Saints take the Lower Mainland Final


Kenny Lising

The pre game huddle

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, the St. George’s Saints 1st XV Rugby Team played in the Lower Mainland final against West Vancouver Secondary School. Like past years, this annual game was once again played at the Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. 
The Lower Mainland Final (Rugby) has been an unlucky game for St.George’s for the past three years, and the team has placed second since 2009.

The Final has always been a respected game for the grand prize of the New Zealand Shield, which has a special story within itself. The New Zealand Shield was given to the British

Columbia Secondary Schools Rugby Union after the 1924 “Invincible” All Blacks toured around the world, and reached their last pit stop in Vancouver. The monetary value of the New Zealand Shield today is approximately $25,000.

The conditions on Thursday were nothing short of spectacular, with the sun beating down on the dry grass of the Brockton Oval. With the large crowd ready to watch what was sure to be an exciting match, the Saints charged the field for the 5:30 kick-off. The nerves were running high, and it showed for the first half ended 15-14 for the Saints. Tries from Mitchell Rothman and Karsten Leitner, as well as a penalty kick from Harjun Gill just barely held off West Vancouver. 
But after a great half time speech from the Head Coach Mr. Mike Stiles, the team was instantly refocused. Within the first few minutes of the second half, the Saints began their scoring streak. Theo Sauder, Harjun Gill, Karsten Leitner, and two more tries from Mitchell Rothman brought the Saints to a convincing 41-14 victory. 
After receiving the New Zealand Shield and banner, Captain Harjun Gill had this to say: “I’d like to thank West Van for showing us some new things, and we will be sure to work on them before provincials.  Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to play you guys again.” As the Saints move forward onto their run to provincials, only time will tell how they’ll react to the pressure and how they’ll play.