Earl Marriott’s Carson Burgin (left) and Liam Morrsion (right) tackle Semiahmoo’s Luke Warkentin during last month’s Sandcastle Cup.

Earl Marriott’s Carson Burgin (left) and Liam Morrsion (right) tackle Semiahmoo’s Luke Warkentin during last month’s Sandcastle Cup.

Marriott, Semi, Tweedsmuir qualify for rugby provincials

Senior boys teams punch ticket to BC High School Senior Boys AAA Rugby Championships, which begin May 24.

Three South Surrey/Cloverdale senior boys rugby teams will be vying for a provincial title later this month in Abbotsford.

The Earl Marriott Mariners, Semiahmoo Totems and Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers have all punched their ticket to the provincial tournament – which begins May 24 at sites across B.C. and wraps up May 28-31 in Abbotsford.

But before teams can lock horns at BC High School Senior Boys AAA Rugby Championships, the Earl Marriott Mariners have another bit of important business to attend to: successfully defending their Fraser Valley AAA Elite-division banner for a sixth consecutive year.

On Wednesday night – after Peace Arch News’ press deadline – the Mariners were set to face off against the Robert Bateman Timberwolves at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium, with the Valley title up for grabs.

The two squads are no strangers to each other, having played twice already this season. EMS edged the T-Wolves in a pre-season contest, and two weeks ago, Bateman earned a measure of revenge by besting their South Surrey rivals 24-12 in the final game of the regular season.

“This is it. The guys don’t want just a little bit of revenge – they want to exact a bunch,” said Marriott head coach Adam Roberts.

The last time the two sides faced off in a Fraser Valley title game was 2012, when EMS edged the Abby squad 7-0.

“We know each other well, and it’s a really awesome rivalry,” Roberts said.

To make it into Wednesday’s final, the Mariners had to defeat Tweedsmuir last week, winning 11-0 in a rainy game Roberts described as “a full-on mudfest.”

With their top-four finishes at Fraser Valleys, both EMS and Tweedsmuir earned a provincial berth, while Semiahmoo – which plays in the AAA Tier 1 division – also secured a spot by virtue of an undefeated season.

Since their Sandcastle Cup victory over Earl Marriott – which returned the Sandcastle Cup to Semi for the first time since 2009 – the Totems have reeled off two playoff wins.

On May 1, they beat South Delta 48-0, and on Monday knocked off the Gleneagle Talons 49-14 to secure their provincial spot.

“We’re just playing so well as a team,” said coach Tom Wilson. “We have guys playing out of position – like Matt Gallagher and Liam (Wilson) – and the guys don’t care who scores.

“There’s nobody who is playing for himself. I’ve never had a team quite like this one before.”

Though they’ve yet to lose a game prior to last month’s Sandcastle Cup, Wilson said that win over EMS has to this point been the most important game of the year.

“That was the biggest turning point,” the coach said.

“That’s the game that made the guys realize that they can beat anybody,”

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

Just Posted

White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock pier, promenade, parking lot closures off the table – for now

Council members warn decision subject to future provincial health orders

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

Canadian money (Black Press Media files)
Surrey, Burnaby residents to pay $141K for their part in U.S.-based Ponzi, pyramid scheme

B.C. Securities Commission says the two raised about US$15M from more than 1,400 investors

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BREAKING: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

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

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read