Earl Marriott defeated R.E. Mountain in Fraser Valley semifinals last week. (Janice Croze photo)

Mariners to play Yale for Fraser Valley rugby banner

Senior boys rugby teams to rekindle rivalry on pitch in Abbotsford

A high-school rugby rivalry that’s been dormant for the better part of two seasons is set to be rekindled this week.

On Wednesday evening, the Earl Marriott Mariners senior boys rugby team will hit the pitch against Abbotsford’s Yale Lions in the Fraser Valley championship game.

This year marks the 10th consecutive season that the Mariners have played in the Fraser Valley title tilt, and Yale has often been their opponent across the pitch. Earl Marriott won the Valley banner against Yale in both 2016 and ‘17, but the Lions got the better of the South Surrey side for the title in 2015.

• READ ALSO: South Surrey rugby player ‘extremely honoured’ to be inducted into Hall of Fame

The two teams didn’t play each other last season though, as Marriott’s move to the five-team premier league eliminated a potential regular-season matchup, and once returned to the triple-A level for playoffs, they didn’t play the Lions, either, as Yale lost to South Delta in semifinals. EMS defeated South Delta in the final a week later.

“We’re back to playing Yale, who we seem to play every year,” EMS coach Adam Roberts laughed. “Last year it was different, but these last 10 years, it just seems to come down to us and them every time. The rivalry hasn’t been quite what it was these last couple years, but it’s fun to get it going again.”

Regardless of Wednesday night’s result, both teams have already punched their ticket to provincial championships, which are set for March 29-June 1 in Abbotsford.

Marriott earned a berth in this week’s final – and a spot at B.C. championships – by virtue of a 41-5 semifinal victory last week over Langley’s R.E. Mountain Secondary.

Playing in the senior boys premier loop alongside provincial powerhouses such as Shawnigan Lake, Oak Bay, St. George’s and Carson Graham, wins in the regular season were hard to come by. But Roberts said it helped sharpen his team’s skills in time for playoffs.

“We’ve had such hard competition this year (in the premier league). Every game, you’re up against it, and we have a very young team,” he said. “This group has had quite a run coming up through junior (rugby), and they finally kind of met their match this year. It’s been nice to see them rise to the occasion, and even though we’ve taken a few beatings, we’ve learned from them.

“Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time.”

The Fraser Valley championship game is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. at Yale Secondary.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Days numbered for Surrey’s Back on Track recovery homes

As operator pledges to fight, clients predict loss will ‘send us back in our addiction’

City of White Rock responds to Lady Alexandra court petition

City says it did not breach ‘obligation of procedural fairness’

Semiahmoo First Nation opens cannabis dispensary

Indigenous Bloom partners with First Nations

VIDEO: 5X Festival takes over Surrey’s Central City plaza

Second annual event draws thousands of people throughout the day

City shifts proposed transit station to King George after cancellation of LRT

Council to consider Newton Town Centre plan in fall

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read

l -->