Annual touch rugby event a success in 2018
(Photo Credit) Downward Dog player being chased by a rival from MD Inc. during the 2018 John Cannon Memorial Touch Tournament at Abbotsford Senior. (photo by John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
The annual John Cannon Memorial Touch Tournament shifted to Panther Field at Abbotsford Senior Secondary for 2018, but that didn’t change the success of the local rugby’s opportunity to remember one of its best players. Cannon, who passed away from a heart attack in 2016, was a celebrated rugby player who earned 31 caps on Canada’s senior national team from 2001 to 2007.
He also played professionally in England and suited up for Canada U19 and U23 teams. But he learned the game at W.J. Mouat and the Abbotsford Rugby Football Club. This year’s event, the third annual, saw eight teams filled with players from all over the Lower Mainland battle it out.
Each team contained at least two women, two men and one player over 35 and games were six aside on a half-field setup with 10-minute halves. The event ran all day on Saturday, with MD Inc. defeating last year’s champions Hot Fuzz in the final. However, the big winner of the event was the local rugby community, which received $7,550 towards the John Cannon Memorial Fund. That money is used to support Abbotsford rugby players in their pursuit of the highest levels of rugby in Canada. The first recipient of this year’s fund is 2017 Abbotsford Senior grad Tausani Levale. She starred for years with the Abbotsford Panthers, and currently plays on the Team Canada Rugby 7’s senior women’s team.