Tyler Duldulao (right, 3) of Vancouver's Sir Charles Tupper Tigers (stripes) goes head to head with Dino Demirovic of Burnaby's Byrne Creek Bulldogs in key zone clash last week. Both teams will be among the contenders for a B.C. Double A Tier 2 provincial title when the B.C. high school rugby championships open a four-day run Wednesday at Abbotsford's Rotary Stadium. (Photo by Rain De Guzman property off Burnaby Lake Rugby Club 2019. All rights reserved)
Feature High School Rugby

Varsity Letters B.C. Rugby Report: Mountain, Handsworth, Tupper help their cause with key zone placement wins

We’ve brought you all of the news from B.C. boys high school rugby’s championship zone matches, but key zone placement games are huge in shaping the look of the five overall provincial brackets up for grabs this week in Abbotsford.

Here’s a look at some impact matches you may have missed:


TSAWWASSEN — Ethan Bernardin turned in a complete performance Thursday, his two tries and a convert proving to be the difference as Langley’s visiting Eagles topped the host and defending B.C. champion Sun Devils to earn critical placement within the provincial tournament which opens Wednesday in Abbotsford.

Bernardin opened the scoring with a long run at the end of the first half, putting the Eagles up 5-0.

He later stole the ball and scored again, this time kicking a convert.

Those extra points proved huge as the Sun Devils tallied a pair of late tries to pull within 12-10.

David Wegert’s late penalty closed out the scoring.

With the win, Mountain secured the Triple A Tier 1 B.C. draw’s No. 3 seed, keeping it on the other side from No. 1-ranked pre-tourney favourite Earl Marriott of Surrey.

The Eagles will match with No. 6 Robert Bateman of Abby in its 9 a.m. opener, while at 11 a.m., on the same side of the draw. No. 2 Yale faces No. 7 Claremont.

On the other side, it’s No. 4 South Delta vs. No. 5 Kelowna and No.1 Marriott vs. No. 8 Handsworth.


NORTH VANCOUVER — The battle for Triple A Lower Mainland’s third and fourth seeds carried huge implications into the provincial draw.

Thus, the Handsworth Royals’ 29-18 victory over the West Vancouver Highlanders at Klahanie Park last week sends the Royals into B.C. tourney Tier 1 competitions the eight-and-lowest seed, and the Highlanders into the Tier 2 bracket as its No. 1 seed.

West Vancouver had jumped out to a 10-0 lead over Handsworth, but the Royals battled back to take the lead into halftime.

Dom Foulkes scored Handsworth’s first try with Harry Jarret converting a beautiful kick from the sideline.

Jarret would go on to add two more converts and a penalty as part of the winning cause

Cooper Nelson also scored off a stolen scrum at West Vancouver’s five-metre. Merek van Bylandt came on at half and scored another two tries to lock up the win.

Royals’ Steele Young had big runs to set up two tries and led his team in tackling.

West Vancouver opens play at 2 p.m. as the Tier 2 favourite against Victoria’s No. 8-seeded Belmont Bulldogs.


BURNABY — Over the course of your week watching the B.C. boys rugby championships, make sure you take in  a match or two involving Sir Charles Tupper and Byrne Creek.

At last week’s Lower Mainland Double A third-fourth match, the peaks-and-valleys nature of play kept the outcome in doubt into the late stages.

Tupper’s Tigers came roaring out of the gates and used their speed advantage in the backs to score three first-half tries on their way to a 19-0 halftime lead.

Any ideas about cruising to a victory were erased as the Bulldogs seemingly had the field tilted to their favour as they were able to use their tight-five forwards to bulldoze their way to four straight converted tries and a 28-19 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the match.

From that point on, however, Tupper pushed a button, cued a comeback, and ultimately delivered in dramatic fashion.

Once the Tigers were able to gain some possession for their backs, a deft chip downfield by scrum-half Henry Bibby led to scramble defence by Byrne Creek.

The result was a five-metre scrum for the visitors. Off of that scrum, Trew Petersen was able to touch down for his second try of the day to pull his team to within 28-26.

That set the stage for a frenzied final five minutes of play which led to a last minute line-out for the Bulldogs on their own five-metre line.

The throw-in, however, was intercepted by super-sub Fin Brown and sent into the arms of awaiting hooker Aiden Vagay. Two phases later, off a simple two-on-one, Bibby passed off to replacement winger Addis Mehatebe for the last-minute winning try.

With the victory, Tupper takes the No. 2 seed in the AA Tier two provincial field and clashes with No. 7 Windsor in its 11 a.m. opener on Wednesday. On the eame side of the draw, No. 3 L.V. Rogers meets No. 6 Glenlyon Norfolk at 2 p.m.

The other side of the draw, Langley’s No. 1-ranked D.W. Poppy RedHawks face No. 8 Alberni District at 2 p.m., while No. 4 Byrne Creek meets No. 5 South Kamloops at 4 p.m.

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