The Bayside Sharks U18 girls team spends some time at the beach in New Zealand during their recent trip. (Contributed photo)

Bayside U18 girls win New Zealand sevens rugby tournament

South Surrey/White Rock junior side comes from behind to win final game

Playing against older competition halfway across the world was no trouble for a team of Bayside Sharks youth rugby players last week.

Over spring break, Bayside’s under-18 junior girls team – which this year is primarily made up of 15- to 17-year-old players – travelled to New Zealand, where they participated in various camps, took part in various cultural experiences and went undefeated en route to a first-place finish at the 2019 North Island Secondary School Sevens Tournament, which was hosted by the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.

The Sharks squad – made up of nine Earl Marriott Secondary players, one from Elgin Park Secondary and three from Abbotsford – defeated Trident College of Whakatane, N.Z. in the final game, by a 25-5 score.

“I went in for high hopes that we’d be in the top three or four teams, because of the skill of our girls and how hard they’ve trained,” Bayside U18s head coach Glen Sharpe told Peace Arch News Monday, one day after arriving home.

“We had a two hour training session two hours after landing in New Zealand, so the girls were pretty keen to do well. But they definitely played at their top level. they stepped their game up.”

• READ ALSO: South Surrey players on pitch during Canada Sevens event

The team’s first three games – all played in one day – were all victories, with Bayside outscoring their opponents by a combined scored of 84-7. The final two games were much more difficult, Sharpe said.

“The first three games were great – we won those games fairly well – but the final two games, the competition really stepped up… the team we played in the final was a very, very tough, competitive team. They definitely didn’t want that trophy to go back to Canada, and they came out guns a-blazing.”

The Kiwis scored off the opening kickoff, but the Canadian side rebounded quickly and earned the win.

“The girls could have folded the tent, and said ‘OK, maybe this is one step too far’ but they didn’t. They fought back and really pressured them on defence, turned over a lot of balls and scored on every opportunity we had.”

Robyn Alexander and Madi Makara were both named to the tournament all-star team.

In addition to the sevens tournament, the team also took part in training and coaching sessions in Auckland, and players got the opportunity to meet recently retired Black Ferns player Linda Ituna, see an original New Zealand All Blacks jersey from 1905, and also observe a training session where, according to a post on Bayside’s Facebook page, “they got to see first hand how the best players in the world train/practice.”



sports@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

Man charged with manslaughter in Surrey woman’s death

Duncan Ryan McCabe, 47, is charged with manslaughter in June 2, 2020 death of Karlee May Dixon, 40, of Surrey

VIDEO: North Delta crash sends nine to hospital

Two vehicles and a pedestrian were involved in the crash on Scott Road Sunday night (Aug. 9)

Surrey’s Boze Corn Maze set to open with one big ‘50’ in the design

This year’s maze has some ‘social-distancing bubbles’ built into it, says farmer Mike Bose

Lost season ‘disappointing’, but White Rock Renegades eager to play outside competition

South Surrey softball organization president hopes inter-city play is a few weeks away

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Infamous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and other destinations

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Laid-off B.C. hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Researchers find cannabis use in pregnancy linked to greater risk of autism

Researchers caution findings only show association — not cause and effect

Small Manitoba town mourning after well-liked teens killed by tornado

Melita residents feeling profound grief after the deaths of Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury

Antonio Banderas says he’s tested positive for coronavirus

Acclaimed actor celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine

Most Read