Scoring first had its reward for the Cariboo Hill Chargers high school rugby team.
The Burnaby AA school tied AAA Moscrop 19-19 but won the Burnaby/New Westminster district senior rugby title on a first-score tiebreak following a scoreless 15 minutes of overtime at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex-East last week.
Cariboo captain and standoff half Manraj Sidhu scored the game’s first two tries, which ultimately stood up as the tie-breaking game-winners.
“It means a lot said,” Sidhu after the game. “We’re a first-year team. We never failed to believe in each other, and that we could do it as a team.
“This is a big accomplishment frou our school.”
Leading 12-0, Moscrop got back into it just before half time with a converted try from Robert Partaker.
Andrew Jones added another five-pointer later to draw Moscrop even, but Kurtis Dunbar countered for Cariboo with a score between uprights for what looked at the time like the game-deciding points.
But Abdi Abdinasir had other thoughts, picking up a turnover and outrunning the Charger defence 40 metres to send the game into extra time.
In OT, Cariboo missed a penalty kick at goal, but then had to knuckle down on defence to prevent a concerted push by Moscrop inside the Chargers’ 20-metre line that came close to scoring late in the second OT.
“Just seeing (Cariboo) able to dig deep and keep coming back was really satisfying,” said Cariboo Hill practicum student coach Moreno Stefanon.
The win was some solace for the Chargers, which earlier lost the Lower Mainland AA Tier 2 championship final to Seycove by a narrow 31-29 score.
“That was a heartbreaker,” said Sidhu. “We were leading 12-0 … but we missed one kick.”