Wednesday's Ruck & Maul
To the Victors go the Spoils
CWRFC would like to congratulate ALL of last Saturday’s Provincial Finalists in the many grades of men and women. The winners achieved their success through hard work and we offer our best wishes to them. It was notable to see teams from all over the Province competing. Thanks also to the officials for a wonderful season of refereeing. Your dedication, time put in, travel are appreciated for without your services there would be no games.
This writer has to focus on the ‘Bigs’ for a brief moment, where in the Premier Women’s Division, an underdog, Capilano team “pinched” one from odds on favourites, Westshore. I guess Caps victory proves the old adage that “a champion team will always beat a team of champions”, on any given day. The Westshore women had been undefeated and although Caps had managed to get within ten points during the season, Westshore was clearly the class of the League. The storied North Shore club in its 50th year, pulls off yet another title. CW Women can take some small solace in the fact that they handed Caps two from two defeats this season!
To the men, we must hand it to the Old Boys Ravens for their victories in both Premier and Reserve Divisions. For the Prems, it was a repeat and they managed to defeat all-comers in the playoffs and during the season. CW did manage a home win against Old Boys back in October but by playoff time, they were a different proposition, handling both UBC and Burnaby in the Final. Their Reserve club came from way back in the pack – fifth place at one stage after Christmas, demonstrating the depth and quality coaching that must be the case with their program. From all reports, Aaron McLelland was the premier etoile in the Final. One wonders just why this man is not making money, playing in the MLR. So, another one in the books. There will be some exciting summer action and we will try to keep our followers informed.
Damian McGrath – Men’s Sevens Coach Dismissed
Now this is one out of the blue to outsiders (and possibly, insiders!). Rugby Canada thanked McGrath for his services, wished him the best and adios. (“A change in leadership now provides the team an opportunity to refine their play through the final two stops on the WRSS and ensure thorough preparation for the RAN qualifying tournament,” said Allen Vansen, CEO, Rugby Canada. “We would like to thank Damian for his time with Rugby Canada and the contributions he made to our 7s development, and wish him well in his future endeavours.”). Is the inference being that Damien did NOT have the team thoroughly prepared??
Such an event with the Olympics on the doorstep and Canada needing to qualify via the North American Tournament against Caribbean Nations must really shake, rather than solidify the team, in this writer’s opinion. The “realignment” supposedly will enhance a better result, well this certainly remains to be seen as Henry Paul takes over the reins. Paul and Kingsley Jones were paired with the Russian XV’s and VII’s programs in the recent past and one may well ask, so where is Russia now? Opinions have come thick and fast, generally supporting McGrath and questioning, as it seems, always the case, the “logic” of Rugby Canada. This writer will not go on, suffice to say, on a personal level, I found the man empathic to his players, a diligent coach who wanted his players to perform at their best and as coach try to facilitate same. So, I add my best wishes for the man.
CW congratulates the following players who have been named to the training camp group for selection for the Women’s Super-Series XV’s Vs USA at the end of the month. Current CW players; Jenn Appleby, Sabrina Poulin, Gabby Senft. Past/recent players; Pamphinette Buisa, Sophie De Goede and Olivia De Merchant. Best of luck to all these Tricolours and their team mates as they begin preparation for the next RWC.
THIS WEEKEND - WOMEN’S SEVENS @ WESTHILLS. Cheer Canada on as they follow-up their recent tournament win in Japan and strive to overtake the Kiwis at the top! Go, you beauties.