The Bow Valley Grizzlies are one step closer to advancing to the Southern Alberta rugby finals with a 52-12 landslide win over the Red Deer Titans on Aug. 19.

The match didn't start that way. The Titans had a 12-5 lead until two successful back-to-back tries late in the first half gave the Grizz a 17-12 lead.

After the half, the Grizz didn't allow a single point by Red Deer while accumulating 35 points with five perfect kicks to remain undefeated on the season.

Head coach Tyler Hawes says the Titans put up one of the toughest first halves they've faced this season. At the half, a challenge was issued to take control of the game.

"We said didn't worry about what the other players were doing, or what the referee was doing, just focus on what you could do, and they definitely rose to the challenge. I'm super proud of how they played. The effort level didn't drop from the beginning to the end."

The Grizz have put up a stellar defence all season, allowing only 83 points while scoring 493.

The Titans are their nearest competitor in the southern Alberta men's recreational league.  Red Deer has lost only two games all season, both to Bow Valley, and are now 10-point behind with two games remaining in the regular season.

Hawes says the Grizz aren't about to take their remaining games against the Foothill Lions and Calgary Hornets lightly.

"I mean, we could lose our last two games and be golfing, so we'll have to take it a game at a time."

The Grizz play the Lions at Wylie Athletic Park on Okotoksthis Saturday and finish the regular season on their home pitch against the Calgary Hornets on Sept. 9.

The final will be played between the top city and rural team on Sept. 16. The winner advances to the provincials.

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