RUGBY: UBC preferred to revive it

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RUGBY: UBC preferred to revive it


Your full team-by-team previews ahead of the season start on Friday


CALGARY – A. Of them. Three? The UBC Thunderbirds are looking to hunt down their third consecutive CW Rugby 15 title this fall – a feat now backed by popular belief. In the latest coaches’ poll, the T-Birds are the favorites for the season, which begins Friday.

UBC posted a perfect regular season record in 2021 before winning the school’s second straight (and second overall) CW Championship. The reigning CW Player of the Year will return for her second year in blue and gold.

Victoria finished second in the poll after losing to UBC in the conference final last year. The team is seeking its first CW title since 2015 and the second in school history. With a number of key rookies and last season’s Rookie of the Year, the team are keen to regain their champion status.

The last team to score a full hat-trick, the Calgary Dinos, placed third after winning bronze at the conference championship last year. The Dinos last won gold in 2018 and will be looking to return to that form in 2022. They will have their first chance to set the stage for the season on Friday when they host Lethbridge in the 2022 opener. Action starts at 1:30 p.m. MDT.

The remaining teams will begin their season on Saturday, September 10, when the Thunderbirds and Vikes meet for the first time at UBC and Alberta hosts Lethbridge. The first is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PDT and the second for 7:00 p.m. MDT. For the full schedule, click here.

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RUGBY 15s ON CANADA WEST TV

Select Rugby 15 matches will be available live and on demand this season on Canada West TV – the conference’s official streaming site. To buy your pass, click here.

CW RUGBY 15s 2022 PRESEASON COACHES SURVEY

Team – Points (votes for first place)

  1. UBC Thunderbirds – 16 (4)
  2. Victoria Vikes – 13 (1)
  3. Calgary Dinos – 9
  4. Lethbridge Pronghorns – 7
  5. Alberta Pandas – 5

NOTE: Coaches have ranked all opponents 1-4. First place votes are worth 4 points, second place votes are worth 3 points, etc.


 

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2021 CW Regular Season Record: /0-6/, 5e
2021 post-season record: /0-0/, DNQ

Last CW Championship / Total CW Championships: 2014 / 10
Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2013 / 6

2021 CW Regular Season Rankings:

Attack: 25 points, 5e cw
Defense: 232 points against, 5e cw

2021 CW Regular Season Leaders:

Points: 5 – Cassie Jorgenson, winger / Maria Sawiak, center / Shelby Pierce, #8
Tries: 1 – Cassie Jorgenson, winger / Maria Sawiak, center / Shelby Pierce, #8
Converts: – N/A

Key Additions (Name/Position/Eligibility/Hometown/Last Team):

Beatriz Herrera / Center / 1 / Edmonton, AB / Nor’Westers
Steph Hovdstad / Scrum half / 4 / Calgary, AB / Toronto Varsity Blues
Kianna Kozak / Center / 4 / Sturgeon County, AB / Queen’s Gaels
Fiona Linklater / Flanker / 1 / Edmonton, AB / Strathcona Druids
Halle Walters / Wing / 1 / St. Albert, AB / St. Albert Rugby Club

Key losses (name / function / hometown / years with program):

Heidi Peake / Third back / Edmonton, AB / 4
Jody Siemens / Prop / Houston, BC / 4
Alexa Martin / Back Row / White Rock, BC / 5
Athea Volpe / Scrum half / Edmonton, AB / 4

Key performer (pictured above):

Shelby Pierce
#8
3rd Year
Sturgeon County, Alta.

With the Canada West Championship returning to Foote Field for the first time since 2018, the Pandas will have to rely on their veteran talent, including third-year prop Shelby Pierce.

The Sturgeon County product was the Pandas’ only Canada West star player last season, leading the team in tries and points during the 15-year-old season.


 

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2021 CW Regular Season Record: 5-0, 1st
2021 post-season record: 2-0, World Cup Champions

Last CW Championship / Total CW Championships: 2021/ 2
Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: N / A

2021 CW Regular Season Rankings:

Attack: 241 points, 1st
Defense: 55 points against, 1st

2021 CW Regular Season Leaders: (BACK)

Points: 82 – Savannah Bauder, fly-half
Attempts: 9 – Savannah Bauder, Fly Half
Converted: 17 – Savannah Bauder, Fly Half

Key Additions (Name/Position/Eligibility/Hometown/Last Team):

Sarah MacPherson / Wing / 1 / Hong Kong / Canadian International School of Hong Kong
Jessie Knaggs / Backrow / 1 / Victoria, BC / Spectrum
Grace Turner / Scrum Half / 1 / Williams Lake, BC / Lake City Secondary
Tia Jordo / Center / 1 / Kelowna, BC / Kelowna Secondary

Key losses (name / function / hometown / years with program):

Madison Gold / Center / Merville, BC / 5
Emma Feldinger / Back Row / Alexis Creek, BC / 4
Tess Woldring / Accessory / Burnaby, BC / 5

Key performer (pictured above):

Savannah Bauder
3rd
North Vancouver, BC

Savannah Bauder’s name was at the top of most Canada West statistical categories last season. The reigning Canada West Player of the Year led all of Canada West in points (82), tries (9) and conversions (17) and also received First Team All-Canadian honors at only his second season with U SPORTS. Her dominance played a major role in UBC’s repeat as Canada West champion in 2021.


 

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2021 CW Regular Season Record: /3-3/, t-3rd
2021 post-season record: /1-1/, OC Bronze

Last CW Championship / Total CW Championships: 2018 / 3
Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: None

2021 CW Regular Season Rankings:

Attack: 114 points, 3rd cw
Defense: 120 points against, 3rd in CW

2021 CW Regular Season Leaders: (BACK)

Points: 16 – Patricia Lively, fly-half
Tries: 2 – Kate Knight, Winger
Conversions: 5 – Patricia Lively, Fly Half

Key Additions (Name/Position/Eligibility/Hometown/Last Team):

Delaney Aikens / Fullback/Winger / 2 / Briercrest, SK / UBC / Canadian Rugby 7s Senior Women
Makayla Joseph / Wing / 1 / Calgary, AB / Maple Leaf Academy

Key losses (name / function / hometown / years with program):

Mariam Ibrahim / Prop / Calgary, Alta. / 4
Alyson MacDougall / Back Row / Calgary, AB / 5
Berlyn Seselja / Scrum half / Surrey, BC / 5
Taejah Thompson / Wing / Calgary, AB / 5

Key performer (pictured above):

Julia Omokhuale
Last row
3
Calgary, Alta.

With a number of veterans leaving the team a year ago, the Dinos will look to Julia Omokhuale as a key performer this fall. The 5-10 back row has speed to burn and showed it last year on several occasions. Omokhuale scored one regular season and playoff try for the Dinos in 2021.


 

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2021 CW Regular Season Record: /3-3-0/, 3rd
2021 post-season record: /0-2/, 4e

Last CW Championship / Total CW Championships: 2011 / 6
Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2009 / 3

2021 CW Regular Season Rankings:

Attack: 110 points, 4e rank in CW
Defense: 132 points against, 4e rank in CW

2021 CW Regular Season Leaders: (BACK)

Points: 10 – Genna Wright, Center/Winger
Tries: 2 – Genna Wright, Centre/Wing
Converts: N/A

Key losses (name / function / hometown / years with program):

Abby Duguid / Lock / Edmonton, AB / 5 years old
Caitlin Sears / Halfback / Edmonton, AB / 5 years old
Erin McFadden / Center / Rimbey, AB / 4 years old
Abby Neudorf / Center / Lethbridge, AB / 5 years old
Sara Cline / Hooker / Edmonton / 5 years old
Gwen Fillinger / Flanker / Rocky Mountain House, AB / 5 years old

Key performer (pictured above):

Name: Keegan Brantner
Location: Lock
Year: 5e

Hometown: Taber, AB

Returning for his fifth and final season, Lock Keegan Brantner will be a key player on both sides of the ball for the Pronghorns this season. As team captain, Brantner will be relied on to lead both on and off the pitch, while guiding a young Pronghorn side who are seeing a transition to a new youth formation after six graduates last season and four more. seniors playing their final season in 2022.


 

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2021 CW Regular Season Record: 3-2, 2nd

2021 post-season record: CW: 1-1, Canada West finalists
U SPORTS: 1-2, 4th





Last CW Championship / Total CW Championships: 2015 / 1

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: N / A



2021 CW Regular Season Rankings:
Offense: 134, 2nd
Defense: 85, 2nd



2021 CW Regular Season Leaders: (BACK)
Points: 15, Larah Wright, Winger
Tries: 3, Larah Wright, Winger
Converts: 4, Kira Peary, Fly Half



Key Additions (Name/Position/Eligibility/Hometown/Last Team):
Emma Grootendorst / Flanker/Lock / 1 / Comox Valley, BC / Rapids Rugby
Morgan Davidson / Back Row / 1 / Duncan, BC / Cowichan RFC
Hadley MacPherson / Center / 1 / Kingston, Ont. / Kingston Panthers
Sierra Gillis / Hooker/Flanker / 1 / Victoria, BC / Belmont Secondary
Lucie Romeo / Wing / 1 / Abbotsford, BC / Westshore RFC



Key losses (name / function / hometown / years with program):
Sara Kaljuvee / Center / Ajax, Ont. / 1
Chanelle Edwards-Challenger / Back Row / Calgary, Alta. / 5
Renee Gonzalez / Third Line / Wing / Toronto, Ont. / 5



Key performer (pictured above):
Larah Wright
Wing
Second
Calgary, Alta.


2021 Canada West and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year Larah Wright returns to the Vikes roster in 2022 after leading the Vikes in points (15) and tries (3) in the 2021 Canada West regular season Best finish ever at the U SPORTS Championships, Wright will look to strengthen the Vikes on offense in 2022.

 

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