Western Canadian Law Rugby Championship
Allie Larson (1L)
The Panda Bearristers enjoyed an impressive third place finish at this year’s Western Canadian Law Rugby Championship in Calgary. All play was held on Saturday, October 18 for the three-team tournament.
Saturday morning brought a double header for the Pandas, opening with a well-fought battle against Thompson Rivers University (“TRU”). Rookie eight-man, Taylor Holland, kicked off the scoring for the team, following an impressive run and assist from second-year veteran, Ariel Lekas.
The Pandas found themselves near the try zone when TRU drew first blood. In spite of the bloody head injury, nothing would stop Deirdre Fleming, as she returned to the field to lead a number of powerful drives from the forward pack. Despite valiant defensive efforts, the score showed room for improvement in game two.
The University of Calgary had to bail on women’s rugby but, lucky for us, an experienced Dinos club team joined in so we could have a second game. The team rallied together behind captain, Jacqueline Leblanc, and following a few expletives from the coach, we were ready.
Stepping up again for the team, Lekas brought in our last try of the weekend. The game ended for the Pandas with a clutch tackle by Heather Frydenlund, closing out tournament play for the team.
As any good rugby team should, the Panda Bearristers followed their hard-fought day on the field by joining their competitors and fans for a post-game pint (or two). We look forward to another rowdy season next year.
Cody Ackland (2L)
On October 18th, the U of A Golden Bearristers Men’s Rugby Team trekked down to Calgary to defend their crown as the Western Canadian Law School Rugby Champions. Despite a rash of pre-tournament injuries, over 30 players made the trip. Confident? They didn’t even bring the trophy.
The Bearristers began the tournament with a one-sided dismantling of the University of British Columbia Illegal Beavers by a score of 26-5. Slick Williams showed he isn’t just a practice hero, by capturing a try and man of the match honours. Captain Riley Graydon had two tries, with Steve Morrison also contributing.
In the second game, the Bearristers only needed a win over Thompson Rivers University to capture the day. Matt Scrivens took over, securing two tries, man of the match and the championship. Mikhail Carter, Brad Angove, Stew Harms, and Rodney Perkins also contributed tries in the 30-12 win. After Riley suffered a minor head injury, Sal “We are Going to Win” Tinajero stepped into the scrum-half position to lead the team to victory.
With the title wrapped up, the U of A rested most of its starters against the University of Calgary. Despite strong efforts from the youthful Bearristers, the embittered Calgary team managed to prevail. After the game, Australian import ringer, Nick McGann realized that he had been playing all day with his arm broken in two places. Later that evening, Riley suffered another concussion due to an unfortunate bathtub incident and half the team was banned from ever going to Singapore Sam’s again.
Mikhial Carter (3L)
This October, the Golden Bearristers travelled to Calgary with their sights set on winning their second Western Canadian Law Rugby Tournament in a row; they were not disappointed. Some might say it was due to our amazing talent; others might point to the fact that Steve Morrison (3L) and Conor Fleming (3L) forgot to bring the trophy with us to Calgary, leaving us with no other choice. No one will ever know the real answer.
The team’s first test came against the University of British Columbia. The Bearristers didn’t look back after scoring a try within the first three minutes of the game, going on to win the game 26-0 with man of the match honors going to Matt Scrivens (2L).
It was in the second game, with the tournament on the line against Thompson Rivers University (“TRU”), that the Bearristers really shined. The boys in green and gold jumped out to an early lead and were able to fend off a second half surge by TRU to hold on to win the game and secure the trophy for a second straight year. This time, it was yours truly taking home the man of the match honors.
There was still one game to play against our bitter rivals from Cowtown. Pride was on the line for both teams, and it was a hard fought battle but not even Sal Tinajero’s (3L) half-time speech for the ages couldn’t rally us to the win. With the tournament already won, however, the loss was quickly forgotten. This time, it was Nick Williams (3L) taking the man of the match award.
In all, it was a great way to cap off an amazing 3 years as a Golden Bearrister. Best of luck next year in Vancouver….and well…..Ya….Bearristers on 3!