James Bay - February 2017
CW Beat Bays 36-25: Dobravski One Man Wrecking Crew
by Phil Meyer
posted Feb 27 2017
Whether due to a two week layoff, being out-quicked around McDonald Park on Saturday, or both, the JBAA Prems fell behind early – and could not catch up to a Castaway Wanderers team that was firing on most cylinders. The Dubbya’s dominated in the sets – and gratefully accepted errant JBAA passes to gallop away for three of their four trys. Playing at center, Dustin Dobravski was a one man wrecking crew – tallying two trys, two converts and four penalty goals – to single-handedly outscore the Bays.
For much of the first half, competition between the two teams is closer than the 36 to 25 final result. CW breaks ahead – a successful Dobravski penalty – then Jonny Morris stings the Bays with a back-line interception-and-gallop to the goal, 13 minutes in. CW 8 - JBAA 0.
JBAA fights back at mid-half – a clever score by winger Chris Slater, from Mike Cody and Eddy Adams. Adams adds the convert and a following penalty. JBAA 10 – CW 8. But the Bays are playing downfield and downwind - and their sidelines are far from sanguine.
At 27 minutes, the Navy Blue balloon begins to deflate. The Bays’ backs on attack – a second CW interception, canter down-field and score – this time by Mike Dalsin. Dobravski converts. CW ahead 15 to 10.
At 32 minutes, a third errant pass by Blue – Dobravski the appreciative recipient – racing in to score – and convert. CW up 22 – 8. Just before half, Chris Slater dashes into the right corner for his second Navy Blue try. CW 22 – JBAA 15.
Sides switch ends – with CW now with slope and wind at back. Immediately, Dobravski pounds in two more penalties. Blue Crush are fighting hard – featuring their rolling maul – and Jimmy de Goede finishes off a surge in the corner at 58 minutes. CW now 28 – JBAA 20.
As the second half progresses, the C Dubbya forwards become dominant in the sets – and earn another Dobravski try (his second). Rhys Davies extracts a point from the day – finishing a final Blue Crush surge to the try line ten minutes from time. Dobravski kicks a final penalty – his 26th point. At end, each team has 4 trys – but CW finishes with 36 points – JBAA with 25.
JBAA Ones lead 12-0 scant minutes from half time – then watch it slip away to lose 26 to 17 to CW. The three try scorers for the Bays are Kieran McAuley, Quentin Martinez and Dave McGrath – with McGrath kicking a convert. Try scorers for CW are Marcus Hall, Damon Adam, John Moar and Oli Winser. Brandon Gerhart converts three.
Post-game, all retire to the house of Bays to join Ebb Tide, Seattle Old Guys, and West Shore 3rds - combatants earlier in the day - offer congratulations, tell tall stories, warm our hands, drink beer – and for the Blue, heal our hearts. Next week, the Bays will try to elevate our socks at Jericho vs. Ravens – if Canada’s winter snows have left Vancouver by then. CW will risk their unbeaten record against U Vic Vikes at Windsor Park.
The Bear Gets Frozen Fingers at Wallace Field
posted Feb 6 2017
by Phil Meyer
Our American friends (there still are a number) have often described our country as The Great White North. Grudgingly, this writer is beginning to believe they may be right.
MacDonald Park closed on Friday due to snow (although Rugby Canada, ever considerate of our domestic rugby scene, still negotiating to play there on the tattered turf). All other Saturday BC Premier games (save one) cancelled due to heaps of the white stuff.
Canada eventually playing Argentina on snow-laden West Shore Stadium – the scene more characteristic of Lambeau Field in the dead of Great Lakes winter. Argies asking themselves; “What in the northern world have we flown into?” Looking out my cottage window Monday – snow still drifting in from north and east!
When I moved back to Victoria from California some 28 years ago, I was negotiated a “no snow” contract when I got off the boat in the Inner Harbour. That contract has now been breached. This is depressing! No more smart-ass comments about people who live to our Mysterious East. (At least for awhile.)
Saturday, Wallace Field, up on the U Vic campus, could make the boast that it was the only snow-less rugby field north of the border – and, in fact, for a 100+ mile swath south of that. So Vikes and JBAA Prems take the field in “the only” BCRU Premier League contest.
These two teams respect each other – and the games are always contested. Bays score the first try at the 20 minute mark – when a Viker drives his clearing kick into the back of a teammate – the ball bounces free – Aaron Evison scoops it up – and passes to Neil Meechan, who sprints away for the JBAA score. The Blue Crush score again in the left corner just prior to half time. Jimmy de Goede finishes off – Eddy Adams converts.
But the Vikes play a steady defensive game – and put periodic pressure on offense. Propelled by flurries of favourable whistle – Fergus Hall kicks three penalty goals. At the half, JBAA 12 – Vikes 9.
The second half continues apace. A quick try from Jon Lorimer at 52 minutes edges the Vikes ahead by two. Whistle knocks the Bays momentum back again as the half progresses. A second Lorimer try near the end (converted by Hall) seals the Viker deal. The Vikes secure a deserved win 21 to 9. Congrats to Doug Tate and his Viking warriors. You took your chances and you won!
In the early game, Norsemen won over JBAA 24 to 7. Dave McGrath scores the only JBAA try at six minutes – and converts his own. Then it was all Norsemen.
JBAA does not play again until hosting Castaway Wanderers on February 25. Perhaps the snow will be gone by then. The Vikes, displaying the superior intellect of those who go to university, leave right away for two games in Australia.
Monday morning. Snow continuing to come down. Still somewhat depressed, I search for Barry Robbins’ phone number in Hawaii – looking for a pallet on his floor.