Cowichan rugby players help B.C. to strong showing at Westerns

Local athletes on all of BC Rugby’s entries at Kelowna tournament

Rugby players from the Cowichan Valley helped B.C. teams to two perfect records at the U16 Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna late last month.

BC Rugby’s U16 girls team and the U16 boys Blue team both went undefeated at the tournament, and both boasted members from the Cowichan Valley.

The U16 girls team, which included Duncan’s Mikayla Brennan, Kaitlyn Crichton and Maxine O’Leary, all members of the Cowichan Rugby Football Club, and Cowichan Bay’s Chloe Storie-Soth, went 3-0 at the Kelowna tournament. Brennan was making her second straight appearance at the tournament after earning a silver medal in 2017. The boys Blue team included Callum Blake-Currier of Mill Bay, also a member of the CRFC.

BC Rugby’s other entries in the tournament also had several Cowichan Valley players on board.

The U15 girls team went 2-1 in the U16 tournament, their only loss coming against the aforementioned B.C. U16 side. Duncan’s Jaxon Baker and Victoria VanNiekerk, two more members of the CRFC, contributed to that team’s success, while Queen of Angels School athletic director Marlene Donaldson served as head coach.

The U16 boys Gold XV featured CRFC junior players Carter Blaikie and Mackenzie Justason of Nanaimo, and Logann Lowrence of Ladysmith. That team went 2-4 in Kelowna.

B.C.’s U16 boys roster included four players with Cowichan Valley ties: Dylan Cleaver, a CRFC junior Piggies player from Nanaimo, Mill Bay’s Jack Napier-Ganley, and Shawnigan Lake’s Owen Plater and Ryan Smith. The U16 boys won three games, lost two, and tied one.

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