From Rugby Canada
The final of the inaugural Coast to Coast Cup was played on Saturday as the Canada West Selects beat the Atlantic Selects 75-22 to take home the trophy.
Both teams went into the match having beaten the Toronto Arrows Senior Academy in their previous round-robin fixture: the West Selects prevailing 69-19 and the Atlantic Selects winning 15-10.
Impressive Showing From Canada West Selects
Played at Graves-Oakley Memorial Park in Halifax, NS, the first half was fiercely contested, particularly in the opening minutes. Prop Willem Den Ouden showed incredible power to bustle over the line under the posts to get Phil Mack’s team on the board after the Atlantic Selects had opened the scoring with a penalty conversion.
Jacob Bossi extended their lead before Keith Graham responded for the Atlantic Selects after finding himself in space on the near sideline five metres out. Just prior to the half, a pick and go from Bossi earned him his second try of the match before Gradyn Bowd also went over, ensuring the West Selects went into the break with a commanding 26-8 lead.
In the second half, the West Selects turned on the style. Max Stewart scored within the first two minutes but Lucas Shorthall pulled one back for the Atlantic Selects, making it 33-15.
Further tries from Callum Botchar, Bowd, Crosby Stewart, Favour Olaniyan (2) and Mike Moloney for the West Selects – as well as a consolation for the Atlantic Selects via Seif Sanad – completed the scoring.
“Our guys were really motivated, they gelled together really well coming off of a pretty long BC season out there,” said West Selects Head Coach Mack.
“It was awesome to reward them with the next level of what rugby should be. Credit to the other team, I thought that first half was very impressive and they took it to us physically. It’s scary to think what that program could become.”
“The boys really wanted it,” added West Selects captain and No. 8 Botchar. “They really wanted the fight and anything we led for, we believed in and we carried through.”