To view photos from the 2018 Provincial tournament please visit the links below.
Photos courtesy of Rick MacDonald Photography
Day 1 Action
Day 2 Action
Day 3 Action
Day 4 Action
South Delta’s rugby Sun Devils enjoy an epic rise to new heights, but BC’s new AAA Tier 1 champs play from a deeper place
ABBOTSFORD — Andrew Kraft could appreciate the surreal nature of the moment.
Two years ago, if you had dared breath aloud the fact that the South Delta Sun Devils could win a B.C. boys high school rugby championship at the second-highest tier of provincial competition, the response would have been a lot louder than mere snickers.
Yet as you watched it all unfold Saturday at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium, as Tsawwassen’s finest kept the hometown Robert Bateman Timberwolves at arm’s length for the entire B.C. Triple A Tier 1 title match, you realized just how quickly great coaching and the right collection of physically-gifted and committed players could precipitate a rise.
And anyway you slice it, this has been an epic rise.
For Collingwood, speed thrills! Cavaliers find bounty of offence to top Brentwood College and win first B.C. title since 2013
VANCOUVER — If Ethan Lucke had picked another sport to make his specialty, you could quite easily picture him suiting up in any number of different roles.
Perhaps anchoring a defensive backfield in football as a strong safety?
Certainly crouching into the blocks awaiting the starter’s pistol in the 100-metre sprint.
And definitely using that foot speed and anticipation with a glove on his catching hand in centre field.
Alas, football, track and baseball did not end up winning Lucke’s heart.
Rugby did, and on Saturday, as one piece of a total team effort that saw West Vancouver’s Collingwood Cavaliers beat Brentwood College 45-31 for the B.C. Double A Tier 1 provincial title, the easiest way to define how speed set the Cavs apart from the rest of their competition this season was to start with the effort of the team’s Grade 12 back.
Oak Bay coach Atkinson: “I’m almost speechless…” Barbs first public school in a decade to win B.C.’s top-tiered rugby crown!
LANGLEY — When you spend your entire high school rugby career growing up in the shadow of Goliath, finally getting a chance to step out into a spotlight of your own can be a little blinding.
“For all these years, Shawnigan Lake has been like a super-hero,” Oak Bay Barbarians’ senior Nick Carson explained on Friday evening. “Just unbeatable. So this means a ton. I knew since the beginning of the season that we could do it. But now that we’re actually here? It’s pretty surreal.”
They’d already beaten the Stags once this season, 20-15 in the Vancouver Island Quad-A final.
Yet taking down the single most reliable program in all of B.C. high school sports in the provincial championship game environment they have come to call their very own by winning it all in eight of the previous nine seasons?
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Lower Vancouver Island Senior Boys Rugby will honour the late Don Burgess with the establishment of a memorial trophy in his name. The trophy will be presented for the first time in May of this year, and recognize the most outstanding local high school player from the 2018 season.
Burgess, who passed away February 6 at the age of 85, was an absolute legend of the game, as a player, coach, administrator and innovator.
Educated at Vic High and then Western Washington University, Burgess went on to teach and coach at both Mt. Newton JSS and then Parkland SS for 32 years. He made a hugely positive impact on literally generations of students and players.
An outstanding rugby player himself, Burgess toured the UK with Canada in 1962, winning headlines in the British press for his superb performances. Two years later, he was part of history, with his contributions critical in British Columbia's famous 8-3 win over the touring British Lions.
At every level, including with his beloved Oak Bay Wanderers, he was renowned for his side stepping ability, deadly accurate kicking and crunching tackles.
Cleve Dheensaw / Times Colonist
There wasn’t a pair of uprights Don Burgess couldn’t clinically slice right through the heart.
Burgess, one of Canada’s greatest rugby kickers, influenced hundreds of young players as a coach and invented the Burge kicking tee. He died Tuesday at age 85.
He competed at the club, Island, provincial, national and international levels and was inducted into both the B.C. and Victoria sports halls of fame. He played 17 games for Canada and was the national team fullback through much of the 1960s, when Test matches were rare.
Brent Johnston, manager of the Castaway Wanderers club and former national team manager, said Burgess “was as good, if not better, in his era” than D.T.H. van der Merwe, the all-time Test tries leader for Canada.