Capilano Men Claim 3B Title in BC Finals: Women Lose to Kelowna
by John Langley
posted May 8 2017
Capilano vs. Kelowna 2nd Division Women
Firstly, congratulations to both teams for making it to the finals this season. For Capilano, this is the first time in quite a while that two Women's sides have been fielded. It is great for development of rugby. Caps have a combination of young talent and some seasoned veterans. Erica Smortchevsky who is a Canada player from a few years back returned after becoming the mother of four girls. Laura Elwood, Jakey as she is called, is a trooper who has played for Caps for many years and is rock solid! Kara Day is another veteran who never seems to age. These vets led the way today and some of the youngsters led by Kelsey Bisaro chipped in but
Kelowna hung in there and seemed to have more outside speed and they deserved the win.
Caps had their chances but lacked finish. Kelowna took advantage of more of theirs. Kelowna scored first to make it 5-0. Caps were down a player as Kara Day was carded and binned for and seemed to overstay her sentence. The referee has to be given credit for doing her best and no doubt she will improve with the assistance of Drew Sager and his assistants. All clubs need to encourage former players to step up and referee. This includes my club who has not put anyone forward recently.
Caps tied the score with a try by Kara Day that was set up by Kelsey Bisaro. Kelsey also scored one herself but Caps were unable to finish several chances. Kelowna answered and scored 5 unconverted tries to win the game 25-10. There were no conversions by either side. Kelowna is the Division 2 Champions! For Caps it was a good season and they can be optimistic about next season.
Capilano and Squamish Axemen. Caps won by a score of 12-5
This was a very hard hitting and competitive game. Caps put together a veteran group in the second half of the season. The 3B numbers were dropping off before the Christmas break. Caps other 3rd Division squad is an under 23 Academy side so it was decided to try and attract some veterans back to the game to help field a strong 3B side. The plan was a success!
The Cap roster includes a number of players that have had much success at the Premier and Reserve level. These guys have won before and know what it takes. They faced a very talented Squamish Axemen side that includes some overseas players who live in Whistler and could easily start at the Premier level for any club.
Caps lost to the Axemen the last time these two teams met in Squamish. Caps knew they had to starve Squamish of ball particularly number 10 Zachary Cundell and number 15 Blake Mahovic. Squamish also had some speed out wide. Unfortunately one of their wingers went down with a major leg injury that required an ambulance. We hope he has a speedy recovery.
Caps had an enormous scrum and several excellent replacements on the bench. They can change players at anytime with no noticeable slippage. The Cap scrum was dominant and this resulted in two pushover tries that were touched down by number 8 John Webster. I thought John had an outstanding game and he did a lot of ball carrying all game long. Caps came close to scoring another pushover try but the ball was knocked on prior to the grounding. Cap prop Tim Rhone was binned for a high tackle and the call was the correct one as Tim's arm slipped up around the player’s neck.
The Axemen's try came while they had a player advantage and they scooped up a loose ball and took it in for the score on the right wing. The try was unconverted but it gave their side juice and they nearly scored another as Blake Mahovic took off on a gallop. He was tackled by Caps inside center Alec Douglas who stopped what looked like a sure try.
Both teams had a few promising runs that looked like they might produce scores. Other crunching hits were made by Kevin Hatch, a hooker who has found a new life at inside center. Both teams also spurned chances at penalty kicks that could have had an effect on the game if they were successful. I would guess Caps did not want to present the ball to number 15 in the event a kick at goal went wide. After seeing him run that strategy made sense to me!
Chris Lumsden and Andy Plant came on the second half replacing Mike Smith and Matt Plant who had put in solid performances. The changes helped to stem the Squamish comeback as these guys refused to quit, and the game seemed to go on and on.
BC has to be given credit for having all of the finals at one venue but a suggestion would have been to have a replacement field ready to go in case of a lengthy injury delay. This is something to think about next time.
The referee Mr. Dawson and his assistants Rod Watkins and Trevor Honey did a great job officiating this game and thanks very much for that. It is great to see Squamish, the first club side for international and former Capilano Jamie Cudmore, back in the league and continued success. It would be great to see Gibsons on the sunshine coast back also. Thanks to both sides on an exciting final!