Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

HS All Americans Shut Out BC U18s

National Teams

HS All Americans Shut Out BC U18s

Justin Oles was a hard runner for the HS All Americans until he subbed out. Dan Bandoni photo.

The High School All Americans were superbly impressive in defeating the British Columbia U18s 48-0 Wednesday at the campus of the University of British Columbia.

The HSAA team shut out their counterparts, something the players said they took great pride in.

“We really wanted that zero,” said hooker Oscar Ockomichalek. “That was more impotent to us than anything.”

The HSAA team was fairly clinical despite being together for just a short time. They won the territorial game using prop David Ainuu as a battering ram and with Sean Lumkong working nicely in the centers. Early on were right on the line and just failed to score due to a knock-on. But then the tight five shoved BC off the ball at the ensuing scrum and No. 8 Sosefo Mailangi-Ray picked up and went in for the try. That made it 7-0, and moments later the Mailangi-Ray made a superb pass to wing Ryan James who handled a big hit from the BC defenders and got the ball down for a 12-0 lead.

David Ainu'u sizes up a defender. Dan Bandoni photo.
David Ainu'u sizes up a defender

The HSAA team pinned BC back in their end, with flanker Justin Oles asking questions of the defense. But they couldn’t quite finish it off, and somehow BC kept it within 12. And it could have been even closer, as the Bears finally got out of their 22 and were close to a try. They opted to kick for posts at a penalty, and missed.

Eventually, the HS All Americans worked their way out of their end, and flyhalf Anton Grigoriou slotted a penalty to make it a two-score game at 15-0.

Then, right at the end of the half, athletic lock Nafitalai Maafu weaved and rumbled his way around and through the BC defense to score a brilliant try.

“I just tried to beat one guy and then see what was next,” said Maafu. “And then I just kept running.”

“He’s a great athlete,” added captain Patrick Madden. “He’s got these huge hands and can catch a lineout ball with one hand. He gives us something extra.”

That made it 22-0 at halftime, and after that the HSAA team just took control. In the second half they went right down to the BC end and Mailangi-Ray slotted into the backline and slid through a gap to score again. Grigorious converted and it was 29-0.

The HSAA forward reserves came on to give some fresh legs and powerful go-forward. They moved the ball quickly and off a penalty Madden tapped and the forwards went over. 

Sim Mander capped off a brilliant maul from 15 meters out, and then Brendon Curle beat a man and fended another to score the final one. 

It was dominant, and very impressive.

“I think we built into our way of playing,” said Lumkong. “We did the dirty work in the rucks and built our confidence. The boys did a good job of picking up the tempo. Even when they came close to scoring, we wanted to shut them out but if we hadn’t we could have still come back strong.”