Sports

Shawnigan takes second

Gang tackle is made by Cowichan players Marlee Wright, left, and Brigitte Reid during a development girls’ rugby game against Ladysmith. Madison Pirie is in support, far left. - Don Bodger
Gang tackle is made by Cowichan players Marlee Wright, left, and Brigitte Reid during a development girls’ rugby game against Ladysmith. Madison Pirie is in support, far left.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Only unforeseen circumstances prevented Shawnigan Lake School from winning the provincial sevens girls’ high school rugby championship in Vancouver.

Shawnigan and Abbotsford started in the same pool and ended up battling for the title. Unfortunately, by that time, Shawnigan was not at 100% to duplicate its 37-12 pool play win and lost the rematch 33-5 to settle for second place.

“We were plagued with injuries which eventually became our downfall,’’ noted coach Mark Hall. “We lost our scrum half in the first game Friday and then our centre in the semifinal.

“While we still had great speed on the outside, we lacked the ability to finish anywhere else. It was difficult to lose in the final because we were clearly the strongest team. We actually played good sevens in the final, but couldn’t match the strength of a couple of the Abbotsford players.’’

Speedy Kira Wimbert staked Shawnigan to a 5-0 lead in the final, but the team couldn’t produce any more offense — especially without the services of injured Hannah Darling, who’s a budding star in the national women’s sevens program.

Shawnigan also trounced Belmont 31-12 and Semiahmoo 48-0 in other pool games and then blanked Cowichan Secondary 22-0 in the quarterfinals and topped Vanier 15-5 in the semis before Abbotsford ended the quest for the title.

Cowichan went 2-1 in pool games, beating McRoberts 24-0, losing to Elgin Park 25-5 and shutting out McMath-2 25-0.

After the quarterfinal loss to Shawnigan, Cowichan was defeated 27-5 by Yale in the Plate semifinal.

“We were OK,’’ said Cowichan co-captain Adrienne Saari. “We didn’t finish how we wanted to.’’

The Elgin Park game stood out to Saari as a disappointing result. “I think it was just an off-game,’’ she said.

The sevens games consist of just seven-minute halves and a total of 14 minutes, moving along very quickly when a team is playing from behind.

Saari said the T-Birds will now just have to “work harder for provincials’’ to defend their title in the 15s game.

“You can only move forward.’’

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