Burnaby Claim 3 Wins in 4 Games: Wins in Men's Premier Over Nanaimo and Women's Premier Over Capilano
by Mike Devlin
BLRC 2nd Division Men 13 – Bayside Sharks 30
This was a great game that was close for 60 minutes before Bayside ran away with it in the end. Their flyhalf (and former FVRU McKechnie Cup Champion) Dan Dixon led the Sharks with at least 10 points off the boot and was a commanding presence in the midfield. On the Burnaby Lake side, Mathew Chan had a great game, making big yards whenever he got the ball and scoring a try in the first half. Doug Provost-Smith was strong from the 8 man position making a ton of great tackles and carrying the load on attack.
Mathew Chan scoring a 1st half try vs Bayside. Photo by Pj Carr
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/_AG13LsrQ8k
The 2nds travel to Kelowna to take on the Crows on March 17th.
BLRC Premier Women 22 – Capilano RFC 5
Capilano vs Burnaby Lake games can always be counted on to raise the level of intensity of the players! The Capilano women brought along a sizeable cheering section and a full bag of BLRC balls that the coaching staff left at Klahanie the last time they were there. Capilano led the season series 2-1 thus far with the North Shore squad sweeping the Fall matches and the BLRC upsetting Capilano last month at Klahanie Park. Both teams were missing key players to the BC Rugby Next Gen 7’s team competing in Las Vegas last week but still had a ton of great players available. So, the stage was set for a competitive and hard-hitting game!
Camilla Maslo got the scoreboard moving early for Burnaby Lake. The Outside Centre took a pass just inside the Capilano 10m line and broke the line, driving her legs through contact to score comfortably! Gen Gratton added the extras to put the BLRC ahead 7-0. At the 15-minute mark the BLRC forwards found themselves with a lineout at the Capilano 5m line. The Caps defence thwarted the first few Burnaby Lake attacks but couldn’t stop Carolyn McEwen who lowered her shoulders and bulled through for a try. 12-0 for the home side. With 5 minutes left in the first half, BLRC Flyhalf Leyhana Van Vugt took advantage of a Capilano penalty and quick tapped, made some yards then moved the ball wide where she eventually got the ball back in time to dive over the try line! This put Burnaby Lake ahead 17-0 going into the 2nd half.
Leyhana Van Vugt spinning the ball vs Capilano. Photo by Pj Carr
The bulk of the 2nd half was played to a stalemate with both teams threatening often, but with the defenders holding their ground. Finally, with 15 minutes left in the game the BLRC were able to secure the bonus point when the forwards were crashing the ball forward near the Capilano goal line. After drawing in the defenders, Fullback Gen Gratton snuck along the blind side and took a pass at full pace over the line for a try! The BLRC led 22-0 at that point but the last 14 minutes were all Capilano with the visitors laying it all on the line to try to break the shutout! In the games dying seconds the Capilano women were able to break the goose egg and their #6, who played great all game by the way, found a seam in the BLRC defence and scored from the 5m line. Final score BLRC 22 – Capilano 5.
A great battle from both sides. On the Capilano side I thought that their Flanker Gillian Boag stood out for her play. She punches above her weight in contact and sees the game better than most. It’s no surprise that she is so well thought of in the rugby community! In the backs I thought that scrum half Jaclyn Simington controlled the game well from the halfback spot. She plays with a lot of heart, was always involved when Caps were going forward and played some solid defence. On the Blue & White side of the ball, the front row should be commended for their thorough dominance in the scrum for 80 minutes. Flankers Gabrielle Hindley and Carly Walker were extremely noticeable. Gabby for her strong ball carrying and volume of tackles, Carly for the number of big hits! Not sure what’s going on at home, but Carly enters contact with the type of aggression you don’t normally see in the women’s game. The backs were led by halfbacks Megan Manson and Leyhana Van Vugt who have quickly become fan favourites since joining the BLRC this season. They are seasoned veterans who hail from NZ and see the game at a higher level than most locals. Alya Govorchin also gets a shout out as she had the unenviable task of lining up across from the legend Andrea Burke and played she played great!
The game can be seen in full here: https://youtu.be/RWRbXGMkgS8
The BLRC Women take the pitch next on March 17th when they host Westshore. The BLRC will enter that game with a 5-game winning streak at their back but will face their sternest challenge of the season against the leagues top team!
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 60 – Nanaimo Hornets 0
The top of the table at home vs the bottom of the table crossing the Strait. The outcome was never really in doubt, though Nanaimo came on strong in the 2nd half and made a game out of it. The BLRC were just too powerful up front and had too much pace in the backs for the Hornets to keep up. Jarett Richardson got the call up at Flyhalf and performed admirably and Nick Vandergoes stepped up in the centres, acting as a team leader who moved the ball forward at every opportunity. The forwards were led by the extremely fit back row of captain Ed Swire, Brian Robinson and Tom Menzies who were everywhere and seemed to be involved in every play on either side of the ball.
2nd Row Tom Dear brings down a successful lineout. Photo by Pj Carr
This game was played at the same time as the Women’s Premier game, so I think I missed some of the BLRC try’s but the ones I saw came from Brian Robinson, Tom Menzies, Liem Jung, Tom Dear, Paul Murphy with 2, Jarett Knowles, Donovon Poitras and Barry Bonell. Johnny Mcloughlin and Jarett Knowles did an admirable job of kicking.
The Reserves next see action on March 24th at UBC.
BLRC Premier Men 79 – Nanaimo Hornets 30
A shootout with neither team paying much attention to defence ended with the home side running away in the 2nd half with a large score line.
The scoring started early when Andrew Lackner dove over for a try in the corner just 2 and a half minutes in. Cole McQueen added the extras. At 10 minutes, the BLRC mauled a lineout from the Nanaimo 5m towards the try line where 17-year-old 8man Siaki Vikilani broke off the back and scored to put the BLRC up by 12. Nanaimo answered at 15 minutes. The Hornets were attacking inside the BLRC 22m when the ball went to the hard-running Jared Stephens who broke a tackle and raced to the corner for a try. 12-5. At 23 minutes Nanaimo tried to relieve some pressure with a clearing kick but the ball went to centre field and the BLRC countered The ball passed through 5 sets of hands before finding Cody Rockson who touched down for the try. McQueen’s conversion made the score 19-5 for Burnaby Lake. Cole McQueen added 3 more points soon after to go ahead 22-5.
Siaki Vikilani gets some support from Nik Hildebrand on his way to a try! Photo by Pj Carr
Nanaimo were far from giving in and roared back with some champagne rugby of their own. The ball went through the hands of their entire backline and they scored through their Inside Centre Blake McGregor. Brad Marshall made quick work of the extras and the score sat at 22-12. Burnaby Lake answered back off the kickoff. Andrew Porter coming down with the high ball and Andrew Lackner pushing the ball inside the Hornets 5m. The ball went wide to Fullback Ben McIvor who scored in the far corner. Cole McQueen, who has recently taken over kicking duties, struck the conversion well but it banged off the post. 27-12 for BLRC. At 33 minutes the BLRC were attacking again but Nanaimo was able to turn over a ball at the back of a ruck and Jared Stephens eluded the last 2 Burnaby Lake defenders to score and bring the Hornets back into it, 27-17. Brad Marshall added 3 more points soon after to make the half time score 27-20.
Burnaby Lake opened the 2nd half with 6 try’s in 20 minutes to put the game out of reach. The first came off a stolen lineout and a subsequent drive into the Hornets 22m. Adrian Longbone took a short pass from Nolan Shelley and drove straight through a defender over the try line. McQueen added the extras. A few minutes later Ben McIvor outjumped a Nanaimo player to retrieve a highball and kept going forward, making it all the way inside the opposition 22m before being brought down. The ball went from Hildebrand, to Breadon and finally to Micha Govorchin who stepped around 2 defenders on his way into the end zone. Burnaby Lake would extend the lead to 46-20 a few minutes later when Max Tacket returned a high Nanaimo kick into the Nanaimo end. Tacket was brought down just inside the Nanaimo 10m line. Max offloaded the ball to Craig McLaughlin and the big Clydesdale took off running! Craig ran 30m towards the corner and dove for the line at the same time as a Nanaimo back row and a big collision occured. Craig felt he touched it down. Nanaimo thought he was pushed out of bounds first. The refs decided the tackler caught Craig around the neck and awarded a penalty try.
Burnaby Lake brought the kickoff back into Nanaimo’s side of the pitch with big runs from Tacket, Govorchin and McQueen. Eventually the ball found Nolan Shelley who broke the Nanaimo line and scored. At the games 60-minute mark the BLRC had a scrum at the pitches midway point. A well-executed set play from the base of the scrum sprang Johnny McLoughlin for a 50m run between the posts. McQueen’s convert left the score at 58-20. At the games 3 quarter mark, Cole Mosychuk put a big hit on a Nanaimo centre that jarred the ball loose and into the arms of Johnny McLoughlin who sped toward the Nanaimo try line. With one defender back, McLoughlin “fixed & gave” to Mosychuk who scored. McQueen added 2, 65-20.
Nanaimo was down but not out, and they proceeded to set up a really nice try.
Micha Govorchin scores gracefully. Photo by Pj Carr
Their backline kept the ball alive time and again as they made their way from the Nanaimo 10m line all the way to the BLRC 22m. The ball went to the wing where a replacement winger, who also played well in the Reserves game, took the ball on a bounce and outpaced the BLRC defence all the way in to the corner. 65-25 with about 10 minutes to play. Burnaby Lake added to the lead late when Nik Hildebrand and the forwards executed a few pick and goes to get in close. The final one was to Hildebrand. McQueen converted to put Burnaby Lake at 72. Nanaimo got a fortuitous bounce on the kickoff and retrieved the ball. Their Inside Centre Blake McGregor got his 2nd try of the day when he took a short pass at full pace and burned through the BLRC defence for a try to end Nanaimo’s day at 30. Craig McLaughlin got his official try just before the final whistle when he took a pass from Hildebrand with nothing but green pitch ahead of him and trotted over for a try. McQueen’ convert ended the game. 79-30.
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/X03mEZm04Rc
The Premier Men are off until March 24th when they will face the UBC Thunderbirds.
Big thanks to the BC Rugby Referee Society for their effort on Saturday and to everyone at Burnaby Lake for making a great club day happen!
Many Teams~One Club