Abbotsford Visit Port Alberni and Earn 35-26 Win: Report by Mark Adams
Div. 1 Men @ Port Alberni
The ARFC travelled to island last Saturday to take on the Black Sheep of Port Alberni. Abbotsford came over with a mixed squad and again had just the one sub at its disposal. On the ferry ride over the boys knew they would be in for a long day if they got off to a slow start and Coach Chalmers and Captain Corey Sheremeto implored the men to get off to a quick start. Just like they had planned, the ARFC struck at the 5 minute mark after some sustained Abbotsford phases when scrumhalf Sheremeto led by example and dummied the post defender to score between the sticks. Hunter converted and Abbotsford had a dream start on the island.
Things got better as Abbotsford strung some phases together and marched downfield and the captain found another hole and dotted down for 5. Hunter converted and Abbotsford were delighted to be up 14. Abbotsford continued to press and this time flyhalf Connor Hunter slid through a gap to score. He converted his own try and Abbotsford were running wild up 21-0 in the first 25 minutes. Abbotsford again pressed and after some hard work from the forwards, Sheremeto tapped a penalty 10 meters out and cut through the defence to score his hat-trick try. Hunter converted and Abbotsford moved to 28-0 after 30. Abbotsford perhaps let their foot off the gas and Port Alberni were able to get their big centre through after a nice scrum and hard line to get back in the game. Half time score was 28-7.
In the second half, Abbotsford knew they needed the first score and after some early battles up front, flanker Mac James jumped on an untidy Black Sheep ball and found winger Zack Kendall, who was playing in his first Div. 1 game, and was able to sprint down the sideline to score under the posts and against the run of play. Abbotsford were now up 35-7 with 25 to go.
Port Alberni, to their credit kept hammering away at a tired Abbotsford squad and were able to score 3 tries to end the game and get within 7. However, it was too late and Abbotsford were winners, 35-26. Special mention needs to go to the Abbotsford tight 5 who played a full 80 of old school rugby, and to captain Sheremeto and his 3 tries.
A special thanks to the Black Sheep who have a wonderful clubhouse and field set-up! Wouldn’t it be great if all clubs had what Port Alberni has? Their post-match meal, reception and facilities are top class. Everyone at the ARFC is looking forward to the next visit.
Next up: Div. 1 vs. United April 7th at home. Div. 2 Men: Bye. Div. 1 Women vs. Lomas April 7th at home.
Abbotsford Match Reports: Split Doubleheader Against United - Trip to Port Alberni on Saturday
by Mark Adams
On St. Patrick’s Day the Abbotsford men travelled light to take on United at Hume Park. Abbotsford went with 1 sub for both Div. 1 and 2 on the day and they knew they were in tough against a quality United Club. In Div 2. Abbotsford fielded a side that was a mix of veterans and young talent. The game started in a bizarre fashion as the ref was late and the prop for United did a fine job acting as a referee for the first 10 minutes before subbing himself into prop for the remainder of the game. Abbotsford Div. 2 started well and pressured the home side; however, they were unable to come away with much as United bent but didn’t break. After a Hirschman penalty, United were able to score a couple long distance tries to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. At the break, the score was 19-3 and Abbotsford knew they needed a score to start the first half, unfortunately they were not able to and United scored another try to extend their lead to 24-3. Abbotsford finally marched down field through some tactical kicking to score a 7 pointer from Ryan Levielle with a covert coming from Hirschman. After another long spell, and a yellow card to a United lock, Abbotsford again scored a converted try through industrious hook, Corey Sheremeto. At 24-17, and with a minute remaining, Abbotsford had a chance to tie the game but fell short and United took the deserved victory.
The Div. 1 men found themselves with a short bench and up against a United team looking for revenge from an earlier defeat to the Div. 1 boys from Abby. In these situations, games can often get away from a team early, but Abbotsford played a complete game from the first whistle. Abbotsford were able to move the ball through multiple phases to score some nice team tries. When they didn’t have the ball, the forwards like Jason Hignell, Nathan Sagert, Mac James, and Keegan Carson worked hard to get the ball back and let the backs run wild. Carson got Abbotsford on the board early with a try through some nice interplay between backs and forwards. Connor Hunter converted, and Abbotsford were up 7 early. Another team try was scored when winger turned scrumhalf, Darwin Guevara dotted down. A third try was scored when Payton Gibson scored in the far corner and put Abbotsford in a strong position at halftime. The second half was much of the same. Abbotsford again showed nice linking play between backs and forwards and were rewarded with a beauty try from Aussie, Shawn McKenzie who sauntered over the line after a perfect cross-kick from Connor Hunter. With that, Abbotsford went on to win 30-0 and they move on this weekend to take on Port Alberni. Thanks to United for the hosting and the always eventful boat race.
Abbotsford Match Reports: Shout Out to Robert Bateman and Yale Grads Repping Canada
by Mark Adams
The ARFC would like to congratulate Josh Thiel (Robert Bateman) who was selected for his first Senior XV cap for Canada against Chile. Connor Byron (Yale) was selected to represent Canada u-19 on their tour to the UK in March. Justin Douglas (Robert Bateman) was selected for the Vegas and Vancouver 7’s tournaments and is closing in on 100 tries for Canada. As well, we would like to congratulate all the youth and senior players who represented BC at the Vegas 7’s, and the upcoming Vancouver 7’s tournaments. Congratulations to all!
Division 2 Men @ Scribes
The ARFC Div. 2 men travelled to Scribes for the first time in a long time to take on the Scribes in Vancouver on a great day for rugby. The Div. 2 men have had a bit of a tough go this season with a major roster turnover from the previous year and lots of players coming in and out throughout the season making continuity tough. Despite that, the spirit of the team has remained high and has put some nice passages of play together. Today was no different as a hard running, veteran Scribes team got the jump on the Div. 2 men and had scored two tries in the first twenty. Abbotsford pushed back through some nice individual runs by fullback Reese Gibson and Berto Imbriani but couldn’t get anything going despite a penalty count in their favour. After another score from Scribes Abby finally woke up and put some phases together and Imbriani broke through the centres which was followed up by some good work in the forwards leading to a try from scrumhalf Zack Kendall. This was Zack’s first try and game in senior men’s having just graduated from high school last year!
The second half continued where the first half left off with Abby putting pressure on the Scribes but were initially unable to break them down as a result of some tough defence. Abbotsford began to work their way down field and were able to score through Sol Puckey and another try from big man, James Ginther. Scribes replied with a long range try of their own and another to take the game by a score of 36-15. Well done to the Scribes and thanks for the excellent hosting at the lively Legion on Commercial Drive!
Division 1 Women vs. SFU
SFU was low on numbers but in the spirit of the game a 10’s game was played. Our Div. 1 women are looking forward to the final few weeks of the season before the playoffs start.