Walnut Grove player bears down on Betty Gilbert Middle School’s Shaan Jhaj in grade 8 boys’ rugby

Aldergrove rugby off to strong start

Rugby season has kicked off again at Aldergrove Community Secondary School.

The senior boys played their first league game against Heritage Park from Mission on Wednesday. The Totems wanted to set a precedent with their opening match and took the visitors 33-0.

Captain Connor Hunter opened the scoring with some quick thinking by diving on a loose ball. The Heritage Park boys made them work for their scores but Aldergrove was clearly the more skilled team.

Jason Esbensen got try of the day with a 70 metre dash from a scrum, weaving his way in and out of the frazzled defenders. Newcomer to the sport, Henri Donath, who is visiting from Germany, has a natural eye for the try line and after some great forward movement from the entire team was able to dive for the line.

Man of the match was awarded to Kurtis Winder who was all over the place, doing the hard work and making the Heritage Park ball runners pay for running at him.

Tom Gauthier got the “crunch” award for smashing the rucks and being physical all over the pitch. Doug Saunders and Josh Kwiatkowski closed out the scoring, with both tries coming from some great ball movement.

Connor Hunter converted all but one of the tries, despite the windy conditions.

Earlier in the week the Totems played Walnut Grove and won this game in commanding style as well. Tries were scored by Kurtis Winder, Henri Donath (2), Josh Kwiatkowski (2), Jordan Nickel and Colton Bardal, who got try of the game for an excellent crash through the centres right under the posts.

Man of the match went to Henri Donath for aggressive play all over the pitch. Dakota Grizcowsky got the “crunch” award for a devastating hit on the eight man, who definitely was not expecting such contact from a winger. Connor Hunter missed only two of the conversions.

The Totems are on their way to bringing back the Langley Shield to the powerhouse in the valley. They must also defeat the other Langley schools, DW Poppy and Brookswood Secondary for this honour.

The Aldergrove Secondary junior boys rugby team played a tough game against their cross-river rivals, Heritage Park. It was the team’s second exhibition game of the season and early on the team struggled to make some key tackles, which their opponents capitalized on.

As the game wore on the boys tightened up their defence and made their opponents work very hard to gain any momentum.

After halftime the momentum switched in favour of Aldergrove and after trading scores with Heritage Park the final score was 35-10 for the visitors.

Aldergrove Secondary girls played Thursday, March 17, to a 17-12 win over Seaquam.

Tries were made by Devan Cosens, Jamie Keith, Melissa Nuij, with conversion by Devan Cosens.

It was a gritty effort by the 18 girls from Aldergrove who suited up against 35 Seaquam girls, many of whom are seniors. Aldergrove has only one senior at the moment. Ginger Broatch, Jaime Reitsma and Kayla Singleton had strong games in the forwards, while Toria Aslin and Devan Cosens led the backs.

The boys rugby team at Betty Gilbert Middle School took their record in exhibition play to 3-0 after a 22-7 victory over the RE Mountain Eagles at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday.

The BGMS Raptors opened their season with a narrow 12-7 win over the Walnut Grove Gators. Joshua Thiel accounted for all of the Raptors’ points, but in a true team effort Dominik Carter, Nathan Dahl and Corey Reid all put in very spirited efforts.

The Raptors then followed that up with a convincing 32-10 win over the Eugene Reimer Ravens in Abbotsford. Strong performances by Jacob Thiel and Sang Nguyen led the way, with solid running by Colin Hopes, Ash Hotti and Gurshaan Jhaj, making repeated breaks in the Raven defence.

Jacob Thiel, with two tries, had a standout game, and Nguyen was effective in disrupting the Eagles’ back line throughout the match. Clayton Churchill, Josh Desrosiers, and Tomas Sandberg were all dangerous with the ball in hand, and Wesley Foss made a beautiful 40 metre run before leaving the game prematurely due to injury.

Assistant coach Elyssa Phillipson said of the match, “Our tackling needs to be better, but it is nice to get the win.”

After spring break, the Raptors are back in action with their first league game against W.A. Fraser Middle in Abbotsford.

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