Brentwood finishes third in AA Tier 1 at provincial tourney

School overcomes challenges for podium finish

Brentwood College School capped off a challenging season by claiming bronze at the provincial AA Tier 1 rugby championships in Abbotsford on Saturday.

Brentwood beat Rockridge 31-22 in the third-place game at provincials, a result that head coach Shane Thompson was satisfied with.

“It was pretty good considering all the injuries we’ve dealt with this season,” Thompson said. “The boys played with their hearts. They played all-in. It was great. We were missing some guys, but the guys who played played great.”

The bronze-medal match was a battle, but Brentwood found a way to come out on top.

“It was very physical,” Thompson said. “Our guys did what they needed to do. It was a good way to finish the year, with a win.

“It was a good achievement for this group to finish with a medal. It would have been nice to be in the final but that’s the way it goes. It wasn’t for a lack of effort.”

Brentwood lost the AA Tier 1 semifinal 45-35 to St. Michaels University School, the closest match the Island rivals have played this season. A week earlier, SMUS defeated Brentwood by more than 40 points in the Island final. Brentwood also lost captain Jacob Bossi to a dislocated hip in that game.

The provincial semifinal, however, could have gone either way.

“A couple plays here and there and we could have got them,” Thompson said.

Most of Brentwood’s key players this season were Grade 12s, and more than half the team that went to provincials is graduating, but Thompson expects that the school’s strong junior program will replenish the seniors.

Abdullah Hammawa was Brentwood’s representative on the Commissioner’s XV to cap off his high school career.

“He came here two years ago and didn’t play rugby before that,” Thompson said. “He’s a good kid. He works hard. He developed a lot over two years.”

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