Mariners beat Handsworth, advance to B.C. rugby semifinals

South Surrey senior boys team to play South Delta in provincials in Abbotsford

And then there were four.

The top-seeded Earl Marriott Mariners senior boys rugby team advanced to semifinals of 2019 B.C. high school triple-A rugby championships Wednesday night in Abbotsford, after grinding out a 26-7 victory over the eighth-ranked Handsworth Royals.

The game wasn’t a by-the-book victory for the talented Marriott crew, however, as they had to hold off a hard-charging Handsworth squad in the opening minutes until they were able to gain their bearings and put some points on the board themselves.

“Handsworth was a very tough first-round opponent for us, and we really had to weather the storm for the first 20 minutes,” EMS coach Adam Roberts told Peace Arch News.

“We didn’t have much possession, but the team continued to play stanch defence and were able to keep (Handsworth) at bay until we started to open it up and put ourselves on the front foot.”

The Mariners – who spent the regular season playing in the five-team quad-A premier league before dropping back to triple-A for playoffs – will now play South Delta in semifinals at 6 p.m. today at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium. The other semifinal is an all-Abbotsford affair, with No. 2 Yale and No. 6 Robert Bateman squaring off.

Takoda and Talon McMullin – who led EMS to a last-minute comeback victory over Yale in Fraser Valley finals last week – each had tries against the Royals Wednesday afternoon, while the Mariners’ other two tries were notched by Simon Radcliffe and Keegan Alves.

Despite the last-ditch effort to win the Fraser Valley final – the Mariners tied the game with less than 30 seconds left and won it on a kick with no time left – and the early-game struggles Wednesday, Roberts wasn’t worried about his crew’s play. In fact, he said the roadblocks they’ve hurdled of late should only help them as they aim for the school’s first-ever senior boys triple-A provincial rugby banner.

“This year’s Earl Marriott squad has faced plenty of adversity and we will continue to get better,” he said.

The winners of today’s semifinal matches will get Friday off, and hit the field again Saturday in the championship game, which is set for Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

Racist graffiti sparks Cloverdale man to renew calls for City to clean up street

Hate message the latest garbage dumped at the end of 176th Street

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read

l -->