Weekend Results: CW Surge Past Bays; Westshore Rebound Against Vikes; Lakers Edge T-Birds; Ravens Pummel Lomas; Caps Surprise Saracens
James Bay 15 @ CW 28
The Bays actually were ahead at the half 15-14 but they got shut down in the second half and CW scored another 14. CW had a strong bench with former national team props Hubert Buydens and Andrew Tiedemann. Hopefully we'll see a match report from CW or JBAA. We called CW by 8 and it was CW by 13.
The season starts with an Island classic, CW v JBAA. CW feature a number of new UVic recruits with Kevin Leask, Kapi Vataiki and Liam Chisolm joining this year from the Vikes. CW have so many capped and carded players now they're having to play Ray Barkwill on the reserve team, a scenario which sent Barkwill on a social media tirade about the unfair labour practices in BC. Leam Williams comes over from Westshore to start ahead of Barkwill at hooker, ouch, they might have contemplated a straight up trade between the clubs to solve the issue. The reserve props for CW look pretty handy with Buydens and Tiedemann ready to sub on in the second half, that may cause problems for the Bays. Robbie Povey gets the start at #10 with Maple Leaf 7s player Riley di Nardo at scrum half. It's a good looking roster but likely won't be available for the whole season with RC demands this year. For the Bays it's a strong forward pack as expected from the men in blue but the backline won't match up against CW is an early guess. Phil Mack at #9 will play his usual high tempo game but there's only so much he can do himself. Clayton Meeres is a name we haven't seen on the roster for a while, a quick check shows 2014 as the last time we listed him in a Bays roster. Mitch Sora is a new name for the Bays as well, at least at the Premier level. CW have a fully loaded lineup with a strong front row presence off the bench, they should prevail in the opening match. Prediction: CW by 8.
NOTE: A shout out to Bays scribe, Phil Meyer, who is recuperating from a serious operation. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him pitch side soon.
James Bay 1 Blake van Heyningen 2 Andrew Macpherson 3 Noah Barker 4 Jim de Goede 5 Graham Harriman 6 Rhys Davies 7 Kieran McAuley 8 Travis Larsen 9 Phil Mack 10 Elliot Mitrou 11 Andrew de Goede 12 Nate Waldmann 13 Clayton Meeres 14 Mitch Sora 15 Ed Adams
UVic 20 @ Westshore 24
This was another game of two halves. UVic owned the first half and were up by 20-7 at one point. I was getting some good-natured ribbing from UVic supporters on the prediction but Westshore scored 3 second half tries to win by 4. Julian Foggitt the U18 player who stood out in 7s this summer scored a solo try from his #15 spot to get the game to within 3 points. Clay Panga who was playing #10 used his #8 experience to finish off a maul in the final minutes to claim the win for Westshore. We called Westshore by 3 and it was Westshore by 4.
UVic have lost a fair number of players, not only to CW but Guiseppe du Toit is playing with the Ontario Arrows this weekend vs Glendale in Denver, Matt Gallagher was on the Canada Rugby League team playing Jamaica and is not available this weekend. They have a mix of veteran players like James Pitblado, Fergus Hall and Macbryan Bos along with newcomes Gavin Kratz and Ethan Hager. As usual the Vikes backs will play an expansive game and run all day while their forward pack will try to match up against an older opposition. Logan Martin-Feek will be going up against his home club Westshore, I'm sure he'll get a warm welcome on the field. Westshore have a mix of old and new, Nakai Penny and Foster DeWitt played for the North Island Tsunami team in regional play this year and before that were at UBC. Nakai played for BC in the CRC. Ryan Kotlewski and Clay Panga are capped players, interesting to see Clay move himself to the #10 spot. Clay started in Canada at Velox as a centre before going to #8 during his Wolfpack days, now he returns to a backline role where his experience can be better utilized. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against UVic's Aaron Hersaint. Westshore's young #15 Julian Foggitt has impressed in 7s this summer, we'll see how he handles his XVs duties. I would give the nod to the Vikes backline and to the Westshore forwards, not a lot between these sides on paper. Prediction: Westshore by 3.
UVIC 1 Spencer Cooper 2 Carter White 3 Macbryan Bos 4 Gavin Kratz 5 Conor Keys 6 Nathan Yue 7 Mike Harvey 8 Carson O'Sullivan 9 James Pitblado 10 Aaron Hersaint 11 Liam Morrison 12 Logan Martin-Feek 13 Ethan Hager 14 Liam Mahon 15 Fergus Hall
WESTSHORE 1 Jason Allen 2 Casey Reed 3 Ryan Kotlewski 4 Aidan McCleary 5 Dave Phillips 6 Foster DeWitt 7 Nakai Penny 8 Tua Va'a 9 Jordan Tait 10 Clay Panga 11 Cody Gervais 12 Isaac Gonevou 13 Niki Belyea 14 Matt Kemp 15 Julian Foggitt
UBC 11 @ Burnaby 19
Burnaby went up 12-0 with two tries from winger Dan Josok. UBC responded with two penalties for a half time score of 12-6. James Reekie came off the bench to score a try and it was 19-6. Burnaby ran into foul trouble and were down to 12 men at one point. They held on for a 19-11 win. We called Burnaby by 5 and it was Burnaby by 8.
Last year's finalists and no doubt Burnaby will like an early crack at UBC as they tend to get better as the season progresses. UBC have some familiar names like Clint Lemkus, Theo Sauder, Cole Keffer and Ben Le Sage in the roster but they've lost players like Andrew Coe and Chris Taylor. This will be a tough first test for the young team. Burnaby have their full quota of imports and some of them have yet to make a reputation in BC. Burnaby will have a strong pack, that's a given, with captain Anthony Luca at loosehead. Lucas Albornoz returns as #8 and the ageless Jeke Gotegote returns in the centres. Difficult to call so early in the season with many new faces but with Burnaby at home and the Birds traditionally a bit shaky in their first outing, we'll give the nod to the home team. Burnaby by 5.
UBC 1: C. Lemkus (Paul Roos) 2: C. Martinez (Earl Marriott) 3: T Rowland (Mentor College) 4: N. Howell (Hugh McRoberts 5: J. Carson (Oak Bay) 6: C. Mc William (St George’s) 7: J. Ikeda (Magee) 8: N. Allen (Mulgrave) 9: C Keffer (Sutherland) 10: T. Sauder (St George’s) 11: S. Hickson (L.V.Rogers) 12: N B. Le Sage (Henry Wisewood) 13: J. Jubenvill(Earl Marriott) 14: J. Lan (Rockridge) 15: N. Collett (Southridge)
BURNABY 1 Anthony Luca (Capt) 2 Andrew Lackner 3 Ben Rowley (i) 4 Craig Mclaughlin 5 Mike O'Toole 6 Brad McHugh 7 Brian Robinson (i) 8 Lucas Albornoz 9 Dermot O'Meara (i) 10 Jack Caithness 11 Dan Josok 12 Jeke Gotegote 13 Neil Maclaine (i) 14 Reid Watkins 15 Cole Macqueen
UBCOB 57 @ Meraloma 3
We didn't see a lot of social media activity from either team but thanks to Matt Fraser for providing the half time and full time scores. Ravens were ahead 24-3 at the half and they piled in more points in the second for a 57-3 hiding of Premier newcomers Meralomas. The consolation for the Lomas is they won the reserve match 22-12. We called Ravens by 12 and they won by 54.
A first match for the Lomas in Premier in a while. They haven't quite gotten the knack of it yet and a roster is still not available, perhaps not a good sign of behind the scenes organization at the club. The Ravens will be favourites, they have a couple of new imports as well as some well known performers such as Jon Phelan, Chris Taylor, Aaron Mclelland, Sean Ferguson, Garrett Garbe, Kol Henrikson and Harjun Gill. Prediction: Ravens by 12.
RAVENS 1. Garrett Garbe 2. Paul Ahn 3. Curtis Delmonico 4. Jon Phelan 5. Liam Flanagan (i) 6. Nick Waggott 7. Simon Etheve (i) 8. Kol Henrikson 9. Aj King (i) 10. Harjun Gill 11. Karsten Leitner 12. Adam McQueen 13. Cully Quirke (c) 14. Graham Turner 15. Sean Ferguson 16. Chris Taylor 17. Aaron Mclelland (i)
Capilano 34 @ Seattle 27
The only match we got wrong, we called Seattle by 1 and Caps won by 7. Time to re-calibrate the prediction machine. Hopefully we'll get a match report from John Langley of the Caps.
Seattle always do well at home although we've heard through the grapevine that the BCRU have deemed the Seattle turf field unplayable in its current condition and Seattle home games will be played at Bellingham/Chuckanut. Seattle also haven't come up with a roster at the time of writing. The Seattle Seawolves MLR franchise are also starting up their operation in preparation for the 2018 MLR season, the clubs have common management so expect the Seattle Saracens to featue some interesting names off and on during the season. The Seawolves will be paying some of their players and they've been recruiting in BC as well, there's the possibility of some interesting announcements in the run up to the 2018 MLR season. The Capilano feature some new names from UBC, Neil Courtney and Connor Weyell, that will strengthen the forward pack. Glen McKinnon leads from the #8 position. It looks like a tidy forward pack. Chris Robinson will direct the backs from the #9 position. Garth Prouse is the new coach for Capilano. He was a player on Caps back to back Rounsfell Cups in early 2000's and played some Canada 7s. Without seeing the Seattle lineup it's difficult to handicap the match, they'll likely have a number of Fijian players in the backline with the connection to Serevi and Atavus in Seattle. They'll have a physical set of forwards. Based on previous years, I would say Seattle at home would be favourites. Prediction: Seattle by 1.
CAPILANO 1. Neil Courtney 2. Jason de Freitas 3. Mackenzie Mills 4. Rich Merinsky 5. Reid Tucker 6. John Webster 7. Connor Weyell 8. Glen McKinnon (C) 9. Chris Robinson 10. Steven Cassells 11. Austin Karius 12. Alex Boyd 13. Scott Rogers 14. Joe Britt 15. Sam Franklin
Division Home Away Kick Off Men's Premier Castaway Wanderers RFC James Bay AA 2.45PM Men's Premier Westshore RFC UVic Vikes 2.30PM Men's Premier Burnaby Lake RFC UBC Thunderbirds 2.30PM Men's Premier Seattle Saracens RC Capilano RFC 2.30PM Men's Premier Meralomas RFC UBCOB Ravens 2.30PM
Men's Premier Reserve Castaway Wanderers RFC James Bay AA 12.30PM Men's Premier Reserve Westshore RFC UVic Vikes 12.45PM Men's Premier Reserve Burnaby Lake RFC UBC Thunderbirds 12.45PM Men's Premier Reserve Seattle Saracens RC Capilano RFC 12.45PM Men's Premier Reserve Meralomas RFC UBCOB Ravens 12.45PM
Men's Div 1 Langley RC Brit Lions RC 2.30PM Men's Div 1 United RC Surrey Beavers AA 2.30PM Men's Div 1 Abbotsford RFC Bayside RFC 2.30PM
Men's Div 2 Kelowna RFC Vancouver Rowing Club 1.00PM Men's Div 2 Langley RC Brit Lions RC 12.45PM Men's Div 2 United RC Surrey Beavers AA 12.45PM Men's Div 2 Abbotsford RFC Bayside Sharks RFC 12.45PM Men's Div 2 Kamloops RC Scribes RFC 12.45PM Men's Div 2 Burnaby Lake RFC Simon Fraser RFC 11.15PM