A pair of Earl Marriott tacklers converge on a St. George’s ball-carrier in Wednesday’s win.

A pair of Earl Marriott tacklers converge on a St. George’s ball-carrier in Wednesday’s win.

Mariners douse Saints in rugby quarter-finals

Earl Marriott Mariners head coach Adam Roberts called it a program-changer.

And in light of his team’s 15-14 quarter-final victory over the higher-seeded St. George’s Saints at B.C. High School AAA Rugby Championships – a win which guarantees EMS a top-four finish in the province – it’s hard to argue with the coach’s assessment.

“We pulled it off, it was huge,” Roberts said Thursday morning, a day after his team’s one-point win over the No. 4-ranked Saints at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium.

“It was so close, so intense. Sometimes you’re on the losing end of these types of game, but this time, it’s just really nice to be on the right side of it.”

Against the Saints, the Mariners fell behind 7-0 early in the first half, but tied the game on an Ian McMaster try, which was converted by Quinton Wilms.

In the second half, St. George’s made it a 14-7 game when they scored a try on what Roberts deemed a “real lucky bounce.”

On the play, the Saints sailed a kick toward Marriott’s fullback, but the ball bounced high into the air and directly into the waiting arms of an oncoming Saints’ players, who bolted into the end zone for the go-ahead try.

Later in the half, Marriott’s Liam Bealieu scored a try, which went unconverted to leave the Peninsula side trailing 14-12.

With three minutes remaining in the game,  Marriott was awarded a penalty kick, which Wilms slotted through for the lead.

“And then for the next three minutes we just held the fort,” Roberts said, adding that Bobby Devaney was instrumental in helping the Mariners run out the clock.

After Wilms’ penalty kick, the Mariners kicked the ball back to the Saints, but Devaney was able to charge downfield, leap up and secure the ball for the Mariners, as the clock continued to tick down.

“Bobby’s a receiver on the football team and he’s got just sick hands,” Roberts explained. “He just leapt up there higher than everybody and pulled it down. It was huge for us, just huge.”

The fifth-seeded Mariners last advanced to semifinals in 2009, when they upended another much higher seed, the Carson Graham Eagles – who, like St. George’s, are perennial contenders on the high school rugby scene.

Earl Marriott played No. 1-ranked Shawnigan Lake in semifinal action Thursday night after Peace Arch News deadline – a game Roberts described as “another David versus Goliath matchup.”

Shawnigan Lake, a private boarding school on Vancouver Island, has been one of the top rugby programs in the country for much of the last decade. They’ve won the last two provincial titles, and have been in the championship game six times in the last seven years.

“It’s going to be tough, for sure. Those guys are like men out here,” Roberts said. “But our guys have a real hate-on for some of these private schools, so they’re ready. They’re pumped up – this is what we’ve played for.

“We’re just going to have to eliminate our mistakes, because good teams will capitalize on them quickly.”

The winner of Thursday night’s game advanced to the title game Saturday, against either Carson Graham or Oak Bay.


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

Just Posted

White Rock Rotary Club president Mauricio Browne de Paula (front right) with other club and community volunteers at the launch of the free hot lunch program at the city parking lot at Russell Avenue and Johnston Road on May 21. (File photo)
Daily demand for White Rock Rotary, city lunch program surpasses 40

Recipients ‘are very good people… going through some tough times’

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

Students at Creekside Elementary in Surrey wrote letters to seniors over the holidays, and are planning to write more for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)
Surrey elementary students connect with seniors through letter writing

Creekside students planning to send more cards for Valentine’s Day

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Police called to Surrey home for report of weapon, man taken into custody

Surrey RCMP say people evacuated from house, one found in a bedroom ‘hiding from police’

Judy and Ken Reid share a smile at Peace Arch Hospital in 2018. Judy raised concerns last month about how the COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out. Now, she says no one is telling residents or families when they will start to see restrictions ease. (Contributed photo)
Timeline for reduced restrictions in long-term care a concern for spouse of South Surrey senior

‘We’re not yet at that point,’ says provincial health officer

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read