Lighthouse out-shines Abbotsford at sevens tourney

It's a fascinating rugby sevens rivalry, the veterans from Burnaby Lake trying to fend off the energetic youngsters from Abbotsford.

Tyson Appeldoorn (middle) and Graeme MacRury (right) converge on a Meralomas ball carrier during the Abbotsford sevens tournament at Exhibition Park.

Tyson Appeldoorn (middle) and Graeme MacRury (right) converge on a Meralomas ball carrier during the Abbotsford sevens tournament at Exhibition Park.



It’s a fascinating rugby sevens rivalry, the veterans of Burnaby Lake Lighthouse trying to fend off the energetic youngsters from the Abbotsford Rugby Football Club.

Two weeks ago in the finals of a sevens tournament at Simon Fraser University, upstart Abbotsford knocked off Burnaby in the title game.

But on Saturday, the Lighthouse earned a measure of revenge, administering a sound 37-19 thumping to the Abby side in the elite men’s final of the ARFC’s home tourney at Exhibition Park.

“It’s turned out to be a bit of a rivalry, and it’s one that’s enjoyed by both teams,” observed Graeme MacRury, captain of the Abbotsford sevens team. “We’re a young team that’s learning, and they’ve been playing for years on the beach.”

MacRury, at age 25, is the second-oldest player on an Abbotsford squad that’s long on potential but short on experience.

“Everyone else is 21, 22,” he said. “We’re a young team, and we’re still coming together. We’re learning, but we’re learning well.

“I’m more than proud of the guys – they did great. I have no regrets from this tournament.”

In other action, the Emerald City Mudhens of Seattle beat Burnaby 24-10 in the elite women’s title game. Vancouver’s Young Bucks knocked off United of New Westminster 22-7 in the final of the men’s social division.

Between 2009 and 2011, Abbotsford played host to an international sevens tournament, but that event was moved to Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium this year. In its absence, the ARFC stepped up and hosted its own tourney with a more local focus.

“This is the first time we’ve done it on our own,” MacRury noted. “It was great.

“Everybody is friends, we all know each other from playing every weekend.”