Welcome to Varsity Letter’s B.C. high school rugby report.
Provincial tournament playdowns are now complete with the big dance set to begin May 31 in Abbotsford.
CLAREMONT 36 COWICHAN 12
Victoria’s Claremont Spartans are headed to the B.C. championships on Wednesday as the team to beat in Triple A Tier 2.
Noah Jefferson scored a pair of tries Thursday, and Gareth Sandner kicked five converts as the Spartans (South Island 3) toppled Duncan’s Cowichan Thunderbirds (North Island 2) by a decisive count to earn the No. 1 seed.
Claremont, boasting just two returning seniors from last season’s Tier 1 seventh-place finish roster, showed the positive effects that a tough regular-season schedule can have.
Besides its Tier 1 league games against provincial heavyweights SMUS, Oak Bays and Belmont, the Spartans gave Fraser Valley sides Elgin Park and Earl Marriott good games as part of the Stadium Series.
On Thursday, Claremont got additional tries from Sandner, Adam Jay and Sam Mason.
ROCKRIDGE 32 SUTHERLAND 21
In a game of runs by both teams, Rockridge’s senior forwards Nick Maclean and Jorge Rodriguez as well as captain Sam Clothier were all standouts as West Vancouver’s Ravens topped the North Vancouver’s Sabres for third-place in the New Zealand Shield playdowns.
Rockridge led early 15-0, but Sutherland twice rallied to within 15-14 and later 22-21 before 10 unanswered points provided the Ravens with their final cushion of victory.
NEW ZEALAND SHIELD FINAL
ST. GEORGE’S 43 CARSON GRAHAM 21
VANCOUVER — Bad weather plagued so many top tests this season, but the Mainland final got ideal conditions Thursday at Brockton Oval, and dynamic rugby was the end result.
En route to a Saints’ victory, its fifth straight New Zealand Shield title, scrum-half Connor Jaques, fly-half Jack Scher, and inside-centre Sam Sirlin, set the tempo for the back-line.
Once St. George’s forwards established control of the breakdown, that trio were able to hit the line with pace and eventually set-up its outside backs for some tries.
Saints’ fullback Adam Radcliffe was a constant threat all afternoon.
The winners also got solid play from hooker Jose Perez, lock, Michael Davidson and No. 8 Noah King.
“I thought our back-line defensive was made a huge impact in shutting down Carson’s back-line,” said St. George’s head of rugby Mike Stiles.
LANGLEY 21 D.W. POPPY 20
LANGLEY — The crosstown derby for third in the Fraser Valley came down to the last kick of the contest.
Rallying back from a pair of Saints tries over final stages of the second half, D.W. Poppy winger Nathanial Kimberly ran onto a perfect chip from fly-half Noah Tombe to pull his team to within 21-20. The ensuing coinvert attempt, however, failed and Langley Secondary was able to come away tense victors.
With 10 minutes left to play, Saints scrum-half Tru Bah Moo broke out from the back of a scrum and beat four would-be Poppy tacklers to find touch on a 50-yard run.
Within minutes, the Saints found themselves again within 20 meters of the try line and inside centre Meeka Gay broke the Redhawks’ defensive line to score for a 21-15 lead.
After Langley’s Matt Stephens had given his team a 7-0 lead with a short scoring run that was later converted, Poppy pulled ahead 15-7 on tries by Hayden Delaney and Kimberly.
CLARENCE FULTON 31 VERNON 7
VERNON — Cross-city foes clashed for the zone mug and the Maroons were able to cap an undefeated season
Ryan Rumsey, Cole Hunter, Ike Olson, Jeff Han and Kyle Karens each scored tries for the winners while Karens added three converts.
“It’s always a tough game between Vernon and Fulton in any sport,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller, who also coaches Fulton’s senior varsity football team. “However, I think our ability to move the ball and run helped us secure the win with some late tries.”
Han and Karens in the backs played very well in victory, as did lock Christian Harpe and flanker Rumsey.
NEW ZEALAND SHIELD FINAL
COLLINGWOOD 36 R.A. MCMATH 12
A flurry within an early flurry carried West Vancouver’s Collingwood Cavaliers to a decisive win over Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats in the New Zealand Shield final at Brockton Oval.
The Cavs scored the match’s first four tries to own a 24-0 lead, and within that surge, with a 10-0 lead already theirs, Collingwood was able to break the game open with back-to-back 80-metre tries.
Cole Young in the 17th minute and then Matt Frost off the ensuing kick-off each took home-run carries to touch. Ethan Lucke scored two tries, while Carson Boyd and Cam Bruk added one each. Cam Bird kicked three converts in the win.
The victory, over a short-handed McMath team, gave the Cavs their 12th Mainland title since 1996.
TERRY FOX 57 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 12
Kyle Pickard and Brendan Dieno each scored a pair of tries and Devin Passaglia kicked five converts as Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Ravens toppled the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey.
Both teams advance to the B.C. high school championships.
Tweedsmuir had opened with huge promise, taking a 7-0 lead on captain Mack Allinson’s 30-metre run, later converted by Winston Shimamura.
Adam Janicijevic, Amir Mirahmadi, Matt Shuen, Jude Hussain and Dakarai Lewis also scored tries for the winners with Jason Lefebvre adding a convert.
Tweedsmuir’s Quinn Folick ran through and over four Ravens to score a 40-metre sideline try.
FRASER VALLEY TIER 1
W.J. MOUAT 37 ELGIN PARK 12
The rubber match between the pair saw Abbotsford’s Hawks top Surrey’s Orcas, thanks in large part to a three try performance from Aaron Branscombe and a pair from Reece Gibson.
That duo opened the scoring, Branscombe taking home a botched kickoff and Gibson later scoring on a 40-metre run.
Branscombe’s second try had Mouat up 15-7 at halftime.
In the second half, Branscombe and Gibson each scored once, as did Blake Gervais and Adam Hobbs.
Alex Howman made a number of outstanding tackles in the win.
NANAIMO DISTRICT 43 GLENLYON NORFOLK 25
GNS came away narrow winners last season, but the Islanders were able to avenge that setback.
Sebastien Deggan ran the game well from his scrum-half position and Nick Johnson scored a number of tries as the Isles rallied from a 15-12 halftime deficit to a 43-25 win.