Southridge, Marriott boys advance in rugby provincials

The Earl Marriott Mariners and Southridge Storm both advanced into the second round of their respective senior boys rugby provincials after victories last Saturday.

The Mariners, seeded sixth in the 16-team AAA tournament, won their game handily, 43-15 over No. 11 Handsworth Saturday at Vancouver’s St. George’s School, which, along with Kamloops and Cowichan’s Brentwood College, was one of three host sites for the first round of the tournament.

At the AA level, the ninth-seeded Southridge Storm also advanced to the second round after a mild upset – a 39-10 win over the No. 8 Kalamalka Lakers from Coldstream.

With the victory, the Mariners advance to play No. 3 seed Oak Bay Wednesday afternoon, while Southridge will play Rockridge Wednesday morning. Both games are set for Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium.

Despite the lopsided score Saturday – and Mariners’ coaches actually thought their team had scored 50, rather than the 43 awarded to them on the official website – The Marriott/Handsworth game was close in the early stages.

The teams were tied 10-10 at halftime, but the South Surrey squad – which finished fourth at provincials last year – opened things up in the second half.

“It was tight in the first half, but we felt like we were playing really good rugby,” EMS coach Adam Roberts said.

The winner of Wednesday’s game would be guaranteed no worse than a fourth-place finish, while the losing team can finish no better than fifth.

The Southridge Storm faced the same scenario, needing a win to finish in the top four.

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