The Salmon Arm Yeti Rugby Club took on some of the best teams in the province at the provincial 7’s rugby tournament in Kamloops, claiming a top-four spot for their efforts.
More than 60 teams assembled at McArthur Island in Kamloops Oct. 19-21 to compete at the provincial level, with Salmon Arm competing in the U19 boys’ and the U16 girls’ categories.
The U19 girls’ team from Salmon Arm joined with Kamloops to compete as a joint force. The teams played three games each on Saturday, and another two games on Sunday.
The U19 boys faced a tough schedule; they were paired with the three best teams in their category to start off the tournament. Although the boys did not win these games, they certainly made an impression on their more experienced opponents.
Impressive speed and aggression from Alex Muir put the coastal teams to the chase, and excellent defensive work from Phillip Smith kept pushing the boys forward.
On Sunday, Lukus Brookes and the Paquette brothers, Spencer and Dylan, drove the ball with agility before contact to break through their opponents’ defensive line. The boys received a taste of victory on the final day, improving their rank to fifth in the province.
The U16 girls started off the tournament with furious vigour. The quick rucking and powerful drives of Braidy Parkes, Madison Higginbottom and Keesha Friesen created open space to capitalize on breakaway opportunities. This enabled phenomenal running plays to develop from the quick support of Caitlin Quilty, Erika Serhan, Taylor Bochek, and Amy Harder.
The girls were a serious force to contend with – many coaches commented that they were impressed with the abilities of many of the first-year girls, and are excited to see the Salmon Arm team’s progress in future years. The girls had a tough Sunday, having fought their way into the higher pool on Saturday. They faced the best U-16 girls teams in the province, and came out ranked fourth among all competing B.C. Sevens teams.
Submitted by Greg Seed