The Ballenas Whalers boys rugby sevens team got to squeeze in valuable playing time just before the Easter long weekend.
With no games scheduled, the Whalers didn’t want to waste one weekend without seeing any action, especially the senior boys who are preparing for the 7s Provincial Championship that will be taking place on June 9-10 at Brentwood College.
The Whalers invited the Wellington Wildcats for a playday last Friday. It was the first time for Ballenas to host a sevens game.
Parents, students and teachers were treated to an exciting game that concluded with both Ballenas senior and junior teams besting the visitors from Nanaimo 17-5 and 14-5 respectively.
Callum Jasinski provided some of the spark for the Whalers as he paced the senior team with a hat trick of tries.
The Whalers, coached by Kevin McMillan, Greg Meredith and Greg Lewis and assisted by Nanaimo Hornets player Ray Young, are still learning the rudiments of the game.
McMillan said getting the Whalers more playing time will help them improve.
“This playday is good for the boys,” said McMillan, who, after watching a sevens game, fell in love with the sport and introduced it to Ballenas last year.
Meredith pointed out the Whalers need to understand that sevens is a passing game.
“You need to move the ball to create space. And when you do that you score,” said Meredith. “It’s also learning where to position yourself on the field to make some good tackles because a lot want to hang on to the ball and don’t want to pass it.”
The Whalers are loaded with good athletes. They’ve shown good potential playing well on defence and also scoring from good set up plays. Meredith said they will get better.
The senior Whalers are hoping to play more tune-up games. They are expecting to face stiff competition at the provincials.
“There‘s going to be a lot of good teams there,” said Meredith. “Our eyes will get open at that level. But we have a lot of time to fine tune some things.”