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Boys rugby provincials: T-Wolves, Lions, Hurricanes finish on winning note
Local teams finished strong at the B.C. high school boys rugby championships, highlighted by a solid fifth-place result from the Robert Bateman Timberwolves.
Bateman blew out the Earl Marriott Mariners, their longtime rivals from South Surrey, 32-6 in the fifth/sixth placing game at Abbotsford's Exhibition Park on Saturday afternoon, matching their highest finish at the provincial AAA tourney.
"We were decimated by injuries," T-Wolves coach Dave Chambers said, noting that the Fraser Valley champs had six players sidelined vs. Marriott.
"But guys stepped up. It was a great culmination to the season. They played the way we'd been coaching – they played to their abilities and their understanding of the game."
Bateman got tries from Kolby Steen (2), Austen Zacher, Slayter Tonneson and Noah Jensen vs. the Mariners, while Gavin Rowell accounted for nine points on kicks. Kurtis Kirschner was named to the President's 15 all-tournament team.
In other AAA action, the Yale Lions locked up seventh place with a blowout win of their own – they crushed Carson Graham of North Vancouver 40-22 behind tries from Noah Bain (2), President's 15 selection Travis Murray, Surge Francis, Chris Combs and Josh Long.
"It was a good way to finish," Yale coach Doug Primrose said. "All the Grade 12s played, which was nice, and it was a good bounce-back after our last game (a 29-10 loss to Bateman). We finished strong.
"We came in (seeded) ninth, and we left seventh."
In the AA draw, the Rick Hansen Hurricanes wrapped up the tourney with a second straight win, beating L.V. Rogers of Nelson 20-14 in the 13th/14th placing game. Twin brothers Alex and Brandon Ho and Devin DaCosta scored tries, while Vishal Toor notched a convert and a penalty kick. Alex Ho was named to the President's 15.
"We had convocation last night, so a lot of the boys got home a little late," Hansen coach Bo Sidhu said with a chuckle. "They were a little groggy-eyed this morning, but it was good – they pulled it off. It's nice to end their high school careers, after four years of playing for the school, with a victory."
The Abby Senior Panthers finished 16th in AA, dropping their finale 48-14 to G.W. Graham of Chilliwack.
Simply having the opportunity to compete at the B.C.'s was a treat for the Panthers, who didn't initially qualify. But after Kalamalka of Vernon withdrew from the tourney after losing their opening game, Abby Senior was added to the draw.
"The boys played hard," coach Sean McLaughlin said. "It was a great experience, building towards next year. We only graduate two seniors from this team."
The Panthers got two tries from Grayson Marquardt and two converts from James Parker vs. G.W. Graham, and Thomas Sharpe Madigan was the team's President's 15 nominee.