Lions clinch spot at rugby provincials

The Yale Lions locked up a berth to the provincial AAA senior boys rugby championships on Tuesday, edging the Earl Marriott Mariners 27-24 in South Surrey.

Lions clinch spot at rugby provincials

The Yale Lions locked up a berth to the provincial AAA senior boys rugby championships on Tuesday, edging the Earl Marriott Mariners 27-24 in South Surrey.

The Mariners, ranked No. 7 in B.C., were considered the cream of the crop in the Valley heading into the season, but the No. 8-ranked Lions pulled off a modest upset to boost their record to 4-0 in Fraser Valley Elite League play.

“It was a big win for us,” Yale head coach Doug Primrose noted. “I liked the way the guys battled back and refused to let them win the game. They showed a lot of character.”

The Lions came out on fire, getting an early try from Christian Styles and a convert from Akash Deo to claim an early 7-0 lead. Deo added a penalty kick just before halftime as Yale took a 10-5 advantage into the break.

Marriott rallied to take the lead with a pair of tries early in the second half, but Yale dug deep and regained control on tries by Max Goldman and Styles. The Mariners made one final push, but the Lions hung on for the win.

As the regular season champ, Yale automatically advances to the Fraser Valley Elite title game on May 19.