Depleted T-Birds fall to Vanier in AAA Island final

For the eighth consecutive year, the quest for dominance of girls AAA rugby on Vancouver Island came down to Cowichan Secondary and G.P. Vanier.

It was Vanier’s turn this year, as the Towhees topped the Thunderbirds 21-5 in the Island final at Brentwood College last Saturday.

"It was a very good battle, and we made too many mistakes on offence and defence to win a game against a very strong, athletic and well-organized team," Cowichan head coach Brad Skene said.

Hannah Morten scored the lone try for Cowichan, who kept the game close throughout, only to have Vanier score a converted try on the last play of the game to tack on seven more points.

The T-Birds had to battle their share of adversity just to keep things as close as they were.

"I was very impressed with the character that we showed," Skene said. "The week prior to the game we found out that several players who we thought would be back for playoffs would not be back, and the night before we learned that one of the captains is going to be out indefinitely with illness.

"The team that we fielded on Saturday was the best we could but not what I had on paper two weeks ago. I can’t remember an Island final that we had so many Grade 10s play, and this is the first time that a player in Grade 8 or 9 has played. With this said, we still had opportunities and what the team lacked in experience and game time was made up with effort and commitment."

There is potential for a rematch in the B.C. final. Vanier is ranked first overall going into the provincial tournament in Port Alberni on May 22-24, while the T-Birds are slotted third.