The Yale Lions senior girls rugby team is on top of the high school rugby mountain after dominating the competition at the provincials last week in Abbotsford.
Yale opened the tournament with a 53-5 win over Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers on June 1, crushed the Gleneagle Talons 40-7 on June 2 and then earned the AAA banner with a 45-12 win over the Carson Graham Eagles in the final on Saturday (June 4).
It’s the first time in school history that a girls team has won a provincial title. The Lions girls rugby team had previously finished second in 2017 and third in both 2015 and 2018.
The Lions were led by Trinity Bodenchuk, who scored eight tries in the three tournament games, including four in Saturday’s final. Team captain Lana Dueck and scrum half Sophia Germaine contributed on both ends of the ball, but especially defensively. Kicker Sophie Petrie also had a strong showing at provincials.
Doug Primrose, one of the team’s coaches along with Wade Peary, Greg Byron, and Al Borrows, said the team has a chance to challenge again next year.
“We are a pretty young team with just a few Grade 12’s moving on,” he said. “They will be missed for sure but we have the depth that we should be strong again next season. We scored seven tries in the final and they were all scored by Grade 11’s.”
The WJ Mouat Hawks also had a solid showing in the AAA tier, defeating Charles Best 38-7 on June 1 but then losing to Carson Graham 19-10 on June 2. The Hawks then lost 43-0 to Gleneagle on Saturday to place fourth in the province.
Yale also took home a banner in the AAA senior boys Tier 2 after the Lions defeated Lord Tweedsmuir 45-5 on June 3 and then won the banner with a 42-14 win over Nor Kam on Saturday.
The Robert Bateman Timberwolves also had a good showing and finished second in the AA senior boys Tier 2, beating Byrne Creek 29-3 on June 3 but then falling 27-10 to Clayton Heights in the title game on Saturday.
The Abbotsford Panthers senior girls team placed third in the AA Tier 1 and opened with a 29-15 win over Vanier on June 1 but then fell 36-0 to Poppy on June 3. The Panthers bounced back with a clutch 26-24 win over Shawnigan on Saturday to place third. The Robert Bateman Timberwolves placed sixth in AA Tier 1 posting a 58-17 loss to Mark Isfeld on June 1, a 34-5 win over Argyle on June 3 and closing with a 39-12 loss to GP Vanier.
Over in the AAA senior boys Tier 1, the Abbotsford Panthers finished sixth. The team lost 29-19 to Oak Bay on June 1, beat South Delta 29-12 on June 2 and then lost a heart breaker 20-19 to Carson Graham in the fifth place game.
Other winners at the event included: Shawnigan (AAA Boys Tier 1), West Van (AA Boys Tier 1), DW Poppy (AA Girls Tier 1), Salish (AA Girls Tier 2), Stelly’s (Boys 7s) and Oak Bay ( Girls 7s).
For more information and complete results from the event, visit bcschoolsports.ca.