BC Boys high school rugby champions set to be crowned in Abbotsford

Provincial tournament kicks off today at Rotary Stadium

Earl Marriott defenders descend on the Yale ball carrier during the Fraser Valley AAA final in Abbotsford on Thursday.

Earl Marriott defenders descend on the Yale ball carrier during the Fraser Valley AAA final in Abbotsford on Thursday.

Abbotsford high school rugby teams came up short at the Fraser Valley regional finals, but have the chance to finish the season off at the provincials starting today (Wednesday).

The Yale Secondary Lions and the Abbotsford Senior Secondary Panthers couldn’t take advantage of home field at Rotary Stadium at the AAA and AA Fraser Valley Finals on May 19.

The Lions battled the Earl Marriott Secondary Mariners, and couldn’t stop the accurate foot of Mariners kicker Max Radcliffe. The Grade 11 student had 11 points, including three penalty kicks and one convert to lead Earl Marriott to a 21-7 win.

Radcliffe scored two penalty kicks in the game’s first 15 minutes to put the Mariners up 6-0, but the Lions responded at the 16-minute mark when Joel Ratzlaff scored a try. The convert was good and Yale had its first lead of the game, up 7-6. Radcliffe scored another penalty kick shortly after to put the Mariners up 9-7 after the first half.

Yale threatened to score for more of the second half, but couldn’t put it together. The Mariners added two tries to cruise to the 21-7 win.

Earl Marriott now moves up the AAAA conference for the provincials, with the Lions staying in AAA and ranked number one heading into the event.

The Panthers had difficulty stopping the Langley Secondary Saints offence, falling behind 22-10 after the first half. Abbotsford eventually fell 37-17 to Langley.

Local high schools can now battle for the ultimate prize at provincials starting today, with the Lions opening against the Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds at 9 a.m.

The Robert Bateman Secondary Timberwolves, ranked second in the AA Tier 2. open against Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats starting at 2 p.m.

Also kicking off at 2 p.m. are the W.J. Mouat Hawks, who are ranked second in the AAA Tier 2. The Hawks battle Coquitlams’s Gleneagle Secondary Eagles in round one.

The Panthers, ranked sixth in the AA Tier 1, open today at 3:30 p.m. against West Vancouver’s Rockridge Secondary Ravens.

The second round of provincials starts on Thursday, with the Abbotsford and Langley Grade 8 all-star teams battling it out on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The junior boys provincial final also runs on Friday starting at 5 p.m.

The provincials crown champions on Saturday, with the closing ceremonies and presentation of awards set for 5:30 p.m.

For more information on the event, visit bcssru.com.