Victoria rugby clubs could go four-for-four this weekend with a local squad in each of the four B.C. finals.
The B.C. Rugby Union is hosting a day of championship matches at Klahanie Park in North Vancouver on Saturday (May 12), with the James Bay Athletic Association and Velox Valkyries in the premier men’s and women’s finals. The Castaway Wanderers will play for the men’s Ceili’s Cup (Div. 1) title while the Velox Valhallians have a squad in the men’s Provincewide Third Division final.
For the Bays, a 23rd Rounsefell Cup championship as the top men’s club in B.C. won’t come easy against Capilano on the latter’s home turf. The Bays defeated Burnaby in the CDI Premier League semifinal last week, while the Caps ousted the defending champion Castaway Wanderers.
Oak Bay native Connor Braid led the Bays with 88 points this season, third in the league, despite missing games due to national sevens commitments.
“Connor has developed into a real take-charge player and as our No. 10 he has the ability to punish the opposition in a variety of ways,” said Bays coach Peter Rushton.
Starting the day’s matches is the Harris Memorial Cup premier women’s final, a 2011 rematch between Burnaby Lake and the Valkyries.
The Valkyries have not forgotten last year’s heartbreak loss when Burnaby intercepted a pass in the final minute and ran it back for the game-winning try. “We’re a different type of squad this year,” said Valkyries coach Aaron Frisby.
Valkyries forward Jesse Olynyk, recruited this year from the UVic Vikes, led the league in tries this season with 14, though many of them were team tries with Olynyk finishing them off, Frisby said. Captain Sarah Levson returns after her breakout season in 2010-11.
Frisby will get his own chance to shine with the Velox Valhallians against Kamloops in the third division final, while the Castaway Wanderers face Meraloma in the Ceili’s Cup final.
Women’s Adidas Premiership
Harris Memorial Cup
11 a.m. Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs Velox Valkyries
Province Wide Third Division
12:30 p.m. Velox Valhallians vs Kamloops Rugby Club
Ceili’s Cup League (Tier 1 First Division)
Ceili’s Cup Final
2 p.m. Meraloma Rugby Club vs Castaway Wanderers RFC
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League
Rounsefell Cup Final
4 p.m. Capilano RFC vs James Bay AA