Kelowna Owls' Arun Mahal dives between a pair of players from Sardis Secondary (Chilliwack) during B.C. high school rugby playoff action Saturday at the Parkinson fields.

KSS Owls battle Yale in B.C. rugby quarterfinals

Kelowna wins first playoff game over Sardis to advance to top eight

The Kelowna Owls have already realized their main goal for the high school rugby season—a top-eight finish.

But the Okanagan’s top senior boys squad still has plenty to play for in 2013.

On Wednesday in Abbotsford, the Owls will battle the Yale Lions in the quarterfinals of the B.C. School Sports rugby championship.

The victor will move onto the semifinals and will be guaranteed a top-four finish in the province.

The Owls’ best showing in the last two decades was a sixth-place finish in 2010.

KSS guaranteed itself a top-eight placing this year thanks to a 66-3 drubbing of Sardis Secondary (Chilliwack) in the round of 16 on Saturday afternoon at the Parkinson Rec Centre.

It was only the second time in the program’s recent history that the Owls have won a first-round match.

“The boys played amazing, they’re definitely peaking at the right time of year,” said Owls head coach Dave Marfleet, whose team was ranked fifth heading into provincials. “Our whole team stepped up. May 25 (playoffs) has been on the calendar for a while, so it was nice to play that game and get the win. To get into the top eight again is a huge accomplishment.”

As for their next opponent, Yale, the Owls lost to the Lions 17-0 in an exhibition game early in the season.

Marfleet expects his club to be better prepared for the challenge this time around.

“We feel like we’re way better than we were back then,” said Marfleet. “Hopefully we can give them a good game and see of we can get into the top four.”

The winner of Wednesday’s match will, in all likelihood, face No. 1-ranked St. George’s in the semifinals on Thursday.

The final round of games at provincials in Abbotsford will go on Saturday.