U17 Tide has struck gold at the Provincial Rugby Championships.
The U17 category was a new one at the championships this year, and the Tide put in a strong showing against perennial rival Vancouver North, winning 55-5 and 53-0.
“The Vancouver North team was a strong team, and against any other team would have been competitive,” said Koji Zolbrod, U17 Tide head coach. “But our U17s are an exceptionally strong group of players, eight of whom have already played at the Canada U17 level. Those boys brought the level of all the athletes up, making for a superb team dynamic.”
A program that brings athletes together from across the lower Island to compete in U18, U17, U16 and U15 provincial championships, the U17 Tide featured 13 players who were students at Oak Bay High School and/or members of the local Castaway-Wanderers Rugby Club.
The Tide’s U18 boys finished up in seventh in their division while the Tsunami U18 girls, representing both the south and north island, came home with a silver medal. During the first weekend of provincial competition at Burnaby Lake RFC, the Junior Tide program returned home with silver for the U15 boys, bronze for the U16 girls and a fifth-place for the U16 boys.
The U18 Tide team finished one better than last year, improving their overall play and finishing with a 26-0 win over Thompson-Okanagan.
“The U18 level is always a tough year to get commitment from the athletes as they are working and preparing for their first year post-graduation” said Matt Mortenson, U18 Tide head coach. “But this group of athletes showed grit and determination both on and off the field and I was proud to see them finish with a great win.”