UBC Thunderbird Shoshanah Seumanutafa was named Canada West’s women’s rugby player of the year after playing a key role in UBC’s Canada West women’s rugby victory over the University of Calgary. Wilson Wong/UBC Athletics photo

Player-of-year Seumanutafa leads UBC to women’s rugby title

Surrey rugby star help Thunderbirds to first-ever Canada West rugby title

South Surrey’s Shoshanah Seumanutafa had quite a day on the rugby pitch Sunday, helping her UBC Thunderbirds women’s team to its first-ever Canada West title, while also being named the conference’s player of the year.

With Seumanutafa – a Pacific Academy grad – leading the charge, the T-Birds captured the title with a 26-12 victory over the defending champion Calgary Dinos, who have Berlyn Seselja, another Semiahmoo grad, on their roster.

UBC’s win halted Calgary’s quest for a fourth consecutive Canada West crown.

“The first half we were making lots and lots of errors and couldn’t get our game going,” said UBC head coach Dean Murten. “Second half we just needed to calm down a bit and relax, it is the first time this group has played in the Canada West finals.

“Once we got over the nerves, we relaxed and started moving the ball and played some outstanding rugby.”

In addition to Seumanutafa, UBC’s roster also includes Earl Marriott Secondary grad Rachel Smith and Clayton Heights Secondary scrum half Mackenzie Adam.

Both the Thunderbirds and Dinos had already qualified for the U Sports Women’s Rugby Championship, which is set for Ottawa in two weeks.

• READ ALSO: South Surrey pair awarded BC Rugby bursaries

Calgary staked itself to an early 7-0 lead in the title tilt, until UBC bridged the gap to 7-5 after Seumanutafa kicked the ball forward into space and teammate Emma Feldinger dove on it for the try in the 24th minute.

The game went back and forth, with Seumanutafa adding two second-half converts to her totals, with the final convert – from a bad angle on the far-left side of the pitch – coming after a try from Smith.

After the game, Seumanutafa, a third-year centre, was named the player of the year.

She led Canada West in tries, with seven; converts, with 11; and points, with 57, during the regular season. Her 57 points were 18 better than the next closest player in the scoring-leader list.

Seumanutafa is the first UBC player to win the Canada West player-of-the-year award. T-Bird legend Cherlyn McKay did win the U Sports player-of-the-year honour in 1998 – which was the first year of women’s rugby at the national level – but no such award for the Canada West existed that season.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

rugby

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Cloverdale’s Coldest Night of the Year charity walk raises $125K

Annual event sees more than 500 walkers take part

Man pleads guilty to stabbing woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

The suspect, whose name is under a publication ban, faced 10 charges in relation to this incident

All-Surrey battle for South Fraser boys basketball title

At Tamanawis, the top four teams will go to provincials

Surrey RCMP boss Brian Edwards on moving forward, and what keeps him awake at night

Edwards spoke with Now-Leader reporter Tom Zytaruk about what he’s learning and hopes to accomplish as Surrey’s top cop

Hopes are for ‘focus on Surrey investments’ when Horgan speaks in March

Luncheon at golf course planned by Surrey Board of Trade

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

UPDATE: Protesters dismantle blockade on Maple Ridge tracks

West Coast Express train service is expected to run again Tuesday morning

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Motorists were ‘driving like their own Indy 500’ before fatal Abbotsford crash, court hears

Family member declares defence request for 90-day jail sentence a ‘joke’

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Most Read