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Marmots hold own at SFU

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The Whistler Hoary Marmots Rugby Football Club fielded a men’s and women’s team at the 20 th anniversary of the Simon Fraser University Highland Summer 7’s Tournament on July 20.

Keeping a two-year-old tradition alive, the Marmots set up their tents on the field on the Friday night. Two of the players, John Gideon and Ian "Cheddar" even camped outside on the 50-yard-line.

The tactic worked for the Marmots the first time, with a ramshackle Whistler team in seven mixed jerseys and not enough cleats to go around winning the social division. This time the team was not so lucky.

The men’s first game was against the SFU home team. After a scoreless first half, SFU put a couple of quick tries on the board, and scored one conversion. A try by Marmot newcomer Rupert Ticawoody helped even the score, but it wasn’t enough. The Marmots lost their first match 12-5.

In their second match, this time against Richmond RFC, the Marmots hit their stride. Once again the opposition scored first, but a try by Ticawoody tied it up and another try by Frasier Talkfast, both New Zealanders, put the Marmots up 10-5 at the half. The second half was close, but the Richmond team put a couple of unanswered tries on the board to win 15-10.

The Marmots third and final game against Surrey RFC finally went their way with Ticawoody scoring a pair of tries, plus tries by Talkfast, Johnny Gideon (a.k.a. Johnny Comedy), Derek Marshall and "Cheddar. The Marmots won that game 34-12.

The women’s team played three matches with a little help from the Bayside Rugby Club. Although they lost all three, they played a strong third game against an experienced UBC side.

The Marmots – and "Marmettes" – will be back in action this weekend for the annual Whistler 7’s Rugby Tournament. There are 12 teams entered in the men’s division and four in the women’s.

Games start at 10 a.m. at Whistler Secondary and run all day Saturday.

"Sevens tournaments are a lot of fun, and a great day out for players and spectators," said Marmots captain John Gideon. "There are over 40 matches throughout the day as each game is only 14 minutes long. There will be a lot of competitive teams battling it out for top spot as well as the social sides competing for just the fun of the game."

The Marmots are inviting all of Whistler to come out and support the team and the tournament. The after party will be taking place at Tapley’s Pub.

The Whistler club trains every Monday and Wednesday at Whistler Secondary, starting at 6 p.m. All levels are welcome including social members.

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