A Walnut Grove player takes down Aldergrove Secondary's Justin Newbigging in the April 6 junior boys rugby game at ACSS. Aldergrove took the 15-10 win.

Junior rugby boys notch first win

The Aldergrove Junior Boys rugby team got their first win of the regular season against their crosstown rivals, Walnut Grove, 15-13.

In windy conditions both teams traded field position until midway through the first half the visitors were able to exploit the Totems defence and score a try for the lead. However, the home team did not panic and after some good controlled play were able to even the score.

After halftime, Aldergrove began to dominate the pace of play and soon had scored tries from Will Foss and Joshua Nordell. In the final minute of the game Walnut Grove was able to score, closing the deficit to two points, but they were not able to convert the try just before the final whistle.

The Totems have a busy week ahead, traveling to Brookswood and D.W. Poppy for crucial games that will help to determine the winner of the Langley Shield.

Senior Rugby Boys

The Senior Totems Rugby squad traveled to Southridge this past week and defeated the home squad handily, 32-10. Connor Hunter scored a remarkable 22 points with his boot.

Though the point tally looks to be a one man job it was best summed up by the Totems’ humble captain: “I did kick the penalties but it requires the whole team to get me into the position to have that opportunity.”

Some hard fought rucks by forwards Ashton Carter and Jordan Nickel, as well as some unstoppable runs by Cary Quiring, kept Southridge on their back foot in their own end for the better part of the game. Nick Hardwick shut down any attack that was attempted down his wing with impressive tackle technique. Josh Kwiatkowski was awarded the “crunch” of the game after moving from the flank into the backs and showing his strength by dictating contact on any and all who dared come near him. Nick Waterman played an exceptional game at the eight man spot, going for innumerable 20 metre runs, earning him man of the match. Cody Nicholls got try of the match for a quick dive over the line.

The Totems also traveled to sunny Semiahmoo this Friday past to take part in the Fraser Valley Sevens Tournament. It was a great day of rugby and the boys had a lot of fun playing the much higher paced type of rugby.

As rugby sevens is now an Olympic sport the team was excited to see how they would fare  against the other, predominantly AAA, high schools. In the first match the Totems faced Chuckanut, a traveling American team who had some very quick bigger boys. However, that was not enough to outdo the well-drilled Totems, who showed their core skills well and took the win, 21-10.

Some great play from Doug Saunders in the boys’ second match against Burnaby North led them to a 22-0 shutout.

The Totems game against the Bateman Hogs, a team made up entirely of forwards, was exciting to watch as the Totems put together some great runs around the big boys. Jonny Thompson used his pace well from the sweeper spot in the 29-5 win.

The quarter finals put the Totems up against Sullivan Heights, but the boys kept their day riding high with yet another win. Forwards Dillan Peters and Alex Rivard enjoyed throwing their weight around and proved that the bigger guys have the fitness to keep up.

Heading into the semifinals and their fifth match of the day the Totems faced a strictly sevens squad from Earl Marriott. Though the Totems came into the match with great attitude the Earl Marriott boys were too much to handle. Josh Kwiatkowski and Ryan Swann put up great battles but to no avail. The final match of the day against Bateman’s top side saw great play from Mike Head and Kurtis Winder.

The shortened sevens games allowed Bateman to take a quick lead and the Totems were unable to work back. The team walked away from the tournament with heads held high knowing that they left it all on the pitch.

The Totems will host Blue Mountain Grammar school from Australia on Thursday, April 14 at 4 p.m. on the back field at ACSS.

Grade 8 Boys Rugby

The Betty Gilbert Middle School Raptors rugby team was back in action at Aldergrove Secondary on April 7, hosting the Ravens from Eugene Reimer Middle School.

The visitors from Abbotsford opened the scoring early in the first half after sustained pressure. A lack of organization on the part of the Raptors allowed the opposing winger to touch down in the corner, and the try went unconverted for a 5-0 Ravens lead.

The Raptors gradually regained their shape and after some solid running by Sang Nguyen and Quinn McKitrick (in his first game), BGMS was awarded a penalty near the Reimer goal. A quick tap and a cross field kick by Josh Thiel was gathered in goal by Gurmaan Jhaj and touched down to knot the score at five to end the half.

Better running in the centres was the order of the day at the beginning of the second half. Tom Sandberg and Josh Desrosiers ran at the Reimer backs, putting them on the back foot and resulting in the Ravens taking a penalty to relieve the pressure. Josh Thiel took the kick quickly and bulled his way over the line, then added the conversion to put the Raptors ahead by seven.

Keeping the pressure on, scrum half Corey Reid directed the BGMS forwards downfield. A break in the Reimer defensive line allowed Jake Thiel to scamper in goal and touch down near the posts. This allowed Josh Thiel an easier conversion, making the score 19-5 for Betty Gilbert.

The Raptors kept up the pressure and some fine ball movement saw Jake Thiel set up Nguyen for the final Raptors try, though some relaxation defensively saw the Ravens claw back a try to have the final score read 24-10 in favour of BGMS.

It’s a busy week of rugby for the Raptors as they visit Brookswood on Monday before travelling to Abbotsford to play their third league game against Clayburn, and end the week at Reimer for the Grade 8 Fraser Valley 7-a-side tournament.

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