Ravens Tackle Nemesis and Win: Ravens 16 – Burnaby 10
by Peter MacDonald
In a game played in intermittent heavy rain and sun the host Burnaby team had more possession and scored two tries to the Ravens’ one but the visiting Ravens walked away with a well-deserved win in a what was a tight game to the end. Prop Garret Garbe was the only Raven on the field this day to have ever been on a winning Ravens’ team in a game against the Burnaby prems, (it was many years ago), hence the kiss he laid on Simone Eltheve’s forehead after Simone made the game’s last tackle forcing a Burnaby knock-on and bringing up the final whistle.
The first half ended 6-5 in favour of the Ravens as Adam McQueen slotted two penalty kicks and Burnaby scored a try from a quick tap after the Ravens had been penalized at a set scrum near their line. Yellow cards slowed the Ravens as Sean Ferguson was binned for a dangerous tackle and Cully Quirke for repeated infringement. Unfortunately for Burnaby, prop Ben Rowley suffered what looked like a leg injury and had to leave the game in the 30th minute.
Early in the second half a Burnaby player was binned for jumping offside and killing good Raven ball. This was followed by a spell of Ravens’ scoring. First Burnaby was penalized for taking down a set scrum and McQueen middled another penalty kick, 9-5 Ravens. Then Quirke found a nice hole on the right flank inside his own half, laid down a grubber as the defence closed and fullback Aaron McLelland, who had gas in his tank from a light day’s work so far, sprinted onto it, kicked it on and dove on the ball in-goal for the Ravens’ only try, 16-5 Ravens.
Ravens #13 Adam McQueen making the tackle - photo by pjCarr
By this time though the Ravens were playing without their starting locks as both Liam Flanagan and Sam Clarke had retired injured. Garbe moved into the second row with Tom McGrath and the patch job did the trick. In fact on three occasions the Ravens’ pack forced penalties against the Burnaby pack in set scrums, a rare occurrence in recent years to be sure.
But with 20 minutes to go the Ravens were hit again with a yellow card as Graham Turner played the ball in a ruck while Burnaby looked to have good go forward ball. From a lineout seconds later, Burnaby then attacked first left, then right and scored in the right corner, 16-10 Ravens. At this stage things got a bit tense for the Ravens as Burnaby had much of the ball and were working it well through their backs and forcing the Ravens to defend. But the Ravens were up to it as Karl Moran forced knock-ons with firm tackles and Quirke, Ben Grant, McQueen and Sean Hase were notable in sticking their tackles while the team defence at the gain line was solid.
Burnaby stole two sets against the head in the late stages and were at the Ravens’ 22 metre line with a lineout when Eltheve forced the Albornoz knock-on to end the game. Burnaby too were short players with injury so not too much can be read into this game except that the two sides are both strong and relatively even at this stage. Burnaby’s #9 Mark Higgins looked a good player and Albornoz and Gotegote had strong games. Burnaby captain Andrew Lackner showed rugby’s inventiveness and jam near the end when he stuffed a chunk of the playing field’s turf into a nostril to avoid a blood sub and he played on.
The Ravens got it done in a different way today, with a good set scrum and excellent defence and goal kicking. With two scrum halves absent, lock Jon Phelan injured and Nick Waggott and Kol Henrikson away, the Ravens managed a narrow win against a Burnaby team that hadn’t given them a sniff for a very long time.
Ravens Hold the Fort Then Break Out in Win Over Caps 57-0
by Peter MacDonald
Sep 26 2017
This match shaped up as the feature game on the mainland this week with both teams 2-0 and a top class referee group in place with Saro Turner in the middle and Chris Assmus and Brett Hay assisting. But a good home crowd was disappointed to see their team held at bay initially and then succumb to a flurry of tries from the visiting Ravens. It was an unexpected and unprecedented result between what has for decades been a good, competitive rivalry.
The Caps had thirty minutes of possession in the first half but were down 24-0 at its end. Glen McKinnon and the Caps forwards had the Ravens defending from the first whistle but the Ravens were up to the task. The tackle count was probably five by the Ravens for every one by the Caps as the Caps had that much ball and were constantly running at defenders. Solid team tackling kept the Caps from scoring even when the Ravens were briefly down two men. First half tries came from #8 Karl Moran, fullback Aaron McLelland and two from right winger Sean Ferguson. Ferguson’s intercept try at 33 minutes with the Ravens down to 13 men, the score at 12-0 and the Caps inching close to the line was a backbreaker.
With a better share of possession in the second half the Ravens opened up and scored five more tries. All but one of the nine tries involved the Ravens’ backs as overlaps and generous holes out wide were prevalent. Cully Quirke, McLelland, Jordan Sandover-Best, Graham Turner also on an interception and Harjun Gill were the try scorers.
The Ravens have bolstered their pack with the additions of prop Chris Taylor from UBC, lock Sam Clark also from UBC, flanker Simone Eltheve from France and #8 Karl Moran from Ireland. A stronger set scrum, more experience and better depth are the result, a relief to the likes of Garret Garbe and Nick Waggott who among others have led the pack through some leaner times.
The Rippers won the Div 1 game 20-10, so it was a rare Ravens’ sweep, reflecting the growing depth in the club.
Thanks to the Caps for hosting. There will be better days ahead.