Rippers Travel Well 41-5 Win Over Norsemen - Face Burnaby in Premier and Reserve This Weekend
by Peter MacDonald
The UBC Old Boys reserve team, the Rippers, returned to the playoffs after many years and laid down a comprehensive win against the UVic Norseman on Saturday at Wallace field. The Rippers were named after long time club member Derek Cameron who was a hardworking, rugged prop who featured nasty stubble on game day with his fiery red Fu Manchu mustache, crazy large sideburns and a mop of unruly red locks springing out from the white tape head band... and always with a fierce ‘Scotland Forever!!!’ scowl. On this day the forwards in particular put in a workmanlike performance worthy of their team’s inspiration.
Playing into the wind in the first half the Rippers took a 19-0 lead into the half on tries from fly half James Thompson (2) and centre Cameron Denhoff-Ball. Hard tackles by #8 Nick Waggott set the tone defensively. UVic were crashing their big forwards #5 and #8 but flanker Tristan Clironomos, lock Adrien Carcy and the rest of the pack stuck their tackles and held UVic at bay when they had long spells of possession. Meantime the Rippers’ front row of Dim Gotsopoulos, Dan Cervino and Dave Pelosi were carrying the ball into contact repeatedly and making the gain line setting up good ball for the backs.
Early into the second half the Rippers were down to 13 men after two players were sent off for high tackles but they weathered that stretch and at 53 minutes a strong run from lock Kiernan Collie resulted in a try which effectively put the game out of reach for UVic. The Henriksen brothers, Kol and Benz, spent some of the second half together in the centres and Kol in particular lit it up with a big hit and some penetrating runs.
UVic got on the scoreboard at 63 minutes when winger Liam Mahon finished off a sequence that he had started with a nice behind the back pass to his inside support. But the Rippers saw the game out with three more tries including Collie’s second and Thompson’s hat trick try at the final whistle.
The Rippers put in a balanced performance whose level of execution reflects well on the coaches. They were solid in the sets and lineouts and mauled effectively. UVic played well and had plenty of ball but couldn’t penetrate the Rippers’ defence and left a few gaps on defence which Thompson and others exploited. The Norsemen’s #9 and #10 in particular were excellent running the offence.
This week brings up a new test, Burnaby for the Rippers as well as for the Ravens. Unfortunately the games will be at different venues, the Reserves at Burnaby and the Prems at Jericho. In an ideal world the games would be played at the same field. Dream on.