LVR Bombers edge Bateman to capture BC High School AA Tier II Rugby Crown
After the final whistle, jubilation set in for the L.V. Rogers Bombers as the Kootenay Reps captured the 2016 BC High School Boy’s AA Tier II Rugby Championship with a thrilling 13-12 victory over Fraser Valley power Robert Bateman Timberwolves Saturday at Rotary Park in Abbotsford.
“The boys just raced onto the field after the whistle,” Bomber head coach Michael Joyce told The Nelson Daily during a stop on the celebratory bus ride back home.
Joyce & Company had good reason to breathe a sigh of relief at full time as Bateman had a chance to win the game.
Holding on to the slim lead Matt Calderone of Robert Bateman scored a try with time running out.
However, with the official ready to blow the whistle to end the game, the game-winning kick attempt fell short giving LVR the Provincial title.
The title the school’s first senior varsity provincial title since its boys volleyball team won a blue banner back in 1994 under the guidance of coach Rand Wayling.
LVR did capture a BC Junior Boy’s Basketball crown in 2000, also going undefeated throughout the season like the 2016 Champion Rugby Team, finishing the season a perfect 15-0 with tournament titles in Red Deer and a perfect record in Kamloops.
“This team had lots of heart, will and determination to win,” said Joyce, who has coached the Rugby Program at LVR for the past 10 years. “We were small in numbers but they all stuck together throughout the season.”
Martin Mendez score a try and Dylan Dixon converted a penalty kick to give LVR the early 8-0 lead in the heart-stopping final played under wet, soggy conditions.
However, Robert Bateman scored a late try in the first half to cut the advantage to 8-7 at halftime.
Chase Gilbertson scored in the second half to give the Bombers a 13-7 lead.
This is the first year for the Tier system as BC High School Rugby looked to even the playing fields for school from the Interior of the province like L.V. Rogers.
The Bombers were ranked first in the eight-team field while Bateman held down the second seed.
LVR opened the tournament Wednesday by bouncing D.W. Poppey of Langley 41-14. The Bombers then disposed of Hugh Roberts of Richmond 15-10 in Thursday’s semi final to advance to Saturday’s championship contest.
The Bombers also took home the Most Sportsmanllike Trophy en route to the Provincial title.
Eli Swan, who accepted the trophy for the Bombers, was selected winner of LVR’s Commissioner award. Swan had a standout tournament for LVR.
The Fairview-based school is now putting its support behind the LVR Bombers Girl’s Soccer Team.
The Bombers travel to Campbell River to compete in the BC High School Girl’s Championship Tournament beginning Thursday.