Shawnigan second at B.C. 7s, Cowichan out of the hardware

Shawnigan Lake School came within a game of keeping the provincial girls high school rugby sevens title in the Cowichan Valley.

Shawnigan made the final of the tournament at UBC last Saturday, but had to settle for second place after a 33-5 loss to Abbotsford. They would have become the second Valley team to win the B.C. sevens championship in as many years, following Cowichan Secondary’s win in 2013.

Despite the loss in the final, Shawnigan head coach Mark Hall called it a "very successful tournament" for his team.

"Injuries to two very strong players, one in the semi-final and one in the first game of the tournament didn’t help our cause," he admitted. "I don’t think there was any doubt we were the strongest team at the tournament, but if you don’t win the final you can’t claim being the best team."

Shawnigan had a perfect record in pool play, with wins over Belmont (31-12), Semiahmoo (48-0) and Abbotsford (34-7). They defeated Cow High 22-0 in the quarterfinals, then beat Vanier 15-5 in the Cup semifinal.

Cowichan Secondary head coach Brad Skene was disappointed with his team’s result in the attempt to regain the title.

"We played teams who I thought we could have competed against, but lacked the focus and intensity to deal with efforts of the opposition," he said. "At times, we forget that teams see us as the defending provincial champions and are extremely motivated to beat us."

Cowichan won their first two pool games, beating McRoberts 20-0 on two tries by Hannah Morten and one each by Emily Lindsay and Mariah Fontana, and McMath on three tries by Denise Roy and one each by Morten and Lindsay. Roy had the lone score in Cowichan’s 25-5 loss to Elgin Park to end pool play.

After the 22-0 loss to Shawnigan in the quarterfinals, Cowichan was eliminated in the Plate semifinal with a 24-12 loss to Yale. Roy and Fontana scored against Yale, and Morten kicked a conversion.

Last Thursday, Cow High defeated Ladysmith 41-29 in an XV game. Largely fielding a development team, the T-Birds got off to a strong start before yielding to Ladysmith’s pressure as the first half wore on. The T-Birds regrouped at halftime and took control of the game after that.

Brigitte Reid and Sophia Murray finished with two tries, and Roy, Lindsay and Angelique Amon had one each. Lindsay also slotted two conversions, and Murray kicked one.

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