Westshore Match Reports: Men Traveled to Burnaby to Tackle Third Place Team in Men's Premier
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: WRFC 16 – BLRC 34
Westshore’s Velox Valhallians travelled to Burnaby Lake on Saturday and went toe-to-toe with the home side for 75 mins before conceding a couple of late tries that stretched out the victory margin for the home side.
The game started with a bang for the VVs as an opposition fumble was booted ahead by Siti Nacoko who won the footrace to score near the posts. Thereafter the home side did some decent work. Their two big centres had a strong showing, scoring a try apiece through busy interplay off clean set-piece ball. Meanwhile, half-back Mark Didscombe chipped away three points at a time for the VVs, with the home side offering more opportunities than they’ll be happy with.
Set pieces throughout the game were decent for both teams. The visitors won a good amount of clean ball at their lineout, but did concede a couple of possessions to the savvy jumpers of the home side later in the first half. Each pack took a notable tight-head scrum during the second half, but by and large the set piece coaches will have been happy with the efforts on a slow track.
As the teams pushed through the second stanza the score remained a tight affair, but with some manful rumbling Burnaby Lake took a decisive step forward on the score-board midway through the half. This elicited a push from the visitors, as they set about several forays into the home side’s 22. Nacoko was instrumental, with several notable carries down his wing. A good chunk of the latter part of the game was played in Burnaby’s half. Both sides played to a pattern, although handling and breakdown errors thwarted efforts. But with five minutes to go, and then again at the death, the home side got their execution right and ran in tries from their own side of the halfway line.
There were a number of strong performances for the VVs. Flanker Jade Billington has returned to the fray hungry, and he effected a good number of low tackles. It doesn’t much matter whether Clay Panga plays in the backline or the back row – he is influential in both attack and defense. Discipline was quite good, meaning the home side really had to earn their points. However there are several work-ons that the Island team can address without much head-scratching. Converting opportunities, tidying up sloppy ball, better targeted kicking out of hand, and enhanced defensive cohesion come to mind.
Men’s Premier Reserve: WRFC 5 – BLRC 29
The Premier Reserve game also went to a strong Burnaby Lake outfit, who overcame miserable first half conditions as much as the visitors themselves. With a considerable advantage in size, the home side opened the scoring, and took a lead into half time. The Westshore team produced some good rugby, but not as much as the well-stocked home side, who sit atop the standings. As the game wore on Burnaby Lake accrued a few more tries to run up a lopsided score line.
Women’s Exhibition: WRFC 17 – UBC 0
The women’s program played an exhibition match against UBC, giving some higher standard match time to some second team players.
Thanks go to Burnaby Lake for facilitating the location change (it wasn't that hard to convince them) as well as the abbreviated hosting. With another tough travel day under the belt, the men’s and women’s squads cheered on Canada at BC Place. Alas, that result also didn’t go to the good guys. Coming up the Men’s squad have a Times Colonist Cup game in the Cowichan Valley, while the Women travel to Seattle.