Cowichan Secondary’s senior girls team finished eighth at the provincial high school sevens last weekend. (Submitted)

Valley schools strong at provincial sevens

Shawnigan seniors third; Cowichan seniors eight, juniors fifth

Shawnigan Lake School finished third in the senior division at the provincial high school girls rugby sevens championship last weekend, while Cowichan Secondary finished eighth in the senior division and fifth in the junior bracket.

Shawnigan’s young team played well on the first day of the tournament, beating Argyle 43-5 and McRoberts 29-10 before tying Mount Boucherie 12-12 to win their pool. That led to a semifinal match against NorKam, which Shawnigan lost 22-17 in overtime.

“We lacked vision and unity in a game where we could not stand down for a moment,” Shawnigan coach Shannon Atkins noted.

Shawnigan got a better result in the bronze-medal game against Mission, with the score going back and forth until Danae Gendall ran 40 metres to score on the last play of the game to win it 17-10 for Shawnigan. Maggie Banks and Gerry Atkins also scored, and Atkins slotted a conversion.

After a brilliant start to the tournament, Cowichan Secondary’s senior team struggled with injuries and a short bench, and finished up in eighth place.

“The juniors had a large bench,” coach Sherry Spence noted. “But due to rules, we weren’t able to play [junior] girls up with the seniors.”

The senior Thunderbirds earned a berth in the provincial championships in North Vancouver by placing third at the Islands. Despite carrying only eight players, the T-Birds won their first two pool matches, beating West Vancouver 29-19 and Duchess Park 25-12 before falling to Mission 43-0. That set up a tight match against Kootenays, which Cowichan lost 19-12. The T-Birds lost the seventh place match against Mount Boucherie by an identical score.

The Cow High junior girls team finished fourth at the Island sevens, but were granted a berth at provincials when another Island team dropped out, and made the most of it with a fifth-place finish.

The junior T-Birds beat Gleneagle 17-10 and Houston 33-0 before losing to Island rivals Mark R. Isfeld in the last game of the day, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final four. Cowichan opened the playoffs with a 17-12 win over Lake City, then faced another Island rival in the fifth/sixth game, beating Vanier 24-17.

Cowichan will visit Carson Graham this Friday, then host Shawnigan Lake School next Thursday afternoon.

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Cow High’s junior girls team finished fifth in their division at the provincial high school sevens. (Submitted)

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