Westhore Premier Women Continue Winning Ways: Men Lose to League Leading UBC
by Clancy McDonnell
Premier Women: WRFC 69 – Burnaby Lake 17
The Valkyries played a visiting Burnaby Lake team low on numbers on Saturday (with thanks to the Castaway Wanderers for making their field available for borrowing). The VV back row and back-line sliced through in attack fairly easily in the first half, living up to expectations. The report on defense wasn’t quite so rosy, with ‘inefficient’ and ‘disorganized’ the words used to describe it. In the second half the Valkyries took a few of their stronger players off to even up numbers and challenge themselves. A couple of injuries didn’t help, but conceding three tries in the last 20 minutes gives them a jolt and some clear direction about what to work on as they approach another finals tilt.
Premier Men: WRFC 13 – UBC 48
Over at Juan de Fuca, the Men’s Premier team hosted the top ranked UBC. The first half was evenly balanced, with the VV defense shutting down the majority of UBC’s plays, doing so with enough conviction to create some unforced errors. On attack the home side scored a beauty – first, a strong run into the opposition 22 by Niu Savea, and then attacking shape and tidy ball movement saw them score out wide.
The second half was one-way traffic, as the Westshore team ran out of steam while UBC cranked things up. Their big boys played to a clear attacking shape, and they bustled their way up-field and over the line fairly regularly. The Valhallians fronted up in defense, but with a scarcity of replacement options they couldn’t match UBC. A spate of unforced errors denied them the opportunity to either use the ball or carve out some territory. Ultimately they only held possession in the UBC half two or three times in the second stanza. An ill-advised front row substitution didn’t go well, and UBC exploited the scrum late in the game.
Having gone to the break just four points in arrears and denying the vaunted opposition the sort of flow they might’ve expected, it was a particularly tough second half. Having said that, the commitment from the Valhallians was clear, and once again heads could be held high.
Premier Reserve Men: WRFC 10 – UBC 26
The Premier Reserve Men, also hosting UBC, played a more competitive game that nevertheless got away from them. With an ever-improving kicking game from club man Matt Kemp, they played field position with aplomb, and earned themselves a try through chasing winger Morgan D’Ganigian. But UBC pulled away in the second half, with a communal defensive lapse providing the visitors a leg-up at the wrong time. The loss sees the Westshore 2nd XV approaching the final two weeks likely needing victory from both games to make the semis.
The 3rd XV hosted Port Alberni and went down 41-31 in a back and forth affair. Despite losses to the Black Sheep and fellow 1st Division club Cowichan, Westshore is well placed in 3rd Division and will look to crank things up again as they approach finals with some try-scoring form. On old-fashioned boat race rounded out the afternoon for the social types. Coming up the club has its AGM on Thursday April 19th. This Saturday the Valhallians are at home to the Meraloma in their last home game of the season (12:45/14:30 kick-off), while the Valkyries are away to Burnaby Lake.
Westshore Lose Two at UVic - Claim Victory in 3rds: Host UBC on Saturday
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: WRFC 20 – UVIC 71
The Valhallians played up near their old stomping grounds on Saturday, going down to a strong Vikes team that at times ran rampant over them. The game started with a few handling errors and it never really improved for the visitors, while the Vikes hit their stride and put on some fine attacking rugby.
The Vikes scored most of their points out wide, with winger Aidan McMullan the pick of the bunch. Their forwards were up to the task as well. The Valhallians lacked accuracy in the tackle, and probably didn’t get basic defensive spacing right.
The VVs probably didn’t account for themselves well in the first half, but they seemed to focus a little more in the second. They probed with enough accuracy and aggression to get over the line a few times. Nevertheless it was the students’ day – they scored a lot of tries and kicked for goal well. It’s a winning formula.
Men’s Premier Reserve: WRFC 10 – UVIC 53
The Reserve game was also a lopsided affair. It started well for the VVs, but 15-20 minutes of sustained pressure produced their solitary try of the first half, before UVIC bossed their way upwards on the scoreboard. The Westshore team were too high when making tackles, and lost ball in hand through an array of errors – some forced, others of the basic ball security type. There was some more determination in the second half, but not enough to get back in the game.
The 3rd XV game was won by Westshore against the Jutes, giving the club one victory at least, after the Premier Women had their game against Seattle called off. There are makeup games for the men against UBC at Juan de Fuca this Saturday, while the women are away to Burnaby Lake. Sight of the day – UVIC winger Aidan McMullan scorching down the sideline to score a long range try. Serious pace.
Westshore Men Split Games in Seattle: Women Dominant in Burnaby
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: WRFC 34 – Seattle 74
The VVs opened their travel game with a sharp passage that saw Siti Nacoko fly over in the corner. He added another soon after, and Westshore felt they were off to the races. The tide soon shifted though, as Seattle stymied the visiting attackers’ penetration, and then found their own mojo with ball in hand. What followed was probably the most complete 60 minutes of attacking rugby seen this season.
The Seattle players were big, strong and fit. They moved the ball from both set piece and the ruck to get on the outside of 13 with alacrity. Sharp support runners created two-on-ones that they converted into tries numerous times. They offloaded in the tackle well.
Try as they might, the VVs could not shut down the Seattle team. They showed some fight by continuing to advance their own scoring claims, and there was plenty of effort in the contact zone. But as the game wore on and Seattle called on eager fresh legs, the Valhallians without any fresh legs available fell further off the pace. The final ledger tells a pretty clear story.
Men’s Premier Reserve: WRFC 19 – Seattle 15
This game also saw the visitors start brightly with a couple of tries before it became something of an arm-wrestle. With five minutes to go Seattle nudged ahead with a penalty, but the VVs then broke their way up-field and dotted down for the decisive score.
Women’s Premier: WRFC 65 – Burnaby Lake 7
Another lopsided score-line for the Valkyries. A couple of them muttered about not having played very well, but considering they travelled to Vancouver and still dominated, they were obviously going alright.
The 2nd Division Women enjoyed a big victory over Langley, while the 3rd Division Men got crunched by Cowichan. Coming up the senior men play UVIC while the Valkyries are set to host Seattle. A couple of young bucks (Aiden McCleary & Isaac Gonevou) are off to Australia to play the season down there. Both have developed well through this season and will be stronger still for broadening their horizons. The achievement of the weekend was the maiden voyage of the new Westshore bus. The trip home might have been a tad depressing if it wasn’t done in style.
Westshore extends an invitation to join us in remembering former members who have passed. There will be a pint raised next Thursday (29th March) at the Westshore Clubhouse, starting at 7:30 p.m. Jonboy Hume will MC the event which will specifically be acknowledging the passing of the following club members:
Mike Page – October 15, 2012
Joe Matthews – April 08, 2016
Paul Connolly – November 01, 2017
Gord McKay – December 22, 2017
Doug Ware – February 17, 2018
Westshore Whitewash Oak Bay's Castaway Wanderers Winning Four of Four Matches
by Clancy McDonnell
March 15 2018
Men’s Premier: WRFC 29 – OBCW 10
Westshore’s Velox Valhallians hosted the Oak Bay Castaway Wanderers on Saturday, and continued their upward trend by knocking over their top-four opponents. The VVs scored first, opened up a lead, and then withstood the inevitable fightback that came from the visitors. Having conceded over 50 points to Castaway Wanderers in a drubbing early in the season, the result was doubly satisfying.
The hosts had the territory and muscle for the majority of the first half. Tries came through Siti Nacoko looking for work, and fullback Jordan Tait chasing a well weighted kick. He’s got a knack for getting the lucky bounce and then racing away. There was another try that was mostly a forwards effort, with Clay Panga emerging after a pick and go.
CW, for their part, played some okay rugby without stringing enough of it together. They scored a good long range try in the first half. They’ll probably rue the odd sloppy pass and a few unforced errors. They worked hard in the contact zone, with ball carriers looking to scramble and bounce back onto their feet. They had a clear tactic to station their #8 on the wing for much of the game, which was a shame. He carried well when he was in tight, but on a decent track and with dry weather the ball never really looked like reaching him out wide.
In the second half CW played with proper energy, and spent some time at the business end of the field. The VVs were committed though, and twice held up the visitors over the line. At the other end of the field, Nacoko scored another try on front foot ball, and scrum-half Mark Discombe popped a penalty over.
Men’s Premier Reserve: Westshore 27 – OBCW 15
The VVs opened the scoring in this game, and maintained their lead despite some sound work from the visitors. There were a number of strong performances for the hosts. Young winger Julian Foggit had his best game of the season, looking for work and then displaying surprising strength in the tackle to keep his feet. James Knowles has responded to the front row challenges facing the club, and had another strong showing at loose head prop. Inside back Matt Kemp tackled like a demon and ran hard. The victory has them right in the hunt for the business end of the season.
Women’s Premier: WRFC 45 – OBCW 8
The undefeated Valkyries have had a couple of very competitive games from the CW team this season, and the first half was an arm wrestle that didn’t surprise viewers. The second half opened up though, and the VVs all-court game enabled them to run away with it.
Meghan Howat was at it again, earning herself a best back nod, while #8 Bronwyn Corrigan was recognized for her work in the forwards.
The Mighty 3rd XV were at it earlier in the day as well, taking a 46-8 victory that set the tone for the day`s whitewash.
Effort of the day goes to the hard men willing to pack down in the front row, particularly when it`s not their favoured or natural position. Jade Billington and Foster DeWitt in the Prems, and the aforementioned Knowles spring to mind. A bye this coming weekend allows time to recuperate, before the VV men head to Seattle and the Valkyries travel to Burnaby Lake.