Clearwater Secondary School rugby team lost its zone final to Westsyde 14-10 on Tuesday, May 6.
“It was a tightly contested match until the final whistle, said coach Gabe Francis. “We led 3-0 after the first half, Westsyde pushed hard all game and ran in two converted tries in the second half to jump out to a 14-3 lead. Aiden Sim scored a try late in the second half to make the game 14-10, and we had a strong push right until the final whistle.”
According to Francis, Clearwater played a sound game defensively but had a hard time getting its backs going offensively early in the match.
“The season has been great,” the coach added. “Our Grade 12s are playing their first year of rugby and they have done an amazing job. The group has been super dedicated to practicing and learning the game.”
At present Clearwater’s record is six wins, a tie, and a loss. Three of the wins have come against single A schools, and the rest of the games have been played against larger and well established AA programs.
“We have played a competitive brand of rugby and the boys hold themselves and one another accountable for working hard on the field,” said the coach.
The rugby Raiders played on Friday in Vernon against the Clarence Fulton Maroons of Vernon in the Okanagan valley semifinal, but lost by a wide margin. Winning would have guaranteed a berth in the provincial AA championship.
“Fulton is a tough team,” said the CSS coach before the game. “They have been ranked in the provincial AA top 10 all season, so we will have our hands full, but regardless of the outcome the boys can walk away proud of their work this year.”
Clearwater plays Westsyde on Thursday for 3rd/4th place in the Okanagans.