Capilano Place Three Teams in Provincial Finals: U23 Men, Div 3 Men, Div 2 Women
by John Langley
The Capilano U-23 side moves on to the finals as UBC was not able to field a team. I would think that this is due to examinations and having other UBC teams with playoff games.
The Capilano 2nd Division Women similarly move on as the Rowing Club was unable to field a team also. The Caps Women finished the regular season in first place.
The Capilano 3B’s also move on as they defeated Meralomas 10-0
The grandstand at the Bob Spray Field was nearly full and quite a number of Meraloma supporters came over to support their team. Capilano supporters were also out in numbers today. The covered grandstand was very much appreciated as the rain teamed down throughout the game. Unfortunately the slippery conditions and wet ball was not conducive to open rugby. Both teams tried to swing the ball but it was dropped many times. The Capilano scrum was dominant again today and if the Lomas got their own ball they got it going backwards. It is hard to mount much of an attack under these circumstances. Caps had to do some juggling with their lineup as Kevin Hatch, who has been a powerful force all season, was unable to play due to injuries. This meant that Craig McLaren was moved from number 8 to inside center. Caps still have a strong bench but the back line substitutes are a bit thin. The Meraloma team must be given credit as they hung in for the entire match and never stopped trying! Caps were perhaps unfortunate not to have scored more points but a win is a win!
Caps first try came after several attempts to break the Meraloma line. Players got close and Ian Smortchevsky looked like he might score but was held up or just short of the line. Caps recycled and Matt Plant crashed in for the score. The convert was missed and it was 5-0 for Caps. Caps flanker Ty Brackett scored the second and last try of the game. The convert missed and it was 10-0. Meralomas had a shot at a penalty kick but Scott Larsen missed it. They also had a chance to score. Caps were called for a high tackle and Lomas went for the lineout. Lomas backs advanced it and looked dangerous but the ball was lost forward and it ended up in the arms of a Capilano player. Caps line outs, and there was a lot of them, was quite crisp with the ageless Rob McCall getting most of the throws. McCall was steady all game and still looks like he could play at the higher level as do several of his team mates.
Caps were much better the last time these two clubs met than they were today. They will have to up their game next week as Westshore will be a formidable opponent. Westshore won the 3A championship last season as there were two divisions. Caps won the 3B championship. It should be an entertaining match.
Hopefully the weather will co-operate as rugby is so much better to watch when it is dry! The referee did his best to keep the game flowing but Caps were frustrated with his Liberal interpretation of the offside rules. Meralomas were able to disrupt the Capilano recycle and this helped them keep the scored down. You can’t blame a team for playing on the edge and trying to get whatever advantage they can. For both clubs it has been an exciting season and 3rd Division rugby has improved immensely over the years.
Congratulations to Capilano on going through to the finals again this season and thanks to Meralomas for a competitive match. Thanks to the referee and his assistants and to the Capilano volunteers who make it all happen.
Capilano Premier Women versus Burnaby Lake:
Burnaby won this hard fought contest 26-7 and move on to the finals next week. Congratulations to Burnaby on the win. Both clubs have been rebuilding over the last several seasons. Gone are most of the Canada players developed by both clubs. Perhaps we were watching future Canada players today! Andrea Burk is the only remaining current Canada star but she was unavailable today as she is doing the commentary for the Women’s 7’s. Caps started hard running Demi Stamatakis in the centers but unfortunately she had to leave the game with a knee injury early on. Burnaby has improved considerably over the season and is playing good rugby. Capilano has had a good season and ended up in second place in the regular season. This was a very physical contest with Burnaby having a slight advantage in the sets. Caps did manage to get most of their ball but they were getting pushed back. Anyone who doubts the toughness of women’s rugby should have seen, and heard the hit on Capilano prop Nevene Hammound. It was like a football linebacker hit minus the pads! I was surprised that both players got up and carried on like nothing had happened. This was one of the hardest hits I have witnessed at Klahanie Park this season!
Burnaby opened the scoring with a try by number 12 Alya Govorchin. The conversion was good. The second Burnaby try was by number 2 Lauren Tagg who had a strong game. The conversion was over and Burnaby led 14-0. The rain was really coming down and I thought the ball handling by both teams was good under the circumstances. A Burnaby prop was yellow carded just before half time and this might be a chance for Caps to get back into the game. Caps number 7 Allison MacCormack made a good run for her side and Caps looked to have scored in the corner. A conversation between the referee and the assistant led to a penalty try being awarded. With the automatic seven points Caps were on the scoreboard and had a chance to get even. Burnaby stepped up and scored a nice try in the right corner, touched down by number 15 Genevieve Gratton.
The score was now 19-7 and Burnaby scored again with another try by Jess Harvey to make it 26-7.
Burnaby now faces Westshore, the defending champions in the final next week. This should be a good contest! Thanks to the supporters of both clubs who watched a quality game and filled the stands at the Bob Spray field. The game was followed by the after game festivities in the Capilano Clubhouse. Thanks to Jim Leith for again feeding the players as he has done all season. Thanks to Tom Kirk and Gord Currie for running the gate. Thanks to the referee and the assistants for a job well done. Get out to Abbotsford for what should be a great day of rugby next week!