For the Robert Bateman Timberwolves, Wednesday’s decisive 41-11 triumph over the Argyle Pipers at the the B.C. AAA high school boys rugby tournament was cathartic.
The sixth-seeded T-Wolves had suffered a disappointing defeat to open the provincials, as the No. 11 Handsworth Royals upset them 17-15 on Saturday.
Relegated to the consolation side of the draw, the Bateman side regrouped and excelled as the tournament shifted to Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park for the balance of the week.
Jorden Best, the T-Wolves’ standout scrum half who has played on Canada’s age-class national teams on several occasions, had a massive outing, scoring three tries and booting two converts and a penalty kick. Eric Roberts, Riley Davis, Gavin Rowell scored one try apiece, and Rowell added two converts.
“It was a lot better, and the boys feel better about it, too,” T-Wolves coach Dave Chambers said, contrasting the performance against Argyle to the Handsworth loss.
“The boys were really disappointed. But they trained hard, and set the goal of coming back and doing the best they can on this side (of the draw).”
As for Best, Chambers termed his play “outstanding.”
“There’s no other way to describe it,” Chambers said. “He’s got great leadership and great skills.”
The other Abbotsford team in the AAA field didn’t fare as well. The No. 8-seeded Yale Lions, also relegated to the consolation side, lost 28-5 to No. 16 West Vancouver in their second game. Thomas Choi had the lone try for the Lions, who fell behind 21-0 early and couldn’t recover.
Yale coach Doug Primrose felt his team underestimated the Highlanders, given their low seeding.
“I think they kind of went in thinking, ‘We’re playing No. 16, so it should be an easy game,'” he said. “But this team is way better than 16.
“We played probably our worst game of the season and they played their best, so it wasn’t a good combo. We took way too many penalties and had way too many turnovers.”
Bateman will play G.P. Vanier at 4 p.m. on Thursday with the winner moving on to the consolation final, while Yale faces Semiahmoo at 2:30 p.m.
AAA semifinals feature Carson Graham vs. St. Michael’s University (5:30 p.m.) and Shawnigan Lake vs. St. George’s (7 p.m.).
On the AA side of the draw, the semifinal match-ups are Collingwood vs. Glenlyon Norfolk (2:30 p.m.) and Rockridge vs. Brentwood College (4 p.m.).
Friday is an off day, and the tournament wraps up on Saturday. The AA and AAA finals run at Rotary Stadium at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. For a complete schedule, visit bcssru.com.