It was the perfect end to a perfect season. The L.V. Rogers Bombers senior men’s rugby team capped off its undefeated season by downing the Grand Forks Wolves 26-0 and winning the Kootenay Interior Championship for the seventh year in a row.
After dominating the regular season, going undefeated, the Bombers came into the final game of the championships, played Wednesday at Lakeside Park, on the verge of completing their perfect season.
“It was a gut check win, because Grand Forks is slowly getting better and better, its not as easy to win anymore, so it adds a lot more character challenge for our guys. They have to dig a little deeper, and they did that today,” said coach Brad Swan.
In the first half the Bombers came out at a blistering pace, pushing the ball up the field into Wolves’ territory.
The Bombers opened the scoring early when stellar ball movement in the backs resulted in their first try of the match. Although the Wolves pushed back with a few scoring opportunities of their own, they were pinned in their own zone by the Bombers who used a nifty play from their back line to score a second try just before halftime.
“You have to make adjustments all of the time. You can’t play the same team the same way all of the time. You have to tinker around and our guys did great,” commented Swan on his team.
The second half opened with the Wolves digging in defensively with a huge goal line stand to prevent another Bombers’ try.
At the midway point of the second, the Bombers scored off of a penalty play using their forwards to punch the ball in to nab the try.
“We had to mix it up at half time and make some adjustments to keep the ball tight with the forwards and just let them bang because it just counters what their game plan is to defend against us,” said Swan of the change of pace.
Just before the end of the game the Bombers added to their lead with a successful kick at goal defeating the Wolves 26-0.
With their perfect season now complete the Bombers, who are ranked 10th in the province, will now turn their attention towards their opponents during provincials, which take place May 24-26 on the coast.
“We have to play in Vancouver all of the time against elite teams just to keep a challenge,” said Swan. “So we are prepared for what we have to do on the coast.”
A Unique Approach
L.V. Rogers Secondary takes a unique approach to the growing sport of rugby by offering a rugby academy, something that no other school in the area does. Each player takes rugby as a course as well as playing rugby all year long.
“Rugby is serious at L.V. Rogers, it is the fastest growing sport in Canada,” says Swan.
The coaching duo of Brad Swan and Michael Joyce has proved to be very important to the academy as both the junior boys’ and senior girls’ rugby programs also went undefeated this season.
Doing their part to develop the sport of rugby in the Interior does not stop there. The Bombers just got back from a tour through Wales and Northern Ireland and next season the team will be travelling to Argentina to train with international talent.
On top of their role coaching the L.V. Rogers rugby academy teams and the Trafalgar youth program, Swan and Joyce also coach the provincial regional Thompson Shuswaps club.
“We have to put the time in, and the kids have to put the time in,” said Swan.