UBCOB Ravens Match Reports by Peter MacDonald: Ravens Defeat Lomas 42-19
It was a curtain raiser for the Canada Uruguay game and the diehards were out for the early start. The Rippers were the warm up band and they got the crowd going with an 18-13 win over the third place Meraloma squad in a bad rain. The Rippers are climbing the standings and will have a good run to the playoffs as the club depth continues to build.
The rain ended as the premier game got underway on a surprisingly good pitch. The early going was a saw off but the Ravens began to control possession gradually and were rewarded with two penalty kicks to go up 6-0 after 25 minutes. Three Raven tries then followed before the half. First Harjun Gill looped his inside centre Ben Grant while “BG” drew his man and then delivered a well-timed pass to Gill who waltzed in under the posts. Then prop Dim Gotsopoulos, who had been stuck in all game, crashed in after a long spell of pressure. And just before the half a pushover try brought the halftime score to 25-0 Ravens.
The pushover try was aided by an unusual turn of events. The previous phase had started with a lineout at midfield and had ended with a penalty against the Lomas five metres from the Loma line. Minutes had elapsed during the phase and an assistant referee had her flag extended as the whistle finally blew. After the referees’ consultation, not one, but two yellow cards were issued, one for some foul play as the lineout ended and one for killing the ball at the ruck at the five metre line. The Lomas would be down two men for almost the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The Ravens scored one try while up two men when flanker David O’Donoghue, running off the ball on a good line, sliced in but the Lomas weathered the shortfall well and then answered back with three tries off their own in quick succession. A forwards try, then a lineout to maul try and then a quick burst from the back of a ruck by scrum half Thomas Viljoen closed the gap to 32-19 at 70 minutes. The Lomas had picked it up and were on the front foot but the Ravens had gotten the memo and they closed out the game with two tries at the end.
Sean Ferguson raided the Loma backfield twice to secure dropped balls and after some forward crashes in tight O’Donoghue broke through again. Ferguson finished things off with a grubber that he chased down gliding by the last defender into the right corner to touch down for a 42-19 final score. There had been some sleepwalking but lots of positives too.
Strong games by lock Kiernan Collie, Jordan Sandover-Best, O’Donoghue, Gotsopoulos showed there are any number of guys who will step up when called on. Paul Ahn was throwing in at the lineouts very well as usual and the lineouts with Sam Clark and others is rock solid. The sets were controlled by the Ravens as well. Mark Belvedere slotted in at prop as a sub for the third game in a row giving more cover for the front row.
The Lomas answered the bell in the second half. Benji Cottle in the centres and Viljoen caused problems. Hooker Scotty McGinley had a career moment when Guy Schwikkard the Loma fly half angled a high kick to the left wing at the Ravens’ line which fell to McGinley who was lurking out wide. He took it cleanly and thought for a millisecond about trying to beat the defending winger before passing it inside only to see it dropped at the line. There would be more dropped balls at BC Place.
The cold supporters and the players gathered in the clubhouse to warm up and get their drink on before the Canada game. They wouldn’t have to wait till the next day for the hangover.