Bays Claim Win at Klahanie on Strong First Half Performance
[ed. Phil Meyer was unable to travel to the match, this is a match report distributed to club members which was forwarded to us, penned under the pseudonym Black Rat.]
Yesterday under breezy sunny skies at Klahanie Park, the JBAA premier team defeated Capilanos by a score of 46-39.
Over the past month JBAA's already thin numbers have dwindled due an inordinate amount of injuries, player relocation and most recently, a quizzical decision by RC to ban all carded players to the weight room in Langford. As a result JBAA has defaulted two games in the premier reserve league (first division), including last week against Ravens and yesterday in North Vancouver. Consequently, many of the promising young players from the first division team have been given the opportunity to play in the Premier games; yesterday the young squad managed to hold on for a victory after a furious second-half come-back by the determined Caps.
The game started rather ignominiously for the Bays only three minutes into the match when the JBAA winger jumped near the touch line and batted the ball back into play, but forward, allowing the charging Caps to gather the ball and eventually score. This looked eerily like the beginning of the previous week's match against UBCOB which was a bit of a horror show. Full credit to the Bays for ignoring the rough start and within a few minutes regaining the lead when Keiran McCaulay boshed his way to a solo try off the ensuing kick off. Mitrou's convert put the Bays up 7-5. Good defence moments later forced a Cap knock-on, allowing Player of the Game, Clayton Meeres to scoop up the ball and scamper 40 metres to give the visitors a 12-5 lead. At the 15 minute mark, Moe Moe Abdelmonem, who was all over the pitch for 80 full minutes, burst through several sets of flailing Capilano arms to run half the length of the field and bring the Navy Blue lead to 19-5 following the Mitrou convert.
Around the 20 minute mark, the well-organized Capilano forward pack came to the realization that the smaller JBAA forwards had considerable difficulty in stopping their rolling mall; after winning a line-out on the JBAA 22, they muscled their way to the try line, bringing the count to 19-10. Ten minutes from half, Kieran finishes of a lovely mulit-phased attack initiated by Moe Moe...26 -10. Following the kick-off and a penalty against the Bays, the Caps prudently repeat their rolling maul routine for another tally, making the score, 26-15. With just a few minutes left in the half, Meeres breaks several tackles near mid-field, eating up 25 metres of territory before dishing to Ed Adams in support who scores between the posts to allow Elliot to bring the score to 33-15. Seconds before half, Nathan Tough runs unimpeded down the sideline to score. As he does so he is high tackled by a Caps defender. The miscreant is yellow-carded. Elliot makes the convert, putting the Bays up 40-15. The high tackle gives Elliot a chance to go for goal at centre on the final play of the half. He cooly drilled it from 50 metres out, the whistle sounding with JBAA leading 43-15.
Post-game, the Capilano captain would correctly assert that this was a game of two halves. Indeed it was as the Caps dominated the next 40 minutes, adding 24 unanswered points to their total. The Caps kept the ball in their forwards for much of the time, scoring by that means at 7 min., 14 minutes, and 27 minutes to tighten the scoreline to 43-39. Whenever the Caps attempted to go wide, the Bays pressure defence was able to shut them down, with Clayton causing considerable disruption for them. In the end, another monster penalty kick by Mitrou signalled the end of a very dramatic and entertaining encounter.
The referee was aces in this game which could have gone sideways without his calm demeanor.
UBC Prevails at MacDonald Park: UBC 52 - JBAA 19
by Phil Meyer
UBC Thunderbirds have been doing an impressive job developing their rugby program over the past several seasons. That was evident Saturday at MacDonald Park. Bigger, faster, quicker to the loose ball than their JBAA hosts, the T-Birds scored 8 trys on the way to a convincing victory. Ahead 28-7 at the half – 52-19 at the end.
JBAA, led by returning Canada Noah Barker, gave as good as they got in the sets – receiving trys from Clayton Meeres, Brandon Sidhu-Sherer and Blake van Heyningen. But from the Birds’ first try two minutes in, hopes of an upset on the day progressively diminished.
JBAA is working hard with youth development to build back to UBC’s level. But recognizable results – and what those results will be, given chaos in domestic rugby overall - is still a year or two away.
The One’s game was much closer – decided on a referee’s decision to over-rule his Assistant and nullify a JBAA convert - leaving Braves with a one point win, 40 to 39. Thomas Burton led JBAA scorers with a try, four converts and a penalty goal. Other Bays’ try scorers were Nate Tough with two, Brock Gallagher and Bryan Kelly.
Next Saturday, JBAA travels to Jericho to meet Old Boys. T-Birds host Burnaby.