A pair of Bayside Sharks rugby teams are set to vie for provincial championships after winning semifinal contests on Saturday.
Both the Sharks’ women’s first-division and men’s first-division squads won their respective games to advance to BC Rugby Club finals, with the women’s defeating Kamloops 31-0 at South Surrey Athletic Park, and the men’s side edging Cowichan RFC 23-18 on Vancouver Island.
A third Bayside team, the men’s second division, had to travel to Kamloops for their semifinal tilt, but lost 53-20.
“We were only up by 10 or so in the first half, then we kind of turned it out,” the first-year coach told Peace Arch News Monday. “It was awesome – I still can’t believe how well we played. It’s really cool as a coach to see everything come together.”
The women now prepare to take on Meralomas Saturday afternoon, 1:15 p.m. at Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park, host site for all nine provincial club championships – men’s and women’s, from third to premier divisions.
Bayside’s Div. 1 team, meanwhile, will face the Vancouver Rowers.
Bayside Sharks win a close one v Cowichan RFC on Vancouver Island 23 -18.. to advance to the BC div 1 final next week…well done lads…
— Matt Falkner (@MattFalkner1) April 28, 2018
For the women’s side, Saturday’s showdown with Meralomas will provide the opportunity to avenge an earlier loss. On March 17, the ‘Lomas edged the Sharks 10-5, handing the South Surrey-based team its lone defeat of the season.
Beaulieau said his team “made a lot of mistakes” in that loss, while also giving credit to Meralomas, whose defence held the Sharks in check.
“They played well – we couldn’t get anything going against them,” he recalled.
“But we’re playing (much better) now. The players are just at another level – everyone has really stepped up.”