Burnaby Lake - February 2017

February 28 2017

Burnaby Logo - 2013

Burnaby Win Triple Header at Capilano in Men's Divisions: Lose to Caps in Women's Premier: FULL MATCH VIDEOS

by Mike Devlin (photos by pj CARR)
posted Feb 28 2017

BLRC Premier Women 17 – Capilano RFC 24

Another tight loss for the BLRC women. The standing’s show the Blue + White in the basement but only the 7 Bonus Points in 7 games tells the true story of the season so far. Captain Carolyn McEwen (who I have been watching for years, but continues to impress me more and more every game) has her team poised and running good lines, dominating the scrums and tackling hard…but each week they fall just short. Today would be no different as a 2nd half comeback was thwarted by the clock.

This game was as ferocious a women’s rugby match as my eyes have seen! Both Capilano and Burnaby were laying out hits, and plenty of them. The BLRC pack led by McEwen, Noger and Van Gulik were making things hard on the Capilano sets while the Caps backline was the story on the day, running hard through the gaps and causing the BLRC backline to scramble and make the stop. One 10 minute defensive stand in the first half saw McEwen and flanker Gabby Hindley each make a handful of try saving tackles before Caps finally got the mismatch they needed for their hooker to punch one in. The score at the half was 7-0 for Capilano.

Jessica Harvey breaks away from the defence and scores a try!

The 2nd half opened up a bit and Capilano capitalized on the home crowd momentum with their fullback finding some space to score, and with the convert, go ahead by 14. Flyhalf Jessica Harvey brought the BLRC back into the game, calling her own number and fending off a few tacklers just inside the Capilano 10m line and going the rest of the way herself. Harvey converted her own try and it was a 14-7 game. Capilano settled down and got back to work, spinning the ball through their backline working the ball closer to the BLRC line. After a pick and go was stopped by McEwen on the goal line, the Caps hooker wouldn’t have her 2nd try of the day denied and she touched the ball down to put her side ahead 19-7. The game edged on into the final 10 minutes where both teams amped up the energy and 3 more tries were scored. The BLRC notched first through the backline. A tap and go swung through the hands of Jess Harvey and Annie Arnott before hitting a streaking Camilla Maslo who dodged a defender and dove over to close the gap; 19-12. Capilano responded off the kickoff though, moving the ball into BLRC territory before a string of Blue + White penalties allowed Capilano to easily move to the 5m where the Caps #9 took a quick tap + go into the end zone. The convert was short, so the score sat at 24-12 with time running out. The BLRC women came out charging off the kickoff and retained possession. Katie Grudzinski drew in the defence and passed to Alicia Noger who found a gap in the centres at the Caps 22m and charged towards the end zone to score. The convert was wide, and the ref blew the full time whistle so the game ended 24-17.

The Capilano women were deserving winners. Their style of attack was effective in drawing the BLRC defenders out of position and the way they flood the breakdown made it hard for BLRC scrumhalf Angel Santos to give quick ball when on attack. The BLRC Women will put a streak together before the season is over, mark my words. They have a tremendous coaching staff that would be the envy of many Men’s Premier sides let alone Women’s, and a big and aggressive pack. Van Gulik, Grudzinski, Noger, Schamberger, etc are all veterans who know the game and know how to win. With an ever improving backline led by Flyhalf Jess Harvey and a (now-comfortable) centre pairing of Carly Walker and Annie Arnott plus the added speed of newcomer Camilla Maslo…the win’s will come!

The Full game can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebROdNuV_Mk&t=11s

This weekend sees the women host the 5th place Castaway-Wanderers. Will this be the week?

BLRC 3rd Div Men 38 –Capilano RFC 13

The BLRC 3rds continued their winning ways with a dominant performance that earned another W on Saturday. The size and physicality of the Burnaby players was just too much for the young Caps side to handle. The 3rds jumped out to an impressive 33-3 half time lead through the straight ahead running of Barry Bonell and Juan Videla but it was the play of the BLRC’s teenage players Kishan Karunathasan and Raph Espejo that stood out to me in particular! The two ex-Tupper Tigers played as physical as any veteran and have a keen knowledge of the game, presumably taught to them at Tupper by Mr. Lee!

Capilano U23 player tries to hold back Mate McLeod-Genest

In the 2nd half the BLRC coaches opened up the bench and I’m told the every member of the 3rd div army saw the pitch!! This may have contributed to the evening up of the score a bit in the 2nd half. The Capilano Academy were fit and game, always trying to spread the ball wide, where indeed, their 2 try’s were scored in the 2nd stanza. Kudos to the Capilano Rugby Club for being able to field that many young players every Saturday. I think a few of those players wouldn’t have looked out of place playing one division higher and they’re speed + fitness should allow them to take some scalps this season.

Final score: 38-13.

BLRC try’s: Juan Videla (2), Tom Menzies, Barry Bonell, Rick Flello, Mate McLeod-Genest
BLRC Convert’s: Tom Menzies (4)

BLRC 1st Div Men 46 – Capilano RFC 12

The BLRC firsts were just a little too big, a little too fast and a little too physical for their North Shore counterparts to keep up with. Facing off against the defending provincial champs, the BLRC 1sts came out raging off the kickoff and unfortunately kept the Caps in the game early with a string of 9 penalties that were the Caps main source of offence in the early going. Capilano fought to the end in front of their home crowd and always made the BLRC work for it, but the Burnaby firsts kept working and were assisted by a deep bench of fresh finishers and a few fairly fresh subs called up from the 3rds game. This allowed the Blue & White to keep up a tempo for 80 minutes that never gave the Caps a moment to breathe. Jack Caithness at scrumhalf and Sukhwinder Bolina at #6 were the standout players for the BLRC in my eyes, although many players threw their hats in the ring for the M.O.M. contention.

Sukhwinder Bolina tracks down the elusive “Silver Fox” Kes Kasha

The full game video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88hkoN_S9tc&t=235s

BLRC try’s: Angus Fisher. Preston Petrovitch, Matt Chan, Juan Videla, Jack Caithness, Andrew Porter
BLRC convert’s: Cian Keegan (3)
BLRC penalties: Cian Keegan

BLRC Premier Men 39 – Capilano 6

Finally the main event! In front of a full stands on the Bob Spray field, the 2 rivals squared off. Both sides entered the match undefeated, and eyed each other up before kickoff. All players staring at their opposites, looking for a new twist or wrinkle but finding only the familiarity of the dozens of Capilano vs BLRC Premier Matches that most of the players on the field have taken part in. Everyone in Blue & White knows what Chris Robinson is going to do when he picks up the ball at the back of a ruck, but stopping the back door pass to the crashing forward is another matter. Everyone in black and gold knows what Jeke Gotegote is going to do when he gets the pass, but setting your feet isn’t necessarily going to stop the big Fijian from going through you.

And so it began... off the kickoff the BLRC were able to work the ball inside the Capilano 22m and set up a series of pick and goes with their forwards before drawing a penalty. The BLRC chose the scrum at the 5m line and Taitusi Vikilani took off from the back of the scrum, muscling his way through the defenders to slam the ball down over the try line. Mike Goodall made short work of the conversion and the BLRC were ahead 7-0 with 8 minutes gone. Chris Robinson and Goodall then exchanged 2 sets of penalties to bring the score to 13-6 for the BLRC.

Taitusi Vikilani fights through a tackle to score the game’s opening try

Dan Josok got on the scoreboard next. Vikilani broke off the back of a fast moving scrum and went down the blind side. Taitusi drew in the winger and popped to Josok who was streaking down the 5m channel! Josok was eventually tripped up by the cover defence of Jordan Harvey but his momentum carried him over the try line! Goodall made the convert from out wide to extend the lead, 20-6 at the half.

The first points of the new half came as a result of a scrum at the Capilano 5m line. The BLRC put a big push on and the scrum collapsed and gave the BLRC an automatic 7 points. 27-6. Burnaby Lake’s next points came quickly thereafter. A James Reekie up and under was taken at pace by Cole McQueen and brought into the Capilano 22m. From the breakdown, the ball went to Reekie who showed wide and then tossed it back inside to a trailing Nolan Shelley who went up the gut to score. 33-6 for Burnaby Lake. The BLRC’s final points came through Andrew Lackner’s trademark razzle dazzle near the try line! The Burnaby forwards were threatening close to the goal posts and Rockson sent the pass out to Lackner who split 2 defenders to score. Goodall hit the extra points to cap the score, 39-6.

Nolan Shelley slams home a try, with authority!

The game was more competitive then it will look on paper. I do believe that the teams were fairly evenly matched, but Capilano just fell short when it came time to finish. A bad pass here or poor decision there prevented them from putting points on the board. The BLRC’s victory would not have been so without the unsung heroes on the day: Mike O’Toole, Lucas Albornoz, Ben Rowley and birthday boy Anthony Luca. Those 4 did the “hard yards” that allowed the BLRC to dominate the time of possession. Handfuls of pick and goes, smashing into their opposite numbers for 80 minutes takes its toll on you, but those 4 never took their foot off the gas pedal. O’Toole should also get a mention for his work in the defensive lineouts, stealing 4 balls in the air. That’s what it takes to gut out a win against a club like Capilano. It was not all celebrations for the BLRC Men’s program however, as I’m told that the club picked up a handful of season ending injuries throughout the 3 games. The coaches will have to shuffle the rosters to find the winning combinations again.

The full game can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2ihAkVIHyA&t=5s

Post game the Capilano club hosted all teams magnificently with Jim Leith showing off his culinary prowess. I believe the clubs split the boat races with the BLRC taking the Prems/1sts and the Capilano stealing the 3rds/Women’s event. Good times had by all. Big thanks to Capilano for hosting a club day and to Dave Smortchevsky and the BCRRS for allowing the games to happen!

This Saturday the BLRC finally get to host a club day with the women welcoming Oak Bay and the men hosting UBC.

Many Teams~One Club

Burnaby Defeat Seattle 31-15 in Men's Premier: MATCH VIDEO

from Mike Devlin
posted Feb 21 2017

Another weekend of home games was scheduled for Burnaby Lake, but icy field conditions had President Simon Smoldon scrambling and working the phones for 2 days to try to find alternate fields. Simon was able to procure fields for 3 of our 4 scheduled games. Unfortunately our 3rd Div Men were left out in the cold. It was great to see many of them making the trip to Connaught Park and John Oliver Park to cheer on their club mates! A HUGE thanks to the Brit Lions and the Meraloma’s for helping us out and allowing to use their fields to host the Seattle Saracens! Hopefully our fields are ready in 2 weeks when we are due to host UBC.

BLRC Premier Women 24 – Seattle Saracens 27 (report from Head Coach Walt Brandl)

As the week progressed and the weather got better it became apparent that the BLRC women versus Seattle game would be played. What was not apparent however, was where the match would take place. A number of options failed to pan out but then an unlikely white knight, or, more accurately, an orange and blank knight rode to the rescue by providing the Loma Dome as a home venue for Burnaby Lake. Buoyed by the support of the Meralomas and a full roster the BLRC women started strong, dominating scrum, making the gain line and retaining the ball. Executing the basics rarely fails and before long Burnaby found themselves up by five on the strength of a Jessica Harvey try. True to form, the teams the started trading scores as they have in recent matches. Seattle answered immediately with a try worked from a turnover on the ensuing kick-off but once again the Burnaby women took control, applied consistent pressure and were rewarded with a try by Katie Grudzinski off the base of a 5 metre scrum. The second half saw Seattle putting more of their signature on the game by moving the ball wide from all field positions, finding the Burnaby defense, in the words of Meraloma coach Matt Fraser, leaking around the outside. Still Burnaby continued to trade blows with the visitors deftly changing the point of attack and forcing errors with a blitzing defense. Tries by Carley Walker and Alicia Noger equaled the try scoring output of the Saracens but a penalty kick tipped the final score by 3 points to the Americans. Final score 27-24. Conditions on the day were good and both teams were full value for competitive, physical contest. The BLRC women continue to improve but must be patient with the process and stay true to the game to turn their season around.

Next weekend sees Burnaby Lake travel to Klahanie to take on the Capilano women.

BLRC Premier Reserve Men 51 – Seattle Saracens 7

The BLRC Men opened the day at John Oliver Park with a big win over a tough Seattle squad. Burnaby Lake opened the scoring off the opening kickoff with Gino Paolella slicing through the defence for a highlight reel try and signs pointed to a possible “track meet” for the Blue & White, but Seattle tightened up and held the home side to only 3 more points through the first 40 minutes. Seattle’s captain Max Martinez kept the score close with a well-read intercept try that was converted by Aaron Lee. Half time score 8-7 for the BLRC.

Ed Swire dives over the try line vs Seattle –Photo credit: Pj Carr

During the intermission, Coach Dave Murphy gave what must have been a great speech because the BLRC came out fired up. (43 unanswered points fired up!) Doug Breadon got the score board moving when he took an offload from Steve Batie between the posts. That was quickly followed up by Matt Chan picking up a loose ball and bulling through 2 defenders to go over the try line. Try’s came quick and often thereafter as Gino Paolella scored his 2nd, Ed Swire notched 2 and Sukhwinder Bolina & Preston Petrovitch each scored one. Fullback Cian Keegan finished the game with 11 points from 4 converts and 1 penalty!

Brad McHugh prepares to fend off a tackle – Photo credit Pj Carr

The full game can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeGzLqy1tu8

Next week the 1sts will face a stern challenge as they travel across the bridge to take on the defending provincial champs, Capilano RFC.

BLRC Premier Men 31 – Seattle Saracens 15

On paper, the main event looked to be a tough go between 2 evenly matched teams. That’s exactly how it shaped up with the BLRC jumping out to an early lead, Seattle countering to almost tie it up and then the BLRC putting the game away midway through the 2nd half. Big thanks once again to the Brit-Lions Rugby Club for use of their field and great job on the fried onions + peppers with the sausage! Delicious! A masterpiece! Bravo!

The BLRC’s first battle would be to shake off the rust and “gym hands” that a month of training sessions in various elementary and secondary school gymnasiums had caused. I don’t know what it is about the Burnaby Lake area that has caused it to be the one spot where global warming doesn’t exist, but the playing fields still sit under a sheet of ice and the training turf was finally deemed safe only shortly before Thursday’s training session. There is no substitute for full contact training, wide open space or weather-effect. In spite of the lack of “contact” training the squad met Seattle’s physicality for 80 minutes in the rain and emerged with a bonus point win.

After kickoff the bulk of the opening 15 minutes was played in the Seattle end. Burnaby Lake was always threatening but couldn’t punch one in. The forwards finally got some momentum going and Big Ben Rowley was stopped just short of the line. Cody Rockson was the first on the scene and grabbed the ball, fending off the only defender in his way and stretching out to touch the ball down for 5 points. Goodall’s conversion attempt was just wide, so the score stayed 5-0 BLRC.

Mike Goodall tries to avoid the Sequoyah Burke-Combs tackle – Photo credit Pj Carr

Seattle would get on the scoreboard at the 20 minute mark when a BLRC penalty gave #15 Andrew Nelson a shot at the posts, which he connected on. Burnaby Lake responded quickly as a long kick from Mike Goodall trapped the Saracens just outside their 5m line. The BLRC were able to create a turnover and the forwards ran a few pick and goes until Seattle ran out of defenders and Ben Rowley was rewarded with a try! 10-3 for Burnaby Lake. Just before the break, a Saracens scrum was stolen by the determined BLRC pack and Vikilani grabbed the ball and raced through the Seattle defence, eventually drawing in the last defender and popping the ball to a trailing Mike Goodall who scored and then hit the conversion to put the BLRC ahead 17-3 at the whistle.

Seattle opened up the 2nd half on the front foot with their #10 Sam Windsor finding a gap in the BLRC defence to bring the ball down to the Burnaby 5m line. The Saracens methodically worked the ball closer and closer to the try line with their forwards before eventually spinning the ball to the sideline where their winger Dion Crowder evaded the tackle and crossed over for 5 points.

Seattle would strike again through flanker Cole Van Harn. The Burnaby defence pinched a little too much after a lineout and scrumhalf Dan Conklin saw the gap. He cut through it and made about 25 yards before tossing the ball to Van Harn who took it the final 5 for a try! The convert was good and all of a sudden we had a ball game. 17-15 for Burnaby Lake!

The BLRC needed to respond and they did, taking advantage of some Seattle penalties to move to the American’s 5m line. The 2 forward packs smashed into each other at full speed for a few phases before BLRC scrum half Cody Rockson spun the ball wide. 2 passes later the ball found Cole McQueen who scored untouched! Goodall’s conversion was good and the BLRC fans on the sideline felt a little safer, up 24-15. Off the kickoff, the BLRC were trapped at their own 22m and an unfortunate knock on led to a Seattle scrum. BUT, the BLRC were able to steal the scrum and Mike Goodall sold a “show and go”, taking it himself before finally being tracked down at the centre line. Goodall connected on an offload to Cody Rockson who got to the Seattle 5m line before being tackled. Cody popped a pass off the deck into the waiting arms of James Reekie who touched down for the try! The conversion was good to put the BLRC ahead 31-15. There was good rugby played over the game’s final 20 minutes, but neither team was able to cross the paint again. Final score 31-15 in favour of the BLRC!

Full game video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zsili_TExA&t=3669s

An exciting day of rugby capped off with the Canada vs USA Test match at Swangard Stadium! Congratulations to Lucas Albornoz who received his 1st Cap and congrats to Admir Cejvanovic who scored a try in front of his hometown crowd! The clubhouse was full until late in the evening (thanks to Haley Glendinning for organizing the Canada vs USA after party!) and to the members of the Seattle Saracens and SFU who came down to join the party! Your support is much appreciated!

Lastly, big thanks to the BCRRS for their work on the day!

Many Teams~One Club

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