McKenzie Saysell

Saysell injured at rugby festival, watches from sidelines as BC1 wins gold

Ladysmith's McKenzie Saysell suffers a concussion and whiplash during second-round match at Rugby Canada's National Champsionship Festival.

Ladysmith’s McKenzie Saysell made a brief but explosive appearance at Rugby Canada’s National Championship Festival (NCF) in Vancouver Aug. 7-11

Saysell helped steer BC1 to a 60-0 victory over BC2 as U16 Women’s play got underway at UBC Wednesday, Aug. 7, only to have her field time cut short by injury the following day.

The young flanker’s tournament play came to an end during BC1’s 23-15 victory over Ontario Thursday, Aug. 8.

Saysell scored her first try of the tournament during the opening half of Thursday’s game to put BC1 ahead of Ontario 10-0.

Less than 20 minutes later, when Saysell “went head on” with an Ontario rival, she suffered whiplash and a concussion when the two women collided while rucking over a ball.

Saysell’s performance earned her the nod for MVP of the game, but she was forced to watch her team play from the sidelines for the remainder of the tournament.

BC1 went on to defeat Alberta 29-5 on Friday during the final round of preliminary play, setting themselves up for a semi-finals rematch with BC2 on Saturday, a game they won handily by a score of 31-0.

As BC1 squared off against Ontario in Sunday’s gold-medal game, Saysell played the part of “water girl,” she said.

Her well-hydrated teammates defeated Ontario 19-0 to win gold during the NCF’s first year featuring an U16 Women’s division.

BC1’s top three players led their division for scoring, Saysell added. BC1 teammate Caroline Crossley ranked first overall with 30 points, Chantal MacLean was second overall with 29 points, and Taiid Hanes-Young ranked third with 25 points.

Aside from her high-scoring colleagues, Saysell credited their NCF victory to her team playing well together.

“There was no fighting,” she added. “We picked each other up when we fell down, and we bonded really well.”

Saysell said she plans to play with either the Cowichan Rugby Club or Nanaimo come the fall rugby season if her doctor gives her the all-clear.

In the interim, Saysell said she’ll spend the next “three to six weeks” focusing on her recovery.

In other NCF news, Ontario rallied for a come-from-behind win over BC to clinch gold in U18 Men’s play. The U18 Women’s gold-medal game saw Ontario crush BC 25-5. And in U16 Men’s play, BC1 earned gold, while Alberta walked away with silver.


Just Posted

Local family invites the community to enjoy their Christmas light display

Kelly, Carrie, and Vincent Giesbrecht spent the last month decorating their home for the holidays

Japanese students visit LSS for cultural exchange

Ladysmith families hosted 35 students from Furukawa Gakuen High School

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

PHOTOS: Old Time Christmas 2019

Friday, December 6 was Ladysmith’s Old Time Christmas. Here are some of the highlights from the night

Student artwork on display in ‘Well Lit’ installation

Thoughtful Place Design, 49th Parallel, and Festival of Lights came together to showcase student art

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

PHOTOS: Competitive Christmas light display takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

Heather King of Princeton took a creative and stress-free approach to her holiday display this year

RCMP asks Kootenay cannabis shop to remove image of famous Mountie from storefront

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

BC Ferries adds 170 extra sailings for the holidays

6 a.m. and 10 p.m. sailings added for busy season

Anti-money laundering agency warns casinos to watch gamers playing with bank drafts

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, issues operational alert

Strata rental bans escape B.C. speculation tax through 2021, Carole James says

Vacant home tax won’t apply to cabins accessible only by water

Most Read