Yale’s Connor Byron sidesteps an Earl Marriott defender during the Fraser Valley senior boys rugby final in Abbotsford on Thursday (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Yale’s Connor Byron sidesteps an Earl Marriott defender during the Fraser Valley senior boys rugby final in Abbotsford on Thursday (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford rugby teams prepare for provincials

Senior boys, girls teams batting for provincial glory

The Yale Lions senior boys team may have come up a little short in the Fraser Valley final on Thursday, but they can make up for it next week in the provincials.

Yale hosted the Earl Marriott Mariners at Rotary Stadium on Thursday, losing in thrilling fashion to their rivals from South Surrey.

The Lions led 14-7 at halftime, after Connor Byron scored a try with just over three minutes remaining.

The second half saw Marriott tie the game up nine minutes in, and then go up 17-14 by converting on a penalty kick with 13 minutes left in the game.

Byron and the Lions roared back with just over seven minutes remaining, but missed the convert so the Lions led 19-17.

But that joy didn’t last long as the Mariners stormed back to score on their next two consecutive possessions to walk away with the Fraser Valley title and the 27-19 win.

Marriott moves up to the AAAA conference for the provincials with the win, while Yale ranks second in the AAA Tier 1 conference for provincials. The W.J. Mouat Hawks are also in the mix in the AAA Tier 1 conference, ranked fourth heading into the tournament. They defeated Elgin Park 37-12 on Thursday to finish third in the Fraser Valley region.

The senior boys provincials run May 31, June 1 and June 3 at Rotary Stadium.

Over in the Fraser Valley AA final, the Bateman Timberwolves defeated the G.W. Graham Grizzlies to win the region. The Timberwolves head into provincials, which occur on the same days as the AAA provincials, ranked fourth in the province.

The provincials rugby action officially kicks off tomorrow (Thursday) with the senior girls tournaments at Rotary Stadium.

Yale is ranked second in the AAA conference, and open at 5 p.m. against Vancouver Island’s G.P. Vanier. Their rivals across the river, the Mission Secondary Roadrunners, enter the tournament as the fourth seed. The AAA final occurs on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

Local girls teams will also battle it out in the AA conference, as the Abbotsford Panthers and Bateman Timberwolves are set to compete. The Panthers are ranked first in the conference, and open tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. against Houston Secondary. Bateman, seeded fifth in the conference, take on Westsyde from Kamloops also at 3:30 p.m. The AA final is scheduled for Saturday at 1:45 p.m.

Read next Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for a full recap.