News

Rugby Sevens Comes to the Center of Gravity

It was a match made in heaven. Combine the most exciting new Olympic sport (Rugby Sevens) with the biggest music, sports, and social event for young adults in the interior of BC (Center of Gravity), and you're sure to have something special.

100+ elite rugby athletes on nine teams go head-to-head at City Park this weekend. The tournament features several very competitive sides, including:

  • Fiji Blonde - a Lower Mainland team that just won the Stampede Sevens Tournament in Calgary;
  • Canadian Coos - a team of talented locals compiled by professional rugby player Cam Pierce (see photo);
  • Westshore Valhallians - provincial 3rd Division Champions for the past two years; and
  • Vernon Jackals - winners of the Okanagan Rugby Union competition this summer.
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16 Locals Selected to Provincial Rugby Teams

A record-setting 43 interior athletes were invited to try out for U14, U15, U16, U17 and U18 men's and women's provincial rugby teams in June. 22 of those athletes were from the Central Okanagan. As a result of excellent team play in the Provincial Regional Championships (PRCs) and outstanding performances at the ID camps at UBC a week later, 16 Central Okanagan athletes were selected to play for BC in summer rugby competitions.

Congratulations to the following Central Okanagan athletes for making their respective provincial teams:

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Alcoballics Abstain From Losing, Lead Rec Touch

One undefeated team sits on top of each of the summer touch leagues. Touch & Go won a couple of close games to remain undefeated in the Comp League: 4 - 3 over the Scarecrows and 8 - 6 over Riskey Wicks. Alcoballics are looking like they are in the wrong league, as they won both their Rec League games to go to 4 - 0 on the season.

More than 400 points have been scored so far in 38 league games, an average of 10.6 points per game (PPG). Here is how it breaks down by league:

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Touch & Go Grab Top Spot in Summer Touch

Week Two Summary

Two teams remain undefeated in the Summer Touch Competitive League, each with 4 wins under their belt. Touch & Go and the Killer Bunnies have been lighting it up on the pitch, with T&G earning a greater point differential with their stingy defense and hard-to-see camo shirts. 74 points were scored in 8 Comp League games in Week Two. Five of the games were back and forth battles, showing how well named this league really is.

In the Rec League, there are also two undefeated teams. The reigning champions Alcoballics and the up-and-coming Painkillers both sport 2 - 0 records. They meet for the first time next week in the 7:45 PM game.

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8 TORA U18 Mens Invited to BC Team Tryouts

The TORA U18 Mens team appears to have had a tough PRC tournament, losing all 6 of their matches. However, this could not be further from the truth. The TORA U18 side was very competitive, unlike local U18 teams in previous years. The team’s quality play resulted in 8 players being invited to U18 and U17 provincial tryout camps.

TORA started the tournament against a very strong South Vancouver side, which they held to 5 points up to half time. Final score, a hard-fought 19 - 0 loss. The second game saw TORA facing the eventual silver medalist VIRU Tide squad. Another loss but the TORA U18s put up an excellent fight and ultimately got people talking about the quality of the Okanagan team.

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TORA U16 Men Win Silver at BC Championships

The top-performing TORA team in 2018 was the U16 Mens team, coached by Leana Marton and Scott Stewart. They went undefeated in the pool round and took home the U16 Mens Silver Medal. 12 TORA U16 players have been invited to try out for the BC U16 side that will compete in the Western Canada Championships on July 26 – 29.

Coach Leana describes this weekend’s rugby as her “best-ever coaching experience”. After two back-to-back high-level rugby games on Saturday, the team came out on top of Pool A. They defeated Van West (10-7) and the tough Van South team (17-0), who Leana says played a “beat-‘em-up style of game with several man-children.”

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12 TORA U15 Players Invited to BC Tryouts

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.

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Gritty Performance By TORA U14 Women

The TORA U14 Women played in a 10-a-side tournament with only 10 healthy players and no subs from the first to last game. Although they lost all four games against more experienced teams, they were competitive and showed strong improvement as each game was played.

Coach John Good said, “Our 1st U14 Women's TORA Team had the privilege to compete at an elite level this weekend. We came in as a green 10-a-side team and left as a much more experienced squad. Our girls got the chance to improve, learn, and connect with their fellow teammates throughout the weekend.” He added, “As each game was played you could see our girls improving exponentially as a team - communicating, running plays, hitting the rucks, passing, and tackling. It was great to watch.”

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Biggest-Ever Summer Touch Leagues Start Strong

The Killer Bunnies have something to prove. Every year, they make it to the Dai Dobbs trophy final. Every year they have to fake smile for the team that narrowly defeated them. If the first week of play is any indicator, they have no intention of letting that happen in 2018.

First up in the Bunnies' league hopper was Riskey Wicks, a team that is a high-skilled composite of two Competitive teams from last year. The result - the Bunnies burnt the Wicks 7 - 4. Next up? The 2017 Dai Dobbs trophy champions - The Scarecrows - the very Scarecrows that shut the KB's out 3 - 0 in the prior year's final. No problem for the on-a-mission Bunnies on this day - they took the stuffing out of the Scarecrows, sending a 10 - 4 message that spelled out their intent for the season. Hell hath no 'furry' like a bunny scorned.

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MB's Storm Fisher Wins Courtney Walls Award

At his grad ceremony on Friday night, Storm Fisher was presented with the Courtney Walls Scholarship, a $1,000 contribution to the costs of his post-secondary interests. Only two other local athletes, Sam Overton (OKM) and Joel Henseleit (KSS), have received the award since its introduction to the Okanagan eight years ago. To qualify, the athlete must exemplify three aspects of Courtney's character - (a) a good student, (b) a leader respected by his teammates and coaches, and (c) a quality rugby player.

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