HPSS places fifth in B.C.

The Heritage Park Highlanders competed in the rugby provincials last week

After a slow start to the season, the Heritage Park senior boys rugby team concluded their season on a high note, making a strong showing at the 2013 Senior Boys Rugby Provincials and finishing fifth in the province, the highest the school has ever ranked.

After winning the Fraser Valley championship two weeks ago, the team went into the B.C.’s as fifth seed.

On May 29, they played Rockridge in the quarter-finals. This West Vancouver school is a perennial rugby powerhouse, and has consistently placed in the top four the past 10 years, including five B.C. championships.

On paper, Heritage Park were the underdogs, said coach Jivan Dhaliwal, but what happened during the game would go down as one of the top games of the tournament.

Trailing 5-0 at half time, Heritage Park went on the attack in the second half. Connor O’Brien scored to tie the game and after further exchanges in score, Heritage found themselves down 18-10. With 10 minutes left, Heritage narrowed the score to 18-13 with a Robbie Corbin try and Graeme Rennison penalty kick. With less than two minutes left, ferocious tackling by Rockridge stopped the Heritage offensive effort deep inside their territory, as the Mission school looked to go into the lead. However, time ran out with Rockridge holding on for the win.

The following day, HPSS played GW Graham and defeated them 20-7, with tries being scored by Parry Nigah, Nathan Sawchuk and Corbin. Rennision also added a conversion and penalty kick in the convincing win over their Chilliwack opposition.

In the fifth place game June 1, Heritage Park went up against Hugh McRoberts Secondary. Sawchuk opened the scoring with a 20-metre drop kick, putting Heritage up 3-0. McRoberts scored a try late in the game to go up 7-3 at the half. In the second half, Heritage went back to the style of aggressive play that helped them in their game versus Rockridge. Stevie Aldcroft and Karlin Sckalix scored five minutes apart, and with Rennison adding a conversion, Heritage went ahead 15-7. McRoberts scored a try on the last play of the game, but Heritage had done enough to put the game away and finish fifth in B.C.