Burnaby Premier Women Blank CW - Premier Men Upset by Vikes
by Mike Devlin
BLRC Premier Women 37 – Oak Bay CW 0 (by Walt Brandl)
Saturday was a meteorological merry-go-round for the BLRC women, leaving Burnaby in a snowstorm, scrambling for sunscreen when the clouds parted during the ferry trip and finally playing the game in every imaginable weather condition. However, the weather did not matter much as Burnaby put together a dominant performance to come away with a 37-0 win.
The Burnaby pack led by the veteran front row of Carolyn McEwen, Carly Walker and Iona Schamberger was as nasty as the weather in the scrums producing quality possession and either stealing or rendering Castaways ball unusable. Winger Camilla Maslo opened the scoring with a sprint from 22 metres out followed by another try from her partner on the other wing, Cat Thompson. Scrum half Lee Van Vugt and Jessica Harvey would also score to give BLRC the bonus point by the half. Weather conditions did not improve in the second half. Gusting winds made kicks and long passes an adventure leading to turn-overs and numerous re-starts which gave Burnaby the advantage. Second half scoring was performed by Lee Van Vugt with her second try, Gen Gratton and Gabby Hindley. Once again Burnaby had the luxury of a long, talented bench to cycle players in to maintain control of the game. Notable substitutions included Sonya Foulds and Shelby Sloan coming back from serious injuries.
The BLRC Premier women are now 8 points back of second place Capilano with two games in hand. The team will travel to the Island again next week to test themselves against the league leading Westshore team.
BLRC 2nd Div Men 26 - Scribes RFC 3
A good start to 2018 for the 2nd Div Men who rode a hat trick from Fullback Sean McKeown to a bonus point victory over the Scribes. The BLRC’s plan had been to use their potent backline to challenge the Scribes out wide and by all accounts, it worked. Jarett Richardson ran the backs perfectly from Flyhalf and big centers Francois Botes + Barry Bonell tied up the Scribes defence enough to spring McKeown often. In the forwards Terrence Muzonde, Walter Homewood + Tom Menzies made a big impact on defence, stuffing much of the Scribes attack with timely tackles. Muzonde also added a try! This weekend shows the 2nds taking on cross town rivals SFU. Always a great game!
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 17 – UVIC Norsemen 8
I was unable to catch this game as I went to CW to watch the women’s game. I’m told that UVIC held much of the possession but that the Burnaby Lake tacklers and Nolan Shelley’s boot did enough to keep the students off the scoresheet for much of the game. The BLRC backline were dangerous when given the opportunity and accounted for all the Burnaby points. Try’s from Giuseppe Laudisio, Ben McIvor and Gino Paolella combined with a Nolan Shelley conversion to deny the students a bonus point and keep the Reserves in first place in that league. The schedule has the reserves travelling to Oak Bay on Saturday.
BLRC Premier Men 22 – UVIC VIkes 45
In spite of the BLRC drawing first blood, the Premier Men just never really looked into this game. Jeke Gotegote scored the game’s opening points before the first whistle after breaking a tackle at the Vikes 22m but the conversion was blocked and the Vikes had their way for the rest of the half. Vikes FB Brennig Prevost was lethal all day, scoring 3 try’s in the first half. Flanker James O’Neill stood out all day for his work rate and speed to the breakdown. He was rewarded in the first half with a try as well. After Andrew Lackner scored for the BLRC, the Blue & White found themselves with a 30-10 halftime deficit.
Burnaby’s Cole McQueen and UVIC’s Ethan Hager traded try’s to start the 2nd half and James Pitblado hit on a cheeky drop goal to put the game further out of reach, 38-15 at the games 3 quarter mark. The games final quarter saw Juan Videla score for BLRC along with a Higgins convert and a UVIC score (I couldn’t see the # but it may have been O’Neill) and Bowd convert to end the game 45-22 for the home side.
UVIC certainly deserved the win. The students came out flying and used their speed to get outside on the BLRC often in the first half. Grady Bowd played the best game I have seen him play since arriving at UVIC. He was smooth all game at flyhalf. I recognized flanker James O’Neill from his years doing battle vs the BLRC Prem Reserves in seasons past, but he looked and played like a Premier star on Saturday. In spite of Bowd’s great play and of course the hat trick from Prevost, O’Neill was my choice for UVIC’s Man of the Match. He made a ton of hard tackles and was a pest at every breakdown.
On the BLRC side, Jeke Gotegote looked good for 80 minutes, making positive yards and scoring a try. The Front row gave better than they got and Gino Paolella made a very positive impact when he entered the game in the 2nd half but overall the tackling needs to improve and the team needs to up it’s intensity if they are going to make a real playoff run this year.
Many Teams~One Club