Kevin Rothbauer Citizen
After claiming the Island championship on their home turf last Wednesday, Brentwood College’s girls rugby sevens team has its sights set on repeating as the provincial champs as well.
Brentwood powered through a tough field of teams at the Island tournament, then beat Cowichan Secondary convincingly in the title match.
“Our kids just had a great day,” coach Marius Felix said. “We were fresh off our spring break, so we had only had one training session, on Tuesday. It was a bit of a rush in the first game against Edward Milne, then we started getting better and better.”
Brentwood was led on the field by Mckenna Haz, who scored seven tries over the day, Avi Sharabi, Denise Roy, Delaney Martin, and Marie Leger, a tighthead prop on the XV team who made a smooth transition to sevens.
“We are blessed with some very talented players and very experienced players on our team,” Felix said.
Cowichan coach Brad Skene was pleasantly surprised to see his team escape a tough pool to reach the title match.
“We have a young team and in a difficult pool with Vanier and Belmont, our veterans needed to log a lot of field time,” he said. “We were exhausted by the final and ran out of gas after making it through pool play and a physical game in the semifinal. Before the tournament, I didn’t know what to expect. The goal was to qualify for the B.C. sevens tournament. Reaching the final was not expected. Our athletes raised the level and quality of their games to reach the final.”
The coaches came away with plenty of respect for each other’s teams.
“Brentwood was well organized and played very well in the final,” Skene said. “I was impressed with their structure and tactics in the sevens game.”
“As the Brentwood coach, I’m delighted to see Cowichan’s young players coming along,” Felix said. “A year from now, they will be right on top of their game.”
Both teams qualified for the provincial tournament in Victoria this Friday and Saturday. Brentwood is seeded first, and Cowichan goes in ranked third. Felix knows that won’t make things any easier for his team.
“When you’re the top seed, you have a target on your back, and your front as well,” he said. “So it’s about preparing for the pressure to do well. The other teams will be very good.”
Felix expects fellow Island qualifiers Vanier and Oak Bay to be better at provincials than they were last Wednesday as they get injured players back.
Round-robin games at provincials will take place on Friday at Vic High and Royal Athletic Park, followed by the quarterfinals at R.A.P. The remaining playoff games go on Saturday at R.A.P., Vic High and Westhills Stadium, capped off with the final and third-place game at Westhills Stadium in between Canada Sevens matches.