Contributed photo                                The Elgin Park Orcas finished first at BC Senior Girls AAA Tier 2 Rugby Championships last weekend in Abbotsford.

Contributed photo The Elgin Park Orcas finished first at BC Senior Girls AAA Tier 2 Rugby Championships last weekend in Abbotsford.

Elgin Park wins Tier 2 girls rugby title

Elgin Park defeats McRoberts for B.C. banner; Semiahmoo Totems 7th in Tier 1.

The Elgin Park Orcas senior girls rugby team has brought a banner back to the South Surrey school after claiming a B.C. AAA Tier 2 championship last weekend in Abbotsford.

The South Surrey side went a perfect 3-0 at provincials, capped by a 24-17 victory over Richmond’s McRoberts Secondary on Saturday morning.

In the championship tilt, the Orcas jumped out to an early 12-5 lead – head coach Jeff Bagshaw called his group “warriors” in describing the way they started the game – and though McRoberts fought back, and even took a 17-12 lead at one point in the game, Elgin “dug deep” and piled on 12 unanswered points to win the game.

“I’m hugely proud of these young women and the many hours of practice and preparation, in the snow and the rain, that lead to this victory,” Bagshaw told Peace Arch News, adding that there were 11 rookies on the roster this season. “The team battled hard… they played their hearts out for each other.”

The Tier 2 rugby banner is the second of its kind to be won by Elgin Park teams in as many years; last year, Elgin’s senior boys won the triple-A Tier 2 provincial title. Elgin’s senior girls rugby sevens team also qualified for provincials earlier this spring, finishing sixth in B.C.

In semifinals, Elgin Park knocked off No. 1 seed Gleneagle Secondary with a 29-19 victory, and opened the tournament with a 39-14 win over North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals.

At the AAA Tier 1 provincial tournament – also held in Abbotsford last weekend – the Semiahmoo Totems finished seventh.

The Totems were faced with the unenviable task of playing provincial powerhouse Shawnigan Lake in the first round, and lost 80-14. In their second tilt Friday, Semiahmoo fell 31-7 to the G.P. Vanier Towhees before wrapping up their provincial schedule with a 60-5 win over South Kamloops on Saturday.

Boys rugby

Senior boys rugby provincials began Thursday in Abbotsford, with Earl Marriott – winners of the Fraser Valley region – set to square off against multiple-time provincial champion Shawnigan Lake in the quad-A semifinal. The game was played after Peace Arch News’ press deadline.

The tournament continues throughout the week, and wraps up Saturday.