Westshore Defeat Chilliwack to Advance to Men's 3rd Semis vs Squamish; Women's Premier Host CW in Semi-Final This Weekend
by Clancy McDonnell
Men's 3rd Division
The Mighty 3rd XV (a.k.a. Velox Vampires) hosted the rarely encountered Chilliwack last Saturday. Despite some injuries, the home side put a strong squad out and Dale Grimston was in fine fettle on the sideline, his usual mixture of beaky confidence and healthy nerves doing a good job at masking his irritation at not playing himself.
A couple of early tries made for a good start, but then the team relaxed, allowing Chilliwack back into it. A couple of tries in quick succession to opposition outside centre Brodie Henderson locked things up. After that, VVs got back to scoring, and although it was competitive through to the end, they tallied a solid 54-33 win.
Conrad Newell, Joe McDonough and a veteran fly-half who can just about pass off both sides featured prominently on attack in the backs, while up front Cory Walker had a nice sprint down the sideline, replacement hooker Jamie Pickup threw well in the lineout, and back-rower Tyran Hunter put in a big shift with some heavy carries and manful tackles.
This Saturday the men host Squamish at 12:45 p.m., while the top ranked Valkyries team host CW in the Women's Premier semi-final at 2:30. The plan includes a BBQ, beers, beats, sunshine and a couple of Westshore victories.
Westshore Defeat Lomas in Men's Premier: James Bay Next Week to Finish the Season
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: WRFC 41- Meraloma 28
Westshore hosted Meraloma on Saturday and the two teams played an entertaining game in good conditions. The VVs opened the scoring (Siti Nacoko – who else?), and the lead changed hands a couple of times before the home side pulled away towards the end.
The Lomas knew how to shift the ball smartly, but perhaps didn’t have the same threats out wide as their hosts. They kicked from hand pretty well, and in the first half their chase defense caught the VV fullback in an awkward position a couple of times.
The Valhallians had their own strengths. Centre Taylor McGuire made a number of strong runs through traffic at the business end of the field. Matt Kemp stepped into the fly-half role and made a lot of good decisions, and distributed very tidily under pressure. The scrum performed well, and earned a notable tight-head with the ball popping out, upon which half-back Mark Discombe swooped and delivered a perfectly weighted pass to the player racing around him, leading to a try.
A scuffle late on in the piece didn’t help either team’s cause, but overall it was a fair game played in the right competitive spirits, and fairly adjudicated.
Men’s Premier Reserve: WRFC 12 – Meraloma 38
The 2nd XV didn’t fare as well against the visitors. It was another game where there were glimpses of the sort of play that could tally a victory, but they were interspersed with strong play from the opposition, and a good dose of medium skills and assistance offered to the referee.
Women’s Premier: WRFC 7 – BLRC 27
This game was certainly an upset. Travelling to Burnaby Lake, the Valkyries couldn’t put their game plan together. Without their usual buffer created by scoring lots of tries, they were somewhat surprised by the home side. The Burnaby team scored three tries from quick taps from about ten metres out, all in the space of 15 minutes or so. The loss brings to an end an extraordinary winning streak in the high 20s. Perhaps if last week’s game didn’t jolt them, they will receive the message now.
Sight of the weekend was front row stalwart Toby Berg barging over from close range to nab himself a meat pie – just reward for another strong game by the veteran. The final week of regular season play has the senior men playing at James Bay, while the women are at Capilano.