Today’s Poll

Bomber face uphill climb as the Kootenay reps meets top-ranked Collingwood in qualifying action at the B.C. High School AA Boy's Rugby Championships

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
May 30th, 2011

By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports

The L.V. Rogers Bombers are head and shoulders above the opposition in the Kootenays.

So much that most high school teams in the Kootenays don’t want to play the boys in the blue and white.

That changes drastically Monday when 16th-ranked LVR tackles the best team in the province at the AA level, Collingwood of West Vancouver, in opening round action at the B.C. High School Boy’s Rugby Championships in Abbotsford.

“We need to play like we did against the teams we played (during our spring break trip to) Ireland,” said Bomber captain Connor Butler on the eve of leaving for the Fraser Valley.

“We know the teams we play (at provincials) are not going to be any harder than what we’ve come up against (in Ireland) so we’ve got to play well in all aspects of the game and leave it all on the field.”

The Bombers almost had the zone title handed to them. Butler and Company have dominated the Kootenays since the team got together back when the players were going to school at Trafalgar.

Which has contributed too much success over the past few years.

“It’s definitely helped us as we’ve been able to learn together and know each other on the pitch,” explained Butler, a Grade 12 student at LVR.

“Plus we’ve had some exceptional coaching from Mike Joyce, who is an amazing coach. He’s taught us how to work together, read the plays and know where to be on the field.”

LVR, finishing 16th at the 2010 tourney, advanced to the provincial title for the second time in two years by scoring a convincing 21-0 decision over J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail.

Seniors Nikita Chernoff and Lautaro Wilson-Valdez each scored a try while Kevin Lewis added a pair of penalty conversions to lift LVR to the title.

LVR went 1-2 in Ireland against three very good club teams. The team returned home to attend the Kamloops tourney where the Bombers finished 2-1, playing very well against a AAA team from Salmon Arm.

Despite improving and playing well against some very good teams this season the Bombers didn’t get much love shown towards them by the provincial organizing committee.

However, that doesn’t bother Butler, believing in his teammates.

“Our aim is to finish at least in the top ten . . . the top five would be amazing,” Butler confessed. “I believe that’s doable for us. We just need to play like I know we can.”

The seeding game is set for Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Score the major upset over Collingwood and LVR plays Wednesday at 4 p.m. against the winner of Aldergrove and Kalamalka of Vernon.

The tournament concludes Saturday with the final set for 4 p.m. at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford.

Regardless of the result, many of the graduating Bomber seniors are eager to go out with a bang.


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