The B.C. high school boys rugby championships invaded Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park on Wednesday, and the hometown Rick Hansen Hurricanes ensured they’d get to play for a medal.
The Hurricanes, seeded fourth in the AA draw, knocked off No. 5 Clarence Fulton of Vernon 22-15 in quarter-final action. Hansen dominated possession, but Fulton took advantage of a couple Hurricane turnovers to keep it close.
“It was a hard-hitting game,” Hansen coach Bo Sidhu analyzed. “Clarence Fulton was a big team, but we did what we needed to do.
“If we would have executed a little better, that score would have been a bigger margin.”
Arsh Gill, Lucas Harder, Daniel McCutcheon and Ryan Hotner scored tries for the Hurricanes, who move on to face top-seeded Collingwood of West Vancouver in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“They’re a very disciplined team, and very skilled,” Sidhu said of Collingwood. “We have our work cut out for us, but I like our team’s tenacity. We’ll be playing a hard-hitting brand of rugby, and taking it right at them.”
In AAA action, the Yale Lions gave the No. 2-seeded Carson Graham Eagles of North Vancouver a huge scare, ultimately falling 18-15 in a thrilling quarter-final.
The Lions, ranked No. 7, built an eyebrow-raising 15-8 lead at halftime as former Canadian U17 international player Christian Styles ran for two tries and Akash Deo booted a convert and a penalty kick.
But the Eagles got it together after the break, manufacturing a pair of tries to escape with the win.
In his post-game chat with his team, Lions coach Doug Primrose told his players not to hang their heads.
“The guys played very well – the best they’ve played all year,” Primrose said. “I’m proud of them.”
Yale had played Carson Graham in exhibition play on April 7, and sustained a 49-5 drubbing. That they gave them a run for their money on Wednesday was a testament to how far they’ve come.
“We did a much better job defensively,” Primrose said. “Their two best players are centres, and we pretty much shut them down today.”
In consolation-side AAA action, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves trounced Fleetwood Park of Surrey 29-3 on Wednesday.
For a full schedule, visit bcssru.com.