Welcome to the latest edition of Varsity Letter’s B.C. High School Rugby Report for games played March 24-29.
Keep checking back on this blog as we will update game reports pending additional details, as well as add new reports through the day.
The highlights this week?
Traditional rivalry games in the provincial capital, on the North Shore and in Vancouver took centre stage on Saturday.
Here’s our look
ST. MICHAELS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL 17 OAK BAY 7
VICTORIA — How great and how competitive has the annual capital city crosstown derby known as The Rees Boot been in the world of the Blue Jags and Barbarians?
Saturday’s test was the 23rd clash in the series, and a Jags’ win knotted the series at 11-11-1.
Quinn Ngawati scored a try, kicked a penalty and tacked on a pair of conversions as the Double-A No. 1-ranked SMUS’ Blue Jags recaptured the Boot with a 17-7 win over the Triple-A No. 3-ranked Oak Bay Barbarians.
Jasper Bosley also scored a try for the winners. Jack Carson converted his own try for Oak Bay.
SHAWNIGAN LAKE 36 ST. GEORGE’S 0
VANCOUVER — The Triple A No. 1-ranked Stags lived up to their ranking as the defending B.C. champs blanked the host and No. 2-ranked Saints.
Played under the duress of wet and wind, the contest was the first clash between the pair since the Stags beat the Saints in last June’s provincial final in Abbotsford.
“Don’t let the score mislead you,” warned Shawnigan Lake head coach Tim Murdy. “This was, as usual, a hotly contested one. I thought there was great spirit and pride from both sides. Both teams have their own takeaways and we are both going to continue in our build-up to the playoffs and the provincials.”
Saints’ head of rugby Mike Stiles tipped his hat to the Stags, especially up front and thought that the visitors’ depth in that department helped set the tempo of the game.
“In my opinion, Shawnigan is a balanced team with a strong forward pack,” said Stiles, “and that controlled the set piece and a set of backs who are fast and effective with ball in hand.”
The takeaway which St. George’s will bring to the practice field this week? It had everything to do with their effort.
“My team played hard today and left it all on the field,” said Stiles. “We were unfortunate on the day, and some handling errors and mental breakdowns took us out several scoring opportunities. I thought our defense was fearless, and our boys never backed down from the physicality of the game.”
Added Murdy: “In a nutshell, it’s a game and rivalry that highlights just how good high school sport can be. I thought there was great passion and skill displayed by both sides.”
COLLINGWOOD 26 ROCKRIDGE 15
WEST VANCOUVER — Max Moyes opened West Vancouver’s best high school rivalry game with a flourish, and Cole Young helped insure the momentum continued as Collingwood’s Cavaliers topped its crosstown rivals, the Rockridge Ravens, to win the Hatch Shield.
Awarded the first time the two teams meet each season in league play, Moyes got the Hatch festivities under way when he crashed over the line in the opening five minutes for the first of the Cavs’ four tries and the only one which wasn’t converted.
In first-half injury time, Young gained possession of the ball and fed Adam Lewis who took the ball to touch. A Cam Bird convert made it 12-0 at the break.
In the second half, Rockridge got on a roll, but the Cavs were able to answer each of the Ravens first two tries.
Cam Bruk made it 19-5 for the Cavaliers, while Young made it 26-10. Rockridge added an unconverted try to wrap up the scoring.
Collingwood gets another test Tuesday when it plays in Richmond at No. 4-ranked R.A. McMath, currently sitting with a 5-0 record.
The winner of that game earns a quarterfinal bye and avoids Rockridge in the Lower Mainland semifinals.
EARL MARRIOTT 46 ELGIN PARK 20
SURREY — Added intensity for the all-Surrey derby came by virtue of the fact that for the first time in recent memory, both teams were sitting in the B.C. Top 10 Triple A rankings.
In the end, EMS’ No. 7-ranked Mariners improved to 2-1 in Fraser Valley Elite play with its win over Elgin Park’s No. 10-ranked Orcas, getting tries from Ryan Rinkers Reid Davis, Max Duchnycz, Max Radcliffe, Brady Smith, Alonso Vergarra, Thomas Froats and Kyle Tremblay.
Max Radcliffe kicked three converts.
CLARENCE FULTON 40 KALAMALKA 17
Six different Maroons scored tries as part of a victory in which Fulton built a 28-5 halftime lead and remained undefeated overall on the campaign.
Jeff Han, J.J. Heaton, Ty Cheyne, Cole Hunter, Ryan Rumsey and Ethan Eisenhauer all found touch for the winners who improved to 6-0 (3-0 league). Jeff Han kicked four converts and Evan Trottier one.
“This was a very good result for our kids,” admitted Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “We have been playing good rugby all year and continue to improve. When we move the ball on offense and play within our team frame-work, we can play great rugby. The boys have been working hard in practice, and it has paid off with an undefeated season to date.”
GW GRAHAM 27 DW POPPY 12
LANGLEY — Chilliwack’s visiting Grizzlies came into the Tier 1 Double A contest with a 2-0 record following impressive wins over Langley and Abbotsford’s Robret Bateman, and they kept the roll alive with a 15-point win over the host Redhawks.
The Grizz led 17-5 at halftime, but Poppy pulled to within five after a try by Jacob Rohan was converted by Nathanial Kimberley.
Ty Terpsma scored Poppy’s first-half try.
NANAIMO DISTRICT 10 COWICHAN 7
DUNCAN — The visiting, Double A honourable mention Islanders (5-1) needed to rally after giving up an early try to the Triple A host Thunderbirds.
Trailing 7-0, the Islanders did just that, relying on solid play from its forward pack to pull within a pair following an unconverted try by Nikolas Johnson.
Zephyr Melnik went on an impressive run to score the winning try.
The game was cut short due to an injury that required a long delay and eventual ending of the game.
NDSS will clash with No. 3-ranked Brentwood College this coming week with the No. 1-No. 2 ranking from the North Island at stake.
W.J. MOUAT 36 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 14
ABBOTSFORD — The No. 9-ranked, host W.J. Mouat Hawks built a 10-0 halftime lead en route to a 22-point win over Surrey’s Panthers.
Lord Tweedsmuir found life in the second half.
A long run by Matt Eckert led to a try by speedy winger Winston Shimamura
Tweedsmuir Panthers did not back down, however, and responded with a long run by Matt Eckert which set up a try by speedy winger, Winston Shimamura.
Tweedsmuir added another try off an aggressive burst by flanker Quinn Folick.
BELMONT 19 CLAREMONT 14
VICTORIA — The visiting Bulldogs got off to an ideal start but had to weather a hue second-half storm from the hosts, riding a Mathew Wasilenkoff try to a five-point win over the Spartans.
The victory gave Belmont (1-2) its first win in South Island Tier 1 action, keeping the Dawgs’ in third place behind provincial heavies SMUS and Oak Bay.
Brett Milligan and Gavin Kilpatrick had each scored opening-half tries, both converted by Nash Thompson, for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Wasilenkoff’s second-half try made the score 19-7 and proved pivotal as Claremont pulled to within a score at 19-14 with eight minutes remaining.
(If you’re the head coach of a B.C. high school senior varsity boys or girls rugby team, you can send your reports Varsity Letter’s B.C. high school rugby report. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next edition will cover games played May 1-6. Reports should be sent immediately following games.)
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