Burnaby Lake - January 2017

January 31 2017


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Burnaby Hosted Four Matches in Delta on the Weekend vs Westshore, SFU, James Bay: Match Reports and Photos


from Mike Devlin
posted Jan 31 2017

The Burnaby Lake Rugby Club was forced to move the location of all 4 home games this weekend as snow and ice still cover the rugby pitches at Burnaby Lake. Thanks to club president Simon Smoldon for the work he put in this week finding alternative venues and to James Bay, Westshore and SFU for accommodating the game changes!! Most of all BIG THANKS to the members of the Surrey Beavers and the Brit Lions who graciously allowed us to use their fields and even lined them for us!

BLRC Premier Women 19 – Westshore RFC 69 (By Walt Brandl)

While the glaciers were still receding from the Burnaby Lake fields springtime had come to Delta’s John Oliver Park. This shift in climatic conditions allowed the BLRC women to make up a game missed in the first half. The Prem women entered this make-up round with high hopes and a full bench. Early on it was clear that, although great strides had been made, much hard work was left to do. Westshore opened the scoring first, working a well-constructed team try. The BLRC spirit was not dampened as they answered quickly with a try by the rookie phenom Vickie Thistle. The game turned track meet did not favour Burnaby strengths as the Westshore backs proved more pacey and elusive than their BLRC counterparts. Time after time Burnaby possession was turned over and resulted in Westshore tries. Despite the one-way traffic the Burnaby ladies were able to maintain composure and put together some very pretty tries. Jessica Harvey on a give and go and get again found pay dirt. Then while Jess Harvey was serving an obligatory yellow for coming in high on a tackle, Annie Arnott lofted the ball in front of Vickie Thistle who took the ball on the full drew the cover defense and flipped back inside to Annie who wasted no time admiring her kicking prowess and showed up first in support. The final 69-19 score line was not flattering to the BLRC girls but the optimism that they entered the game with was not misplaced and the opener will provide a good platform to build off for the second half.


Haley Glendinning tries to break through the Westshore defence – photo credit Pj Carr


Katie Grudzinski attempts to power through the Westshore tackler – photo credit Pj Carr

Full game video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8MIGRG-7zs&t=1320s

BLRC scorers:
Try: Thistle, Harvey, Arnot
Con: Harvey (2)

BLRC 3rd Div Men 43 - SFU 12

An encouraging first hit out of 2017 for the 3rd Div Men! Last seen claiming the VRU Cup in November, the 3rds travelled across the Port Mann Bridge to SFU at the home of the Surrey Beavers! The BLRC were in the driver’s seat all game and led 26 to 0 at half time behind a dominant scrum and the quick play of the Botes & DeGuzman half back combo.

The 2nd half was a little more even as SFU got 12 points back with the BLRC 3rds rolling in 17 more. The BLRC’s forward of the match, Tom Menzies, is also the kicker and led all scorers with 13 points on 5 converts and 1 penalty. One of the converts was a drop goal from the sideline. Menzies claims it is the first drop goal that he’s ever attempted. Also notable was the try scored by young Cooper Johnston. The son of long time Vancouver Trojan, Kamloops Raider and BLRC member Trevor Johnston, Cooper has been blessed with his mother’s looks and fathers rugby ability! Cooper scored his first try in Senior Men’s competition today and shot the boot like a champ post game!

Next week the 3rds tackle the Rowing Club. Venue…to be determined!

BLRC scorers:
Try: Botes (2), Bonell, Irwin, McLeod, C Johnston
Pen: Menzies
Con: Menzies (5)

BLRC “Premier Reserve” Men 47 – James Bay 0

The last meeting of these two teams saw James Bay knock the BLRC 1sts out of the playoffs last spring with some passionate rugby that upset the defending provincial champs AT HOME!! Most of those same BLRC players took the field on Saturday at John Oliver Park and had revenge on their mind. Burnaby Lake took control of the game at the 6 minute mark when Andrew Porter crossed over the try line and with the exception of a few penalties, never let up on the pressure for the remaining 74 minutes. The BLRC pack was aggressive and had the upper hand in most areas. Preston Petrovitch, Mike Gough and Riley Fergus stood out in the forwards as they seemed to be involved in every phase. As the game passed the midway mark Angus Fisher was inserted into the game on the right wing and he made an impact, scoring 3 try’s in the 2nd half. Scrum half Jack Caithness, wing Andrew Porter and centre Gino Paolella also stood out in the backline.


Matt Chan powers over a James Bay defender – photo credit Pj Carr


Andrew Porter eludes the James Bay tackle – photo credit Pj Carr

Full game video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcnsyuR0W_k

BLRC scorers:
Try – Fisher (3), Longbone Caithness, Richardson, Porter, Keegan, Nisbett
Con – Keegan

BLRC Premier Men 29 – James Bay AA 9

The premier game kicked off under sunny sky in Delta and all accounts said that there was a fairly good crowd on hand from both sides. Neither team could be said to have blown the crowd away with exciting or expansive rugby but there were some pretty big tackles that caught the attention of the supporters in attendance.
The first 15 minutes was played almost exclusively in the BLRC half with James Bay pounding the ball in, the BLRC working it almost out and then catching a penalty or knocking on a pass. Repeat. Finally Jeke Gotegote must have spotted something he recognized in some James Bay game film because with James Bay on attack and the ball moving through their backline Jeke sprinted into the heart of the James Bay backs and ended up right where a pop pass was being performed. Jeke caught the ball without even having to stretch let alone slow down and took it 60m for a try. Mike Goodall made the easy convert and BLRC were up 7-0. The Burnaby Lake forwards were responsible for the next try. The James Bay pack were penalized at a scrum inside their 22m and Taitusi Vikilani tapped the ball and took off moving close to the 5m line before offloading to Mosychuk who passed it wide to a trailing Micha Govorchin. Micha dove over the try line to put Burnaby Lake ahead 12-0.

James Bay Flyhalf Elliot Mitrou would punish 2 BLRC infractions for 6 points and the score remained 12-6 at the break.

Mitrou and Mike Goodall would trade 3 pointers to open the 2nd half and make the score 15-9 where it stayed until the 65 minute mark. A James Bay lineout didn’t quite pop right and Ryan Ackerman came down with the ball. Andrew Lackner got his hands on it and made some yards before Vikilani did the same. Eventually Taitusi was brought down and the ball was sent wide where Steve Batie and Gotegote made some nice yards. Jeke was wrapped up but gave a backdoor pass to a streaking Brian Murphy who took the ball in beneath the posts. Goodall made good on the conversion and now the BLRC were looking for the bonus point. They got the BP a few minutes later. The BLRC forwards were threatening close to the JBAA goal when Lucas Albornoz picked up a loose ball at the back of the ruck and bulled his way over the line for the try! Goodall put the conversion through the uprights and the game ended 29-9.


Cody Rockson on attack with Cole McQueen in support – photo credit Pj Carr


Taitusi Vikilani tries to avoid the Sean White tackle – photo credit Pj Carr

Full game video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysZVt-ySgQg

Not a pretty game but one that would allow both coaches to identify some things that worked well and some others that need work. For James Bay I thought their captain Graham Harriman stood out, leading by example and doing the gritty work that needed to be done. In the backs Sean White was definitely the man of the match (as you would expect). At the Premier level, he’s about as good as it gets. A special mention should go to the James Bay props Blake Van Heyningen who I believe normally plays hooker and youngster Jason Lines who played junior rugby last year at Burnaby Lake. They did not have an easy game but stepped up and fought every scrum and never backed down.

On the Blue + White side Lucas Albornoz had his best game since joining the BLRC. Lucas has been bogged down by one injury after another since joining the club last fall but now fully healthy “The Puma” showed people why he is so well thought of in Canadian rugby circles. He has a keen rugby sense and worked hard for all 80 minutes, throwing his weight into every tackle and ruck and eventually being awarded a try for his efforts. Taitusi Vikilani had another great game, bursting out of multiple pileups with the ball in hand and rarely making a bad decision once he got moving. In the backline, Jeke Gotegote showed well in this game and was the home side’s most effective ball carrier, acting as the catalyst for many big drives.

BLRC Scorers
Try – Gotegote, Govorchin, Murphy, Albornoz
Pen – Goodall
Con – Goodall (3)

Next week shows that the BLRC are due to host the Rowing Club. Hopefully the snow will have cleared off the rugby pitches by Saturday! Big thanks to the Referee society for their efforts on the weekend and to James Bay, SFU and Westshore for 4 great games of rugby! Also, thank to Brit Lions and Surrey Beavers for all of their help with the fields!

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