The Kelowna Owls equalled their best finish in recent history with a sixth-place showing at the 2013 B.C. School Sports high school boys AAA rugby finals.
KSS qualified for Saturday’s 5th/6th place final in Abbotsford where they went down to defeat to West Vancouver 18-5.
The Owls were competitive in the game from start to finish, but failed to capitalize on key scoring opportunities.
KSS also lost two key players to injury in their last game—Ryan Lawson (shoulder) and Liam McGoran (ankle).
“We scored first and looked pretty good early, but we ran into injury trouble and couldn’t score when we needed to,” said Owls coach Dave Marfleet. “On a different day the result might have been different.”
The Owls, who also finished sixth in 2010, won their first round match 66-3 over Sardis a week earlier in Kelowna to qualify for the top eight.
In the quarterfinals Thursday, the Owls met their match against the Yale Lions who downed fifth-ranked Kelowna 18-3. Yale also defeated KSS in exhibition play this spring.
In their second playoff game on Friday, in one of their better efforts of the season, the Owls downed No. 8 Oak Bay a 14-10 score, as KSS rebounded from a 10-0 deficit.
All in all, Marfleet was happy with his team’s play and thrilled with the progression of rugby at KSS over the last five years.
“It was awesome for us to be in the five-six game with a chance to have our best finish,” he said. “For an Okanagan school to be ranked where we are says a lot about the calibre of rugby we’re playing in Kelowna. Oak Bay has been one of those powerhouses for a lot of years, so to beat them is another accomplishment for our rugby.”
Owls’ senior and prop Matt Steen was named to the Commissioner’s 15 team, which recognizes the top players in the tournament.
The Owls had a strong year all around in boys’ rugby, finishing in fourth place at the B.C. sevens provincials.