Rugby revenge: Abbotsford beats rival Bayside in B.C. U18 girls final

The Abbotsford Rugby Club’s U18 girls side won the B.C. title with a dominant 34-7 victory over Bayside on Saturday.

Tiffany Picketts of the Abbotsford Rugby Club U18 girls side extends the ball across the try line during her team’s 34-7 victory over Bayside in the B.C. title game.

Heading into Saturday’s B.C. championship game against Bayside, Al Borrows, coach of the Abbotsford Rugby Club’s U18 girls side, knew that a fiery motivational speech would have been superfluous.

His charges were already revved up like a race car in the red, having lost a heartbreaker to Bayside in the provincial final in 2010.

The Abby squad, featuring many returnees from last year’s team, kept their collective foot on the gas this time around, blasting their South Surrey rivals 34-7 at Exhibition Park.

“We came up short against Bayside last year, so it was like revenge,” Borrows said. “We dominated for three-quarters of that game (in 2010), and we let them win basically in the last five minutes.

“In the first half (on Saturday), Bayside didn’t get out of their own half once. We just dominated possession and the scrums. It was a really strong, strong game from the girls.”

Abbotsford built a 10-0 lead at the half, and blew the game wide open after the break. Junnaya Murphy and Tiffany Picketts notched two tries apiece, while Zandri Botha and Madison Borrows scored one each. Picketts and Borrows each booted a convert, while Gurpreet Dhaliwal – lauded as a “tackling machine” by her coach – was named woman of the match.

It’s often said that defence wins championships, and the Abby U18 girls’ triumph was a testament to that. They allowed just 4.8 points per game this season while going undefeated.

“We concentrate on our defence and our rucking, and that seems to bring positive results,” Borrows said. “The girls have played well all year. They’ve gelled together as a team – the older girls have been very accommodating to the younger girls.”

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