to impart – a quality we hope our players will keep with them throughout their life in sport.”
Congratulations to the Thompson-Okanagan Rugby Alliance U15 Men's team. Your quality play and classy presence have made local rugby enthusiasts proud.