Marmots make semis at home 

The Whistler Hoary Marmots RFC took on tough teams from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, as well as temperatures over 30 degrees, in their annual Whistler 7’s tournament last weekend.

The event included eight men’s teams and a pair of women’s teams, including a talented Marmot side.

The Marmots A team won two and lost one to make it into the semi-finals again the Vancouver Rowing Club. The Marmots B team, which included several rookies to the sport, lost all three games, but managed to score tries in every game.

The Marmots lost their semi-final matchup by 22-12. After letting the Rowers score three unanswered tries, the Marmots got on the board with a pair to make it close. In the closing minutes, the Rowers took advantage of an overlap to run one in to advance to the finals.

In the finals they faced the Velox, a tight squad from Victoria that beat Simon Fraser University in the semi-finals 27 to 22.

The Rowers scored first, but the Velox answered back moments later to tie up the game. In the second half it looked like the rowers would take the match, up three tries and a conversion to one try.

Velox came storming back after making a defensive stand to score two tries and a conversion to tie the score at 17 apiece at the final whistle.

After ten minutes of close play in the sudden-death overtime, the Velox took advantage of a broken tackle to take the tournament and the championship ski.

The Whistler women’s team won one and lost one in exhibition play against SFU.

"It’s coming together bit by bit," said Marmots captain John Gideon. "The rookies are really coming up for us this year, and the first team is becoming very synergistic on the field. We made a few mistakes that cost us, but we were in every game.

"It would be good to have more players, to really get the word out that Whistler has rugby, but I’d say for living on top of a mountain the turnout has been pretty good," he said.

The Hoary Marmots get two weekends off, but will be back in action at home on Aug. 16 against a club from Seattle.

The Marmots practice every Tuesday and Thursday at the high school at 6:30 p.m. Newcomers, men and women, are welcome to come out and practice with the team, no experience necessary.

Call the team line at 604-932-1845 for more information.

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