Two years ago, most of the players on the Gleneagle Talons senior boys' rugby team had never played the sport.
On Thursday (May 25), they defeated the Byrne Creek Bulldogs from Burnaby 46-6 to win the Fraser North AA championship and qualify for provincials. The Talons will be ranked 10th in the tournament, that runs May 31 to June 3 in Abbotsford.
Gleneagle coach Eiman Torabi said having already endured a tough, physical win over Byrne Creek earlier in the season when his side was missing several key players because of injury set the Talons up well for Thursday's win with a full complement of bodies on the pitch.
Torabi said the Bulldogs were full measure for speed and physicality, but the Talons' backs were able to use superior passing from the back end to gain the advantage from the opening kick.
Among the Gleneagle players to break through the goal line were Matthew Bailey, Paul Dume and Jun Sohn.
Torabi said no matter how the team fares in Abbotsford, the players have excelled, showing commitment to playing for each other as well as an abundance of heart.
Gleneagle will also be headed to the senior girls' provincials as Fraser North champions after the Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils weren't able to compete in their zone final on Wednesday (May 24) due to injuries.
Meanwhile, the Riverside Rapids senior boys' team goes to in Abbotsford as the Fraser North Tier 1 AAA champions after defeating the Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils 31-17, also at Gates Park on Thursday.
The victory boosted the Rapids’ record to a perfect seven wins in seven matches. Along the way, the team scored 299 points and conceded only 34.
Eshan Bani and Josh Granville each scored a pair of tries to lead the Rapids offence while another was added by Joseph D’Agostino on an end-to-end run. Granvile also contributed four conversions and a penalty goal.
Both the Rapids and Blue Devils qualified for next week’s provincials.