U18 Men Take Provincial Title

U18 Men Take Provincial Title

On Sunday the Kickers U18 Mens rugby team won the British Columbia Rugby Union U18 Provincial Championship played at Oak Bays’ Windsor Park Field.  The game pitted the two best junior rugby teams on the Island –  Oak Bay’s Castaway-Wanderers and the Comox Valley/Campbell River Kickers. The game did not start off the way that the visiting team had hoped as they gave up two tries in the first 10 minutes of play and found themselves behind 12-0. The Kickers fought back and narrowed the gap to 17-12 at the half time whistle. The Kickers’ game plan was to use their superior size and wear down the smaller, yet very skilled Castaways team. “Our plan was to eventually wear them down and then capitalize with our bigger players controlling the ball and game.” said head coach Darren Munro, who was assisted by Jim Ebert. “The lads did an excellent job of sticking to the game plan and executing what we as coaches had set out for them.” The plan was working as the score was tied at 24-apiece with about 10 minutes to go and the Campbell River/Comox players controlling the ball and moving down the field. Even the best laid plans can go awry, however, and the ball squirted out the side of a ruck and the Castaways were away and running. The players defended valiantly but the Castaways were able to score and take a 29 -24 lead. “It seemed that the supporters and coaches were more nervous than the players were, because when the boys came to center to kick they had a very determined look on their faces...
A Saturday Filled With Kickers Rugby

A Saturday Filled With Kickers Rugby

It was a big weekend for the Comox Valley Kickers Rugby Club. On Saturday in light rain at Village Park in Cumberland the senior women second division side United came from the lower mainland to challenge the Kickers women, and the senior men first division team Cowichan came to take on the Kickers men. In 2013 the Kickers have proudly elevated each senior team, the men taking a step up to Vancouver Island First Division, and the women a step out into a wider Second Division competition that includes teams from the lower mainland. Bold moves intended to raise the bar for rugby players and rugby fans in the Valley. That bar was set high by the visitors in a 4 hour display of rugby at its best. The Women kicked off at 11:30 and from the first whistle the intimidation from the Kickers forward pack, including some bullying runs from Sheryl Alexander, quickly forced United to adopt a wide ranging passing game, using phases of play to eventually outnumber the Kickers defense, a ploy that worked for United bringing an early try. The home team quickly answered with Molly Florian employing a deft sidestep and a quick weaving run to go in under the posts, converting her own try and maintaining a  competitive scoreline. An U18 BC rep last year, Florian has recently played for Crimson Tide and she posed an ever present danger during the game leading United to take care to deny Florian space whenever possible.  With steady pressure and a somewhat lopsided penalty count the score continued to widen for United, and despite excellent solid midfield tackles...
Beaufort Cup Rivalry Renewed

Beaufort Cup Rivalry Renewed

Written by: Mike Magee Photos by: Lena-marie Pawluk/Little Inspirations Photography Under sunny skies in Cumberland, the Comox Valley Kickers challenged Beaufort Cup rivals the Port Alberni Black Sheep in a 1st division match on Saturday. The home town Kickers would work hard to come out on top of a 43-7 victory, bringing their record to 1-1 this season in VIRU competition. Brothers Andrew and Steve Hextall of the Comox Valley Kickers started the day out playing side by side at Inside and Outside Center. Both players would score 2 tries a piece and were key contributors in their team’s victory. They would dominate the back field until just after the 40 minute mark. Coach Frank Blaucomb would move Andrew to the flanker position to finish off the game. The change in position would not affect the young Kickers captain as he would continue to lead by example and play his role to perfection. Rookie winger Brandon Krejci of the Kickers was sporting his snazzy new French hair cut,  and seemed to have found his step while evading defenders. Krejci would score a beautiful 50+ yard try down the sideline putting all his magical moves together in his first try playing 1st division rugby. The “kid with the mullet” would win man of the match for the Kickers after showing incredible confidence in his play. Konrad Nikkel, returning from playing representative rugby with the Crimson Tide, distributed the ball effectively with well executed passes. Sending the ball sideline to sideline would wear down defenders and open holes for the harder players to run through. Nikkel would score a try himself after...
Kickers Debut in 1st Divison

Kickers Debut in 1st Divison

Report by Mike Magee. Photo by Lena-Marie Pawluk. On Sunday in Saanich under blue skies, for the first time since 2007, the Comox Valley Kickers Sr. Men’s team played their first match back in the VIRU 1st Division. A rough fall schedule, full of cancellations and defaults by opponents, saw the eager to play Kickers take to the field to face the Velox Academy. It took a while after the opening whistle for the Comox boys to shake the rust and webs, in the process allowing the young Velox side to score first.  It was through an impressive attack engineered by Velox Flyhalf Chris Brussow and his brother, Outside Center Dirk Brussow. A simple yet effective reverse (with a little flair) saw the speedy outside center run the ball 70+ yards and go in for a 7-0 lead. The Kickers would answer back shortly thereafter via a flanker hidden in the backline. Blindside Flanker Vince Bennett would score between the posts and howl with excitement as he was back on the scoring sheet and put the Kickers up on the problematic score board. Back and forth play throughout the first half would also see Outside Center Andrew Hextall log one near the posts after another Velox try, to see the teams go into halftime with a score of 14-12 in favour of the host Valhallians. The spectators would starting pouring in advance of the main event. They would be treated to a competitive 2nd half. A slow start by the Kickers in the 2nd half would allow Velox to score off the opening kickoff, rendering coaches Frank Blaucomb and Aaron...
Kickers come out firing in Nanaimo!

Kickers come out firing in Nanaimo!

The 2012 fall rugby season has been frustrating for the undefeated Comox Valley Kickers men’s team, who have accrued almost as many wins by default as they have by actual games played. Sunday provided the opportunity for the Kickers to vent in a big way against the Nanaimo Hornets. With an average age of 22 the Kickers started the game with what might be the youngest full set of forwards in the last six years so the stage was set for a fast rucking game. The youngsters did not disappoint quickly gaining enough ground within a couple of minutes of the starting whistle to make room for veteran center Chris Ostertag to run in the first try. Following up almost as quickly was rookie flanker Brandon Krejci leaping over for five more points. Front row forwards Brandon Robertson and Brodie Squire kept up a barrage of bone crunching tackles creating turnovers and clearing the way for team Captain Andrew Hextal to range far and wide gaining huge yards and setting perfect platforms for structured play. Planned back line moves through several phases sent Leigh Burley over for the first of an impressive three tries in a row. The Hornets rallied from time to time and despite sustained forward crashes and some brief backline forays Nanaimo could not put points on the board. Instead the Kickers continued to pour it on with Nathan Holley bolting a full fifty meters before scoring a well deserved try. In the early part of the second half the Kickers were somewhat slower putting points up until Chris Ostertag dropped four would be tacklers in succession with his devastating straight arm fend and went in under the posts for a second...
Big Changes and Big Wins for Kickers

Big Changes and Big Wins for Kickers

The Comox Valley Kickers played Powell River Otago at Village park in Cumberland on September 23rd to open the Vancouver Island third division mens rugby season and jumped straight into a scoring bonanza. Powell River, suffering from an early season low player turnout, found it difficult to find a reply to the onslaught, as Kickers flew through with tries for Steve Hextall, Ben Travena and Anthony McCaffrey. Hat tricks came for Leigh Burley, Brad Hanna, Andy Hextall, and Konrad Nikkel leaving the final score at a blown out 82 – 0. The second test for the Kickers came in Duncan last Saturday October 30th against the formidable Cowichan Piggies. Commitment to playing through planned phases of basic rugby proved out for the Kickers early in the game, with tries coming for Steve Hextall and Shayne Stuchbery. As the game progressed the Cowichan tradition of old school physicality started to rattle the Kicker forwards so big second rower Ben Travena fired back with his own intimidating brand of tough stuff, keeping the Piggies honest and earning him man of the match. Anthony McCaffrey, stepping in at fly half, put in a remarkable performance with perfectly placed kicks and careful passes creating opportunities galore for the Kickers to score. Including a set of three tries for Leigh Burley, two for Andy Hextall, one more for Shayne Stuchbery and one each for Brandon Huddleston, Brandon Robertson and Anthony McCaffrey. Cowichan did break through for one excellent try and conversion leaving the final score at 53 – 7, another big win for the Kickers. A key factor in the success for the Kickers is new full time Coach Frank Baulcomb. Baulcomb has made his presence felt with a constructive, tough talking style...