Burnaby Claim Two Road Wins at CW in Men's Premier and Div 1
posted March 23 2017 by Mike Devlin
BLRC Premier Women 17 – Castaway-Wanderers 39
Oak Bay were led on the day by the play of Karen Paquin. As a long time BLRC supporter I have had the pleasure of watching women like Anna Schnell, Maria Gallo, Julia Sugawara, Kim Donaldson, Corinne Jacobsen, etc take the pitch every week …but I don’t think that I have ever seen a more dominant women’s rugby player than Karen Paquin. She could have easily slotted into the Men’s Premier game and not looked out of place. Maybe the single most impressive performance I have ever seen on a rugby pitch. Top 3 anyway. When you can put a team on the field with National team stars like Paquin PLUS Zussman, Waters, McNally, DeMerchant, Dovanne, etc the opposition is going to have a tough day at the office. And so it was for the BLRC women who caught the 7am ferry to Victoria only to come up short at Windsor Park. The return of Van Gulik, Glendinning, Arnott and Harvey did make a difference but the absence of captain and talisman Carolyn McEwen did too.
Karen Paquin on attack vs Burnaby Lake – photo credit Pj Carr
The game started well for the Blue & White with Kathleen Grudzinski touching down at the 14 minute mark after the BLRC were camped out inside the CW 5m. Jessica Harvey’s conversion put the BLRC ahead 7-0 but CW found their footing and it was all CW until the end of the half. Half time Score was 17-7 for CW. CW made it 34-7 before the BLRC found some life with about 5 minutes left in the match. Speedster Camilla Maslo punted an errant CW pass into the end zone and beat the opposition in a foot race, pouncing on the ball for 5 points! After a Paquin solo effort where she just picked up the ball and ran through the BLRC defence for another try, the BLRC were back on the attack with runs from Harvey + Grudzinski bringing the ball into the CW end. A pass to a streaking Annie Arnott was taken over the try line out wide for 5 more points near the final whistle.
Although the final score was not in the BLRC’s favour, the players should take some credit for never giving up and always trying to make something happen right until the end. The tackling of Carly Walker, Gabrielle Hindley and Katie Van Nes stood out for its ability to stop the attackers in their tracks and was fun to watch. Flyhalf Jess Harvey continues to show every week that she can compete with the National team members and hopefuls who have congregated in Victoria. Her defence is top notch and she is the BLRC’s quarterback with the ball in hand. It was encouraging as well to see the return of Gen Gratton who made her first appearance this year after surgery to replace a broken orbital bone.
The BLRC face another tough challenge this weekend when they are back on the early ferry to take on Westshore. With 4 weekends left, the ladies are not yet eliminated from playoff contention, but need a win streak to make it a reality.
BLRC 3rd Div Men 45 – SFU 3
This was a makeup game that was rescheduled from mid-February and we thank SFU for getting the game on. Both squads were full of young faces sprinkled with some veteran grizzle. Captain Rick Flello, was joined by a handful of vets while the rest of the squad was made up of the best and brightest of the BLRC’s U21 contingent! Koro Korabasaga, fresh off a stint with the BC U18 7’s teams, made his first appearance in the men’s uniform and was outstanding, scoring 2 try’s “on day-boo” and adding 3 conversions! Winger + Tupper grad, Kishan Karunathasan had another terrific game… scoring once and playing some big D when needed! Cooper Johnston scored a try and teamed up with another teenager, Mack Burns, in the back row to make a ton of tackles! Jack Brady scored his first try for the BLRC Men and was honored with the disgusting tradition of pounding a beer out of his own filthy rugby boot! While it was a day for the youth of our club, the game was certainly directed by some veterans. Newly 30 Barry Bonell led in the backfield.
Ed Swire moving the ball from the breakdown vs CW – photo credit PJ Carr
Everyone I spoke to talked about Barry’s leadership in the backline, and how he directed the youth all around him. Barry is a great rugby guy and the BLRC are fortunate to have him on our side! His hard running and great beard are hard to match up against. Tom Menzies also deserves a shout out for stepping into the #9 jersey after a severe halfback shortage left the 3rds without a scrum half. Normally a flanker (but originally a wing) Menzies isn’t known for his passing but I’m told he settled into the role by half time and started directing traffic at the breakdown rather than joining the collisions in the 2nd 40.
The schedule shows that the 3rds are off until April 1st when they travel east to Abbotsford, but if any club wants a game next weekend please get in touch with President Simon Smoldon to arrange it. firstname.lastname@example.org
BLRC 1st Div Men 71 – Castaway-Wanderers 22
The Firsts keep rolling along. Jack Caithness opened the scoring 3 ½ minutes in when he stepped around a tackler and he scored his 2nd about 15 minutes later. Gino Paolella scored 2 nice try’s in the first half’s opening 20 minutes and Captain Preston Petrovitch scored 2 before the game was done. The BLRC Firsts received singles from Fuku Vikilani, Ed Swire, Nolan Shelley and Cian Keegan PLUS a scintillating 80th minute try from Tight-head prop Frazer Yule. Nolan Shelley converted 8 of 11 try’s to round out the scoring.
The Firsts look very good, week in and week out. Even with the massive amount of injuries and availability issues the club faced this week throughout their men’s teams, there didn’t appear to be a drop off in the level of play. Depth is the key to success in BC Rugby and depth is what allows the BLRC to be at or near the top of the standings year in and year out. The depth of the BLRC Men’s program was tested this week… down 6 fly halves for Saturday and a 7th, James Reekie, going down during the Premier Men’s warm up at Windsor Park and still pulled off a combined 131 “points for” on the day.
Kudos to young Koro Korabasaga for stepping up to play 3rd Div #10 in his first game of Men’s rugby and for Jack Caithness who was pulled from his #9 First Div jersey at halftime to don the Premier #10 jersey. When Jack Caithness went down to injury near half time of the Premier game, Nolan Shelley stepped in and finished the final 35 minutes at 10.
3 games left for the 1st Div who travel to Ravens on April 1st, then to UVIC on the 8th before finishing the season at home vs the Rowing Club.
BLRC Premier Men 15 – Castaway-Wanderers 12
The BLRC retain their undefeated status for another week after a hard fought battle against CW. There were many players, I’m sure, who woke up with some dark bruises on Sunday. The game was slow going with a lot of forward dominated ball but as exciting as you can get, with both sidelines living or dying on every play. CW struck gold on their first trip into the BLRC’s end. CW had swung the ball wide off a lineout at the BLRC 5m line, and a few phases later swung the ball back. Flyhalf Keaton Styles ran hard at a big gap left open by the disorganized BLRC defence and scored next to the posts. Dobravsky’s conversion made the score 7-0 about 10 minutes in.
Mike O’Toole gets pulled down in the lineout – photo credit Pj Carr
Burnaby Lake responded 10 minutes later, finding themselves with a lineout just outside the CW 22m. Mike O’Toole brought the ball down and the BLRC set up a maul that moved fast and steady, making it to just outside the Castaways 5m line before being brought down. Ben Rowley grabbed the ball and made it almost over the try line before being rebuffed. Lucas Albornoz quickly picked up the ball and wouldn’t be denied. 7-5 with 20 minutes gone. The BLRC were rewarded a few minutes later when a CW high tackle gave Jack Caithness a shot at goal. Jack made quick work of the 3 points and just like that, Burnaby Lake took the lead, 8-7. The rest of the half was a stalemate with both sides making jaunts into the oppositions red zones, but being turned away by hard shoulders. The game sheet still read 8-7 at the half.
Lucas Albornoz with a pick and go from the back of a ruck – photo credit Pj Carr
The scoreboard didn’t move again until about 20 minutes into the 2nd half. The BLRC were playing shorthanded when a penalty occurred at a scrum near centre field. Taitusi Vikilani took a quick tap, making it through 2 tacklers before popping the ball to Cody Rockson. Who was taken down inside the CW 10m. Vikilani was 1st on the scene and quickly grabbed the ball taking it close to the 22m before he was dragged down. Rockson spun the ball wide to Kimi Vunituraga who popped the ball back inside to Jeke Gotegote at the 22. Jeke dodged one tackler and fended off another on his way to a try! Nolan Shelley put the ball between the uprights to put the BLRC ahead 15-7.
The teams traded blows for another 15 minutes with no change on the scoreboard but with 2 and a half minutes left, CW found some life and a Clayton Thornber try from the back of a maul finished off the scoring.
A good game by both sides. CW ‘s Keaton Styles looked really good at Flyhalf. I think he was playing 15 last time I saw him and excelled there too. In the pack, I thought both Evans and Thornber stood out. They both battled hard for all 80 minutes. On the Blue & White side, Vikilani and Gotegote were singled out by CW as the M.O.M. and both certainly had a claim to it. Kimi Vunituraga would have also been in the running in the backline. Ben Rowley and Craig McLaughlin in the forwards also had great games and really stood out for their heads up play around the ball!
A calm ferry ride home, joined by the Ravens and Rowing Club on the ferry and bus to the Library Square Public House for all of the Women’s & Men’s players finished off the day. Thanks to the good folks at the Library Square for the hospitality and your continued support of the BLRC and rugby in BC.
Big thanks to Saro Turner and to the Referee society for their expert work on the day and to the Oak Bay Castaway-Wanderers + SFU for the great day of rugby!
www.burnabylakerugby.com Many Teams~One Club
Burnaby Men Win Two Against UBC: Women Lose to CW: FULL MATCH VIDEOS
by Mike Devlin posted March 7 2017
BLRC Premier Women
The Burnaby Lake Women kicked off the clubs 2017 home opener against the defending Provincial champs and it was an exciting + tight game…for about 60 minutes. A classic battle unfolded of Forwards vs Backs with the capable BLRC backline fronting up behind the dominance of the BLRC pack and the capable CW forwards being led by their superstar backline. Oak Bay’s Zussman, Paquin, Waters and Nielson (amongst others) are all capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch, as they showed with time running out, and it is a testament to BLRC backs Carly Walker, Camilla Maslo +Kanye Hajesmaeel that they were (somewhat) held in check for most of the game. At the 62 minute mark, the home side held an advantage on the score board with try’s from Alicia Noger, Katie Grudzinski, Kanye Hajesmaeel, Lauren Tagg + Carolyn McEwen putting the BLRC ahead 29-28 but the Castaway-Wanderers backline exploded for 4 try’s in the final 18 minutes to put the game out of reach. I believe Zussman, Waters and Paquin accounted for all of the CW try’s and Nielson added the converts until she left the game midway through the 2nd half.
Camilla Maslo looks for an offload vs CW – photo credit Pj Carr
A tough loss for the BLRC women who were in this game until the very end. The skipper, Carolyn McEwen continues to stand out at this level. Carolyn scrums like few others, tackles like a flanker and runs the ball like a center. VERY impressive to watch! Alicia Noger had another great game. The flanker made too many big plays to count and also did the BLRC’s kicking on Saturday. Lastly, the BLRC were joined a few weeks ago by Lock Cindy Nelles who was out from Ontario. She got a bit of game time last week vs Capilano but got the start this week and played some fantastic rugby for all 80 minutes. She’s an intelligent rugby player and she was always around the ball or first to the breakdown. I’m told she is headed back to Ontario, and if that is true, thank for your efforts the last few weeks and we hope to see you in the Blue + White again.
CW were deserving winners, but the teams will meet again in 2 weeks at Windsor Park. The BLRC should see the return of a handful of players (Harvey, Arnott, Van Gulik, Glendinning, etc) who may help in turning the tide.
The game can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSJCj8qkv0I
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 55 – UBC 0
While the final score shows a one sided game, the opening quarter was a stalemate. It was played exclusively inside the UBC 22m, but the students battled hard at every breakdown and thwarted many of the BLRC’s scoring opportunities. Eventually a penalty try on a 5m scrum burst the dam and the Burnaby Lake Firsts poured in 8 more try’s in the remaining 60 minutes. BLRC received 3 try’s from winger Andrew Porter and singles from Mike Gough, Sukhwinder Bolina, Jack Caithness, Darren McCrory and Cooper Johnston. Cian Keegan hit converts to finish the scoring. The Men of the Match were deemed to be #7 Ed Swire in the forwards and #15 Gareth Marsden in the backs.
Darren McCrory drags a defender over the try line – Photo credit Pj Carr
The game can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2APES6uZuM&t=2s
The Firsts will take a week off to relax and take in the Canada Sevens and then hit the water along with the Premier Men + Women when they travel to CW on the 18th.
BLRC Premier Men 52 - UBC 7
The BLRC did what they had to do and secured another bonus point win on Saturday. It wasn’t the game that the players or fans wanted to see but you play the hand that you’re dealt.
Taitusi Vikilani had a big game, scoring 4 try’s and consistently acting as the catalyst for much of the BLRC’s “go forward” ball. The BLRC’s 19 year old 8man continues to impress every week and in a game like Saturday’s, where he gets to play against opposition his own age, its apparent how dominant a rugby player he is and how much better he will be when he fully fills out and finishes growing.
Ben Rowley on a pick & go with Adrian Longbone supporting – photo credit Pj Carr
Lucas Albornoz added 2 try’s for the home side while Ben Rowley and Dan Josok each crossed the try line once. Mike Goodall added 3 conversions and 2 penalties to cap the scoring. UBC’s offence came on a great heads up play by their #13 (names not provided) who read a looping pass in the BLRC backfield and picked it out of the air, storming the remaining 40 yards or so to touch it down between the posts. The UBC #13 had a solid game and would be my choice for their back of the match while UBC hooker (and former BLRC flanker) Nat Hight would get the nod in the forwards.
The game can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs6bEQ4eGNo&t=1s
Big thanks to the UBC fans who came to Burnaby Lake and watch the rugby and to Harry Mason, Toby Mustill + Al Hudson for their work with the whistle and to Dave Pue, Drew Sagar and some other members of the BCRRS who came down to assess the action.