Westshore Battle Visiting Ravens from Vancouver in Blustery Conditions
by Clancy McDonnell
The Velox Valhallians hosted the UBC Old Boy Ravens on Saturday, losing a close encounter played in blustery conditions that were heavy underfoot. An early penalty to the home side opened proceedings. Thereafter, the Ravens got some field position, and although it took them a while they ultimately got over the line. Thereafter the run of play was fairly even, save for a moment to each team in either half.
Towards the end of the first half the Ravens bobbled the ball about 40 metre out, and it was about to settle in a nice patch of mud. Young VV second rower Aidan McCleary, who had a big game defensively, spied the opportunity and put a big old hoof to the ball. Winger Siti Nacoko beat several competitors to the bouncing kick and gave it a nudge of his own before dotting it down. Not his first such try of the season.
The Ravens scored a try in the second half on a simple but well executed switch line that caught the home team leaden-footed coming off a scrum. With the conversion they took a five point lead. The last 5 minutes of the game saw the VVs batter away, stringing together something in the order of 30 phases, while the Ravens defense held strong to see out the win.
It was a fair victory for the visitors. They probably produced a few more opportunities, and on a soggy day they had the upper hand in the set piece. The VVs had their moments, but too many kicks either went straight to hand or out on the full, and too much of their rugby was one-out sort of stuff.
Men’s Premier Reserve: WRFC 12 – UBCOBR 24
The Reserve game started with the most challenging conditions experienced this season – heavy sideways rain and a stiff wind. Heading into the wind, the home side handled well, and got on the board. The Ravens kicked out of hand decently and scored a try or two of their own. In the second half the VVs struggled to achieve the same sort of territorial gains, and some good rugby by the visitors saw them pull away to record the win.
Effort of the day belonged to a couple of Reserve team players, who left behind their warm, dry clothes to climb back into their soggy, miserable rugby kit after late call-ups to the Premier team bench.
This week Westshore stage a quintuple header, with all senior teams playing. The Valkyries host Burnaby Lake at 11:30. The senior men host UBC, with the Premier game starting at 2:30.
Westshore Lose to Cowichan in Div 1 Times Cup Fixture
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Times Cup: WRFC 24 – Cowichan 28
Westshore travelled to the Cowichan Valley for a typically challenging fixture on Saturday. The hosts put 28 points on the board, while the visitors overcame a curious 25 – 3 penalty count to be within a score at the final whistle.
The Piggies enjoyed the run of play, and accrued points through tries to begin with, then astute penalties late in the piece. Their fullback was the pick of the bunch, using speed and strength both returning kicks and in regular phase play. Westshore looked alright, but unsurprisingly, given the penalty ledger, they struggled to establish rhythm. Nevertheless, the visitors pushed through to the end and made a genuine contest of it. A late score looked to put them on top, but it was called back so everybody could have a breather and enjoy a scrum.
With the victory, Cowichan secured the Times Cup for the season – a fine achievement for the largely homegrown club.
Women’s Premier: WRFC 44 – Seattle 28
The Valkyries travelled to Seattle and continued their good run despite playing in a foot of mud. They had the upper hand in the scrums, and constructed most of their tries with multiple phases and full team involvement. Seattle scored a few tries as well, shifting turnover ball well and sprinting up the wing. Meg Howat and Brittany Sims were recognized for their performances in the backs and forwards respectively.
The 3rd Division lost a close one up in Port Alberni. Oprah has been giving out byes for the coming weekend.