Callie Harder, Team BC earn bronze at Canadian Rugby Championships

Callie Harder has added to her rugby medal count after two recent tournaments.

She picked up a silver medal playing for the Team BC U-18s at the Las Vegas International Tournament in late February.

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She was back on the pitch Mar. 8 and 9 playing for BC’s Elite Youth Sevens Team at the Canadian National Championships. Callie and her teammates won bronze in the intense Nationals competition.

Callie, who played prop, was one of 12 girls playing for the Elite Youth Sevens Team. Checking out the team roster, B.C. was represented by players from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Victoria, Surrey, Williams Lake, Sooke and… Lillooet.

What exactly does a prop do? A prop is a forward whose primary role is to anchor the scrimmage and provide lifting strength and support. They need upper-body strength to provide stability in the scrum as well as endurance, mobility and safe hands to maintain continuity of play.

Callie and Team BC started off Day 1 of the tournament at Burnaby Lake with a 36-7 win over Ontario Blue. They followed that with a 10-5 victory over Alberta, but then lost 12-24 to Ontario White.

The team’s solid performance on Day 1 put the U-18 Girls in contention when the knockout games continued on Day 2.

Aiming to get back on track after stumbling in the final match of the first day, Team BC took on Team Quebec.

According to the Rugby Canada synopsis of the game, “Up for grabs was a place in the Semi-Finals. A good night's rest clearly made a difference as the BC Girls came out of the blocks fast and never let up.  They controlled the game in all aspects and didn't give their opponents an inch. Showing their pace and flair, they romped to a 42-0 win and set up a Semi-Final against Ontario White.”

The next match was a “different beast altogether. Ontario controlled the first half of the match, opening up a lead that B.C. just couldn't quite close.  A nail-biting finish saw the teams separated by just three points, but Ontario clung on to win 17-14.”

Putting the disappointment behind them, the BC Girls' Team regrouped for the third place playoff against Ontario Blue.  

Rugby Canada says they were “determined not to walk away from the competition empty-handed, the players put in a ruthless performance. Winning the match 29-5, BC Elite Youth Sevens Girls' claimed the bronze medal.”

This was the third podium in three years for the B.C. Team.

Here’s hoping there’s more to come for Callie and her teammates.

According to Rugby Canada, “The BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Girls' and Boys’ Programs are designed to help develop young athletes into the rugby players who will be best qualified to represent Canada with distinction at future Olympic Games and on the World Rugby 7s circuit.”

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