In a gripping rematch of last year’s finals, the Comox Valley Kickers clinched a hard-fought victory over Richmond RFC with a final score of 34-29 in the 2023/2024 BCRU Division 3 Men’s Quarterfinals. The rivalry between the Kickers and Richmond RFC has been steadily brewing, and Saturday’s encounter only served to fuel the competitive spirit between the two sides. Having experienced a regular-season loss against Richmond, the Kickers used that setback as motivation to elevate their game and came into the match better prepared.

The game itself proved to be a nail-biter, with momentum swinging back and forth as each team fought tooth and nail for possession on the field. Adverse weather conditions including strong winds added a layer of challenge to the match, testing the players’ skills and adaptability.

However, amidst the fierce competition, a heartwarming display of sportsmanship unfolded. Richmond RFC, in an unfortunate oversight, forgot to travel with their game jerseys. The Kickers exemplified true sportsmanship by lending their opponents jerseys to wear, albeit inside out. This gesture not only showcased the camaraderie and mutual respect between the two teams but also underscored the values of sportsmanship and fair play that are at the core of rugby.

The game day experience was elevated with the addition of a beer garden, food sales, and merchandise sales which would not have been possible without volunteers.

Despite the challenging conditions and the evenly matched contest, the Comox Valley Kickers emerged triumphant, clinching a well-deserved victory over their rivals. Tries were scored by Derek McCubbin, Brandon Hudson, Nick Gilmour, Will Perry, Joe Barker, and Kyle Hall with Kai Mills adding two successful conversions. At the final whistle, the resounding cheers from both supporters and players alike echoed across the field.

“Our team is growing. Our club is growing. The rugby community in the Comox Valley is growing. Today we showed that when we rise together, we can conquer whatever challenges come our way. It’s time to show the rest of BC what we are all about,” says Team Captain Brandon Hudson.

The semi-finals are set to be played on Saturday, April 27. The Comox Valley Kickers men’s team will travel to the mainland to face off against the #1 ranked Vancouver Rowing Club Rugby. The Comox Valley Kickers women’s team will have home-field advantage and will host the Nanaimo Hornets at Cumberland Village Park. Both Kickers teams are one step closer to securing a spot at the Senior Club Finals.  

Photos courtesy of Lorne Collicutt.