Collins “tries” to make Team Canada

Oakville’s PJ Collins and his Under-17 Canadian men’s national rugby teammates produced an impressive eight-try performance to defeat the Lower Mainland Selects, 48-12, on Saturday (Feb. 25), posting their second straight win over a BC representative side. The Canadian U17s had previously defeated the Vancouver Island Selects by a score of 33-10 on Thursday evening in Langford.

Saturday’s match in Vancouver wrapped up a week-long trial for the national program, as the coaches will now have to make their selections for the 26-man roster headed to England for the annual Wellington Festival.

The Lower Mainland Selects were the first to put points on the board on Saturday, as speedster Ryan Lan (Capilano RFC) cut through the defence in the opening minutes to put his side up 5-0.

The Canadian squad responded with four tries and a conversion of their own. Recording a brace for the Canada U17s was Shane Dagg (Bayside RFC, BC) with single tallies also recorded by Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians, Ont.) and Brandon Ho (Rick Hanson, BC). The conversion was notched by Ontario and Balmy Beach RFC standout Michael Douros.

Lower Mainland Captain Karsten Leitner (UBCOB Ravens) scored just before the half, with the conversion kicked by Nick Collett (Bayside RFC).

The second half was all one way traffic as the Canada U17s showed their depth and subbed on a number of impact players to record four unanswered tries. Oakville Crusaders PJ Collins, Connor Plumpton (Kingston Panther, Ont.), Spencer Miller (Abbotsford RFC, BC) and Randy Barton (Cowichan Rugby Club, BC) all dotted down and three conversions were notched by Giusseppe Du Toit (Cowichan Rugby Club, BC).