Westshore 2-2 on the Weekend: Wins Over James Bay in Premier Reserve and Seattle in Women's Premier
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: JBAA 20 – WRFC 14
Men’s Reserve Grade: WRFC 36 – JBAA 5
Men’s 3rd Division: OBCW 12 – WRFC 7
Women’s Premier: WRFC 38 – Seattle 24
Westshore RFC had a competitive Saturday of rugby, with the club notching two victories and two fair losses. The men’s games were played at Juan de Fuca in solid drizzle interspersed with steady rain, but nevertheless drew a number of keen observers.
In the Men’s Premier game, the Bays scored an early try, and despite a genuine chase by the Valhallians, they were able to stay a step ahead for the rest of proceedings.
The VVs had mixed fortunes in the set piece. They had the upper hand in the scrum, indeed earning themselves a penalty try, but it was a tough day at the lineout. General play was mixed. There were plenty of fine moments, but by and large the Bays defensive work had the home side covered. On a number of occasions in the first half the visitors shut down the VV backs before they reached the gain-line. The Bays probably kicked from hand a bit better than the home side, and they perhaps played an all-round savvier game.
Discipline affected both sides, but probably without influencing the outcome - both teams incurred a yellow card and a VV back saw a late red for an inaccurate tackle. As the game pushed through the final quarter the VVs were right in the hunt, but couldn’t convert territory into points. Overall it was an encouraging performance from the VVs, who unsurprisingly look a lot better when they’ve got first choice props operating, and are also manning up in defence better than the last couple of games.
In the Men’s Premier Reserve game, Westshore scored early and never really looked back. Sporting a new look backline, they handled the ball pretty well considering the conditions. Scrum-half Jordan Tait set the tone there, delivering crisp and accurate service to forwards and backs alike.
Up front the scrum was again strong, although the lineout needs some work. Broken play was notable for the good performances of flanker Kyle White and hooker Wade Hodgen, both of who beat the first couple of tacklers repeatedly.
The Valkyries, meanwhile, went on the road to Seattle with a few regulars missing for one reason or another. The home side scored first, but the Westshore ladies were soon on the up, with Amanda Thornborough and Paige Farries again recognized as standouts by their peers. They finished the game a player down due to injury, but were still able to win by a comfy margin.
Club stalwart Jonboy Hume was pretty happy with the day, interrupting his story about some opposition dimwit from the 80s to say “it’s good to know we’re competing with the best”. The performance of the day was by Ryan Waldriff, who backed up from a full game with 3rd Division to play another 70 minutes and score a couple of tries in Reserve Grade.
This coming weekend will see a booming quadruple header at home, with the Women’s 2nd Div team playing Surrey (10 a.m.), the Women’s Premier hosting OBCW (11:30 a.m.), then the men hosting Seattle (1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.). Men’s 3rd Div travel to Port Alberni.
Westshore Men Lose Two at UBC: Women Defeat Seattle
by Clancy McDonnell
October 19th 2017
Premier Men: UBC 43 – WRFC 19
Reserve Men: UBC 57 – WRFC 22
Premier Women: WRFC 75 – Seattle 14
Westshore RFC had a mixed weekend, with both senior men’s teams losing to UBC while the women did the business against Seattle.
Playing at UBC, the Westshore Velox Valhallians fell to a classy UBC outfit. While the score-line shows that the visitors got their attack right at times, defense was again not up to scratch. Having said that, top to bottom the Thunderbirds are an impressive unit. With a world class facility, high level coaches, managers and some of Canada’s top players, the team is a formidable force.
The Westshore men made a valiant effort. Tua Va’a had one of his best games in the jersey, while Taylor Maguire was again sharp and accurate, and young winger Julian Foggit impressed with ball in hand. Foster Dewitt and Nakai Penny were war horses and held nothing back against their old team. At the end of the day Westshore can be proud of the effort and will look to pay heed to the lessons the game review offers.
In the Premier Reserve game, the UBC home outfit also shone brightly. Westshore again enjoyed the scrum, played the lineout decently, and executed on attack quite well at times. Westshore’s best play of the game came at the end when soft and sensible hands from captain Craig Inglis sent a teammate over the line. But they were ultimately no match for UBC, who were sharp in the halves and kicked pretty well. Defensively, Westshore didn’t have their heads in the game and it showed.
The Valkyries fared better than the men, defeating the visiting Seattle team. Altering their usual style, the ladies looked to play more expansively and with less predictability. The plan went well, clearly, but unsurprisingly for this champion team, they expressed a desire to improve on their efforts. Player of the match awards went to recent World Cup tourists Chelsey Minter (forwards) and Amanda Thornborough (backs).
The Westshore U18s were at it on Sunday, playing a positive game at James Bay, with the home side taking victory from the competitive game. Rumour of the week is that John Lyall, having regaled everybody in New Orleans with his story about how he played hooker ahead of Canada’s first choice Mark Lawson in 2005, is considering a return to the competitive ranks.
Coming up on October 21st the Westshore Men host James Bay, while the Women travel to Seattle for the return fixture.