The 49ers capped off their provincial high school AA rugby season as second-division champions Saturday, June 1 at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford.
Ladysmith Secondary School’s boys’ rugby team entered the tournament Wednesday, May 29, as a second-division team following a “Top Eight-Bottom Eight” match versus third-place St. Michaels University School Saturday, May 25.
Ranked 14th going into their St. Michaels matchup, LSS held their rivals, referred to by coach Gord McGeachy as a “longtime AAA provincial powerhouse who switched to AA this year,” to a 14-6 lead in the first half.
Following halftime, though, St. Michaels “started to put it on,” senior 49er Ben Cawthra said, leading to a final score of 42-14.
“In the last 10 minutes, they scored on nearly every run,” Cawthra added. “At that point, we knew we were done and we knew we were going to lose.”
Once they arrived in Abbotsford, though, the tides turned in their favour and LSS parlayed a trio of wins into a Second-Division Championship.
The 49ers squared off first against 11th-ranked Glenlyon-Norfolk Wednesday, May 29, earning themselves a “well-earned” 12-5 victory through the efforts of Everrett Beleksy, Mike Needham and Cam Hall.
Game two saw LSS butt heads with Vernon’s seventh-seeded Clarence Fulton School Thursday, May 30.
“In an incredibly physical and tight match the boys dug in defensively and pulled off a 14-10 upset,” McGeachy said, crediting the 49ers’ victory over Clarence Fulton to Jade Cambran’s lone try and a trio of penalty kicks by Hall.
The 49ers wrapped up the tournament Saturday, May 31 in a game versus Vernon Secondary School.
The LSS-VSS matchup began with “a few tense moments at the end of the first half,” McGeachy said, but the 49ers managed to “get back on track early in the second half to secure a 27-17 victory.”
McGeachy credited tries by Cawthra, Hall, Cambran and Antonio Corbin alongside a pair of converts and a penalty kick scored by Hall with locking up their final victory.
Hall capped off his fifth and final year with the 49ers as captain, earning himself one of 15 spots on the B.C. Rugby Commissioner’s Honorary All-Star Team, Cawthra said.
McGeachy congratulated Hall and his fellow Grade 12 players for having completed “a remarkable five years with the LSS rugby program” and he thanked them for their hard work.