Yale Lions win AAA Tier 1 rugby title

Lions celebrate first ever win, Mouat and Bateman also earn provincial medals

Yale's Jake McLean powers through the Carson Graham defence during the AAA final at Rotary Stadium on Saturday.

Yale's Jake McLean powers through the Carson Graham defence during the AAA final at Rotary Stadium on Saturday.

There’s a brand new banner to raise at Yale Secondary.

For the first time ever, the Yale Lions boys rugby team are provincial champions.

The Lions earned top spot in the AAA Tier 1 division with a 17-0 win over North Vancouver’s Carson Graham Eagles at Rotary Stadium on Saturday.

Yale had a 12-0 lead at halftime, and stuffed the Eagles at the goal line to keep them off the scoreboard in the second half.The Lions added another try in the second half to win 17-0. Matt Cercel, Evan Johnston and Chris Combs scored tries for Yale.

The Lions opened the tournament with a 62-0 win over Cowichan on Wednesday. Players scoring tries were: Diego Zuniga, Josh Long (two), Combs (two), Johnston, Jake Mclean, Joel Ratzlaff, Zach Bain and Connor Byron.

The W.J. Mouat Hawks also had a strong tournament, earning the bronze in the AAA Tier 2 division. The Hawks opened with a 45-17 win over Gleneagle on Wednesday, but then fell 19-12 to eventual champion Elgin Park on Thursday. Mouat then bounced back to win bronze with a 24-3 win over Terry Fox on Saturday.

The Robert Bateman Timberwolves picked up a silver in the AA Tier 2, after falling 13-12 to L.V. Rogers on Saturday in the championship. Bateman defeated R.A. McMath 22-17 on Wednesday, and beat Sir Charles Tupper 27-20 on Thursday to qualify for the final.

The Abbotsford Panthers finished sixth in the AA Tier 1, opening with a 51-5 loss to Rockridge on Wednesday, but then beating G.W. Graham 38-5 on Thursday. The Panthers then lost 27-17 to Langley on Saturday to close out the tournament.

The rugby girls high school provincials in Kamloops also concluded on Saturday and saw Yale finish third in AAA, Abbotsford Senior finish second in AA and Bateman place fifth in AA.

Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more.