The Yale Lions beat Lord Byng in the first round of the AAA provincial tournament on Saturday.

The Yale Lions beat Lord Byng in the first round of the AAA provincial tournament on Saturday.

Lions, T-Wolves, Hurricanes win provincial rugby openers, tourney shifts to Abbotsford this week

Three senior boys rugby teams from Abbotsford are on the championship side of the draw at the AAA and AA provincial tournaments.

Three senior boys rugby teams from Abbotsford will be on the championship side of the draw when the AAA and AA provincial tournaments take over the Exhibition Park pitches this week.

First-round matches occurred at locations across the province on Saturday, and in AAA action at St. George’s School in Vancouver, the Yale Lions and Robert Bateman Timberwolves both posted dominating victories.

The No. 4-seeded Lions blasted No. 13 Lord Byng 41-15, while No. 6 Bateman crushed No. 11 Argyle 53-10.

Spencer Loughlin and Daniel Davidson notched two apiece for Yale, while Travis Murray and Ryan Barclay chipped in with single tries. Jason Hignell also had a big game for the Lions, orchestrating the offence effectively after being shifted from No. 8 to scrum half.

“The guys played really well, much better than last game,” Lions coach Doug Primrose said, alluding to his team’s loss to Earl Marriott in the Fraser Valley title game. “We moved a few players around and it seemed to work well. It was a real dominant performance.”

Kent Hicks and Jason Kim led the way for Bateman, each scoring a pair of tries. Connor Belscher, Riley Davis, Noah Jensen, Josh Thiel and Jake Thiel posted one try each, while Gavin Rowell and Josh Thiel kicked four converts between them.

“The boys played an excellent game,” Bateman coach Dave Chambers said. “They were comprehensive on the attack and on defence. It was a good, complete team effort.”

The AA No. 10-seeded Hurricanes engineered the lone upset out of the 16 AAA and AA first-round games, thumping No. 7 Clarence Fulton 38-13 in Kelowna. Alex Ho, Jasnoor Dhaliwal, Zack Toews, Dale Anderson and Brandon Ho scored tries for Hansen, while Vishal Toor kicked four converts.

Seedings aside, Hurricanes head coach Bo Sidhu didn’t regard his team’s performance as a massive surprise.

“Going in, I didn’t think we should have been ranked 10th,” he said. “I was confident we’d have a good showing.”

The balance of the provincial tournaments run at Ex Park, beginning Wednesday and wrapping up with the AA and AAA championship games on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Yale takes on No. 5 Kelowna in Wednesday’s quarter-finals, while Bateman plays No. 3 Earl Marriott. Both games go at 3:30 p.m.

The Hurricanes take on AA No. 2 Collingwood at 10:30 a.m., also on Wednesday.

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