Caps at Loma Dome: Lomas Sweep Capilano in Three Games
by John Langley
Lomas get out the broom and sweep Capilano in 3 games. They say turnabout is fair play. I can’t remember the last time Caps were swept at Connaught Park. I do remember Jamie Cudmore getting out the broom many years ago when Caps swept Meralomas. Saturday that is what occurred. Lomas dominated at the Loma Dome in front of a good gathering of supporters from both clubs. It rained hard and apparently records were set for the number of rainy days this month. Someone forgot to close the Loma Dome but Ken Robinson anticipated that this might happen and brought along some canopy tents including the Billy Gerwing Memorial Tent that is used at the entrance to Klahanie Park. This cover kept a number of us dry as the rain continued. Lomas won the wet ball hands contest and that helped their cause today.
The 3rd Division Match: Lomas won this by a score of 20-5
Coming off a big win against Squamish last week the Caps should have been favoured to win this one but that didn’t happen. When I arrived it was 12-5 for Lomas. Caps had been winning the territorial battle but according to my spies Caps were unable to finish partly due to good tackling by the Meralomas. The lone Caps try came on a pushover touched down by Craig McLaren who continues to play outstanding rugby despite his years. Another score by Lomas made it 17 and a penalty kick for a Caps high tackle added another 3 to make it 20. To make matter worse Caps Chris Lumsden was yellow carded to put them down a man for 10 minutes. Caps tried hard to narrow the gap and hung in there but they were not able to hit the score board again and the Lomas deserved the victory based on today’s performance. Congratulations to them and thanks to the referee Tere for his efforts.
The Premier Reserve Match: Lomas won this by a score of 34-21
Caps had the better in the scrums but the Meralomas handled the wet ball and wet conditions far better than the Caps. The Caps Premier Reserves did mount a second half comeback and I thought did some character building along the way. Caps played many of their U-23 Academy players today and the experience will no doubt help them develop their game in the future. Meralomas played several imports as they are only permitted to play a maximum on five in the Premier game. I thought their scrum half was outstanding and his kicks kept Caps in trouble all game long. He will no doubt see action in the Premier League. Meralomas have been forced to bring in international players due to the changing demographics in Vancouver’s West Side. St. Georges School still has a vibrant rugby program but many of their feeder high schools do not produce players as they formerly did. To make matters worse I hear that one of the Connaught Park rugby fields will be torn up and made into a swimming pool. So much for urban squeeze!
The first Lomas score came off a stolen Capilano line out. The ball went out wide and was touched down in the right corner. Caps pushed the Lomas off their ball twice but weren’t able to capitalize on these advantages. The second Meralomas try came by way of a good backline movement. The Cap winger who apparently was a second row forward playing out of position was too tight and left too much space wide which Lomas took advantage of. It was 10-0 and the conversion by Lomas number 24 made it 12-0. Lomas struck again on a nice run by their scrum half Killian Marmion. Their number 8, Sean Grace, scored on a nifty number 8 pickup. Meralomas stretched their lead to 27-0 while Caps Ryan Scott served a yellow card. Caps did manage a score just before half time. Caps kicked deep for a lineout and managed to power the ball over the line. It was touched down by hooker James Ritzema, who I thought was one of the best Cap forwards all game. Caps scored again shortly after the restart in the second half on a nice chip and chase. Joe Slater, I think it was, made a good kick that was gathered in by young Jared Andrews-Almack, who shows much promise. Jared scored under the posts to lift the spirits of his team mates. Fish converted and Caps now had 12 points on the board.
It was 27-12 and Caps were much improved over the earlier part of the game. Lomas though answered quickly and this stopped any hope of a Capilano comeback. It was 32-12. Caps managed a pushover try to make it 32-19. The conversion made it 32-21. The Meraloma scoreboard showed it closer but someone had lost track of the score. Caps were pressing but time ran out and the best side won it today. Thanks to the referee Shanda. She did a good job controlling this game! Congratulations to the Meralomas.
The Premier Match - won by Meralomas 24-19
Caps were forced to shuffle the deck today. Several starters were not available, this included number 10 Steve Cassells, number 8 Glen McKinnon and number 6 Connor Weyell. Also missing from last week was Noah Matsell. Connor Weyell suffered a concussion last week and the others were out of town. This happens to teams in amateur rugby and with the long season it is to be expected. Caps were coming off a win against Westshore and Meralomas were coming off a loss to James Bay. Lomas had Canadian international player Brock Staller in the lineup, listed as a winger but ended up playing his normal fullback position. The big fellow, I thought was the difference maker today but his back line mates did a solid job keeping the Capilano backs in check. Up front Capilano was stronger in the pack and sets, but the advantage went to the Meralomas backs. Caps used the rolling maul to their advantage. Meralomas opened the scoring with a try by number 9 Viljoen who found a hole in the Caps back line and scored near the right upright. The conversion put the home side up by seven. Caps answered with a nice little run by Chris Robinson who faked out then cut back and scored. He converted his own try and it was even at 7. Lomas number 9 scored again to now make it 12-7 and the conversion by Brock Staller made it 14. Caps mauled in a try touched down by Reid Tucker and the Robinson conversion again tied it at 14 each. The play was fairly even and it looked like it would be close throughout the game.
Caps got a penalty near the 40 meter mark and it was decided to go for the lead. Chris Robinson hit it straight but it didn’t have enough juice to make it over the cross bar. As time went on Brock Staller got a similar kick and he has the thunder foot. Staller made no mistake and he put his side up by 3. Lomas pressed deep into the Capilano end and were looking dangerous. Caps attempted clearance was blocked but went to Reid Tucker, who made a big run to get Caps out of trouble. Tucker had injured his ankle early in the game and had to be replaced following the run. Meralomas scored next and it was converted by Staller to give them a comfortable 10 point lead with not a lot of time remaining. Caps answered with a try after a lot of hard work by the pack. The conversion was wide but at least Caps had managed a bonus point for their efforts. It was a close game but Caps are not yet proficient enough to play without their number one line up and win consistently. There are holes to be plugged and hopefully that will occur in the second half of the schedule.
Today’s referee, Mr. Saro Turner had a good game and didn’t dictate the outcome. Thanks to him and his assistants. Lomas were good value today and congratulations to them. The after game gathering in the warm Connaught clubrooms was good and it is always fun to talk to the Loma elder statesmen who carry on their tradition. Season’s Greetings to all of the rugby community.