On Friday, June 5 and Saturday June 6 the Beaumont Bandits girls rugby team made their annual trip to the provincial championships. Beaumont has one of the best rugby programs for girls in the province as they continue to represent the Edmonton Zone at the Tier II Level of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association’s (ASAA) provincial championships.
This year’s championships were held at the Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton and hosted by McNally High School. Rugby was introduced as an ASAA provincial sport in 2006 and has grown ever since. This year nine teams competed at the championships in Tier II girls.
The teams were placed into three pools of three with Beaumont in Pool C along with Winston Churchill from Lethbridge and Peace Wapiti from Grande Prairie. The teams played each other on Friday with the top team advancing to the championship round and the second team hopeful their record would be good enough to qualify for the championship round.
The Bandits began play at 2 p.m. on Friday against the Peace Wapiti Titans. This was the Titans’ first appearance at the provincials and they were no match for the seasoned Bandits. By the end of the first half Beaumont had complete control of the game and led 22 to 0. In the second half Beaumont continued their domination and cruised to a 56 to 0 victory.
Beaumont returned four hours later and squared off against the Bulldogs from Lethbridge. The Bulldogs had crushed the Titans in their first game 74 to 7 and this game would determine which team would advance to the championship round on Saturday. The Bulldogs won silver in last year’s championship and took gold in 2013 and 2012. They were determined to return to the championship’s final round. Very quickly the girls from Lethbridge took control of the game and earned their fourth straight ticket to the final round with a 57 to 12 victory. The Bulldogs would go on to defeat the Rimbey Spartans in the semifinals and then captured their third championship in four years when the downed the #1 ranked F. P. Walshe Flyers from Fort Macleod in the final 19 to 5.
Meanwhile the Beaumont Bandits advanced to the consolation side of the tournament and had a bye into the final game.