Saturday is shaping up to be a massive day for the Abbotsford Rugby Football Club.
The local association has put teams in three men’s divisions into the provincial finals, which run at Klahanie Park in West Vancouver.
The Div. 3 men get things started at 12:40 p.m., taking on Capilano B in their division’s Tier B title game. The League 2 side takes its turn at 2:20 p.m. vs. the Surrey Beavers, followed by the League 1 squad facing the Vancouver Rowing Club at 4 p.m.
“I think it’s going to be a great day for Abbotsford – it’s going to be a lot of fun,” predicted Abby head coach Jason Young.
“You can’t ask for much more as a coach than having three teams in the final. I’m excited to be there and enjoy it. To me, the guys are deserving of it. I told them that whether they win or lose, I’m proud of them. You can’t ask for anything more.”
Putting three teams into provincial finals in the same season is believed to be an unprecedented feat in ARFC history, and regardless of the outcomes on Saturday, the season can already be deemed a success.
But sweeping all three games would be even sweeter, and it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.
“In all three divisions, we’re the highest seed,” Young noted.
The League 1 final is particularly intriguing, as the winner earns the option to move up to the CDI Premier League next season.
Abbotsford spent the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns in the Premier League, but was relegated after finishing 1-13 last season. The club has clearly benefited from moving down a level, and Young said it’s unclear at this point whether they’d elect to move back up if they were to beat Vancouver Rowing Club on Saturday.
“It’s a tough call, because to play at that level . . . you need a lot more depth,” he observed.
“Honestly, I think (moving down) has been the best thing for the club since we’re so young – just to rebuild and kind of get confidence and try to rebuild the culture, try to get the fun back into it. Playing in Premier is a tough go. You’re playing top sides all the time, and depth-wise, if you’ve got a few injuries, it’s tough to do that.”