Seven champions were crowned at the 2023 BC Rugby Senior Club Finals as a capacity crowd enjoyed an action-packed day at South Surrey Athletic Park on Saturday.
For the second successive year, BC Rugby’s Senior Club Finals returned to the home of Bayside Sharks RFC as the 2022/23 Senior Club season came to a thrilling close. Seven Clubs earned bragging rights in their respective leagues to cap what has been a tough and challenging season across BC’s Lower Mainland.
UBC Thunderbirds enjoyed a successful Premier League double for the second successive year, while there was silverware for Meraloma RFC in its 100th Year.
The atmosphere was lively in the South Surrey sunshine as teams battled it out in perfect conditions.
BC Rugby streamed all four finals that took place on Field 2 at the 2022 BC Rugby Senior Club Finals, including the Women’s Premier League, Men’s Premier League sponsored by Onni. Men’s Division 1 Final and Women’s Division 3 Final. Relive the action on YouTube now!
Matches from Field 1 will be published on YouTube next week.
Below is a round-up of all seven divisional finals.
MEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE SPONSORED BY ONNI
UBC Thunderbirds 32-25 Meraloma RFC
UBC Thunderbirds made it back-to-back Men’s Premier League presented by Onni Championships with a thrilling 32-25 victory over Meraloma RFC.
Thunderbirds, who lifted the Rounsefell Cup last year after defeating Castaway Wanderers, secured a fantastic double after a hard-fought encounter between two Vancouver sides.
Meraloma, celebrating its 100th Anniversary Year, will be proud of its efforts in taking the Thunderbirds all the way in Saturday’s final.
Thunderbirds enjoyed a 21-17 lead at half-time thanks to three penalties, two tries and one conversion, with Lomas converting two tries and scoring one penalty before the break.
A further try and two penalties helped Thunderbirds get over the line in a back-and-forth game, with Lomas scoring one try and one penalty in the second period.
Lomas battled deep into the Thunderbirds half as the second period drew to an exciting close, but the Thunderbirds defence prevailed in an epic finish to the match.
WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE
Vancouver Thunderbirds 65-10 Westshore RFC
Vancouver Thunderbirds secured back-to-back BC Rugby Women’s Premier League Championships with an emphatic 65-10 victory over Westshore RFC.
Top seed Thunderbirds saw off the threat of a tough Westshore RFC side in the day’s final match on Field 2 in front of a big crowd.
Seven first-half Thunderbirds tries and four conversions to Westshore’s two tries ensured the damage was done in the first 40 minutes.
It was a difficult ask for second seeds Westshore RFC to come back from that deficit, as the Thunderbirds added a further four tries and one conversion to seal an excellent win and make it a Premier League double for UBC sides for the second successive year.
MEN’S PREMIER RESERVE/DIVISION 1 CROSSOVER FINAL
UBCOB Ravens 55-29 Port Alberni Black Sheep
The UBCOB Ravens made it back-to-back Men’s Premier Reserve/Division 1 Crossover Championships with an impressive 55-29 win over Port Alberni Black Sheep.
The Black Sheep finished second in the Men’s Division 1 behind Abbotsford RFC but advanced to face the Ravens in the 2022/23 Final.
Ravens, who lifted the trophy last year, moved into a 22-10 lead at half-time thanks to three well taken tries, two conversions and a penalty. The Black Sheep kept in touch with a converted try and penalty.
A further five tries for the Ravens in a busy second half ensured they did enough to lift the trophy for the second year in a row, despite three tries in response from the Black Sheep. The Ravens defence, however, held firm for another championship victory.
WOMEN’S DIVISION 1
Meraloma 38-7 Abbotsford RFC
Meraloma RFC ensured its 100th Anniversary Year was celebrated with a Championship win after its Women’s Division 1 team powered past Abbotsford 38-7 to lift the Women’s Division 1 title.
Abbotsford had finished the regular season unbeaten with a 6-0 record before entering playoffs, with Meraloma having only lost to Abby over the course of their season.
The Lomas crossed the try line twice in the opening half with one conversion to lead 12-0 at half time.
A further four tries and three conversions in the second half ensured the Meralomas left the end of the 2022/23 season with silverware.
MEN’S DIVISION 2
Kats RFC 30-24 Burnaby Lake RFC
Kats RFC enjoyed successive Championship title wins with 2022/23 Men’s Division 2 title victory after a tense Championship match against Burnaby Lake RFC.
The Kats, who won the Men’s Division 3 Championship in 2022, raced into a 24-0 lead thanks to four tries and two conversions, ensuring a shutout lead at the break.
However, it would be two second-half penalties that inched them over the finish line after an extraordinary Burnaby Lake fightback.
Four tries and two conversions from Burnaby set up an incredibly tense finish, with the Kats RFC defence holding firm underneath their own post in the dying seconds to secure title triumph again.
WOMEN’S DIVISION 2
United RFC 20-26 Nanaimo Hornets RFC
The BC Rugby Women’s Division 2 Final kicked off Saturday’s action on Field 2, with two unbeaten teams going head-to-head for the Ged Griffiths Cup.
United RFC and Nanaimo Hornets RFC both finished the regular season with seven wins from seven matches in their respective Pool A and Pool B Divisions, leading to a mouth-watering clash in Saturday’s Final.
In an end-to-end encounter, United RFC inched into the lead with a try and penalty before the Hornets stung back with a well-worked try to move within three points before half time.
United RFC began to put pressure on its opponents early in the second half, with its second try of the match. Nanaimo, however, responded strongly with three converted tries in the final stages of the game to move ahead and clinch the title.
MEN’S DIVISION 3
Richmond RFC 29-35 Comox Valley Kickers
The top two seeds of Men’s Division 3 battled out a barnstormer as the Comox Valley Kickers claimed the 2022/23 Men’s Division 3 championship with a 35-29 win over Richmond RFC.
Comox Valley finished the regular season with 13 wins, while top-seeded Richmond went into Saturday’s final with 14 wins in their regular season.
The Kickers stormed into a 28-0 lead with four converted tries before Richmond responded with a converted try of their own to keep the score 28-7 at half-time.
Comox started the second period brightly with its fifth converted try of the match, before a late surge from Richmond – four tries and one conversion – ensured a close finish on Field 1.