James Bay Match Reports - Road Trip to Burnaby Lake
The 9 o'clock ferry to the mainland was crowded with athletes of all types; soccer, volleyball, field lacrosse and of course, rugby. In fact, CW and Westshore were all travelling at the same time as the Bays. Needless to say, parking was a horror show, yet all but one player managed to arrive on time. So many new faces, half of whom don't appear to be old enough to shave.
The trip on the brand new, leather-seated bus was quiet and enjoyable and the Reserve team dressed and warmed up efficiently upon arrival.
The game began with play in midfield for the first couple of minutes, but some poor defense by the visitors allowed the Burnaby team to score early with a 7-0 lead established quickly. With the addition of Connor Bulcock who joined our forwards for the day, the scrums looked solid.
Unfortunately, the backfield defence again appeared porous in allowing another long try to make the score 14-0 only 12 minutes into the first half. The BL backs were not without talent but several of our backs seemed uncommitted on defence.
As the game progresses the Bays begin to assert some pressure and the bus-lag wears off. A penalty awarded to the Bays does not produce points as the kick sails wide. Burnaby is then able to extend their lead to 19-0 before big Peter Masimo, recently converted from centre to back row, bulls his way over for JBAA and with the convert the game is a more respectable 19-7, which ends the scoring for the first half.
The second half starts with Mitch Sora making a nice break and then being brought down by a dangerous tackle. The penalty is awarded and Thomas Burton's successful stroke allow the score to tighten to 19-10. That would be the last of the visitors' scoring as everything then seems to go Burnaby's way and probably deservedly so. Ten minutes into the second half a blocked kick allow Burnaby to go ahead 26-10. Two minutes later with the Bays pressing, a flubbed penalty kick does not find touch and the ambitious Burnaby Lake backline punishes that error with another try, this one covering 80 metres. I will refrain from mentioning anything about poor tackling. With the score now at 31-10, Masimo now appears to be triplets as he is all over the field on offense and defense for the Bays. The game ends with a well-constructed try by Burnaby Lake to seal a deserved 36-10 win over the visitors.
The Bays had enough possession in the game to have made this a much tighter match. Defensive structure, commitment and better line-out results are key areas for improvement.
The Premier Match was exciting and well-played from the opening to the closing whistle and perhaps one of the best efforts by the Bays this season. The first scrum of the game saw JBAA 'stand up' the Laker hooker and be rewarded a penalty for their effort. A kick to touch is followed by a line-out won by Jim Degoede. After three phases the ball ends up in the hands of Bays' speedy newcomer Cooper Coats, whose valiant effort falls inches short as he is held up on the goal line. A knock-on by the visitors after winning the scrum stymies this assault.
For the next twenty minutes the majority of play is inside the Burnaby Lake 22, where a total of 4 successive penalties are called in the 'red zone'; yet no yellow card.
As the clock approaches the 30 minute mark and with Burnaby putting together some effective phases, the Bays force a turnover. Josh Thiel makes a nifty break and deftly feeds a charging Mike Nieuwenhuysen who bulls for another 15 metres before dishing to the speedy Aaron Evison, just too fast for any defenders as he pulled away for the first score. Coats' conversion makes it 7-0. Suddenly the Burnaby Lake team is energized and storms back after the re-start, putting pressure on the visitors who defend valiantly against this attack. Ultimately a penalty is awarded to the home team and at 28 minutes a successful penalty attempt makes the score 7-3. The rest of the half is very physical, with neither team wilting and no further scoring resulting.
Four minutes into the second half, a vicious high tackle on Aaron Evison results in a whistle, a penalty, but inexplicably, no card. This lack of call may have been because the perpetrator injured himself on the play. As the Bays continue to press, a series of phases results in an apparent try, but the referee deems a forward pass just prior to reaching the goal line. Off the ensuing scrum re-start, Burnaby is penalized and Coats drills the kick over to give the Bays a 10-3 advantage. Following the restart and a clearing kick by BL, a Burnaby player is penalized for another high tackle, sans card once more. Shortly after, Mike Nieuwenhuysen is penalized for use of his foot while apparently extricating himself from the grip of a defender. This call from the touch judge is considered to be worthy of the only yellow card of the game. With Longname doing penance, the Burnaby squad is revitalized and storms across for two tries, one converted (and one suspiciously similar to the one disallowed to the Bays) while the Bays are held to one penalty by Coats. With the score now standing at 15-13 for the home team, the clock continues its inexorable ticking. With only 3 minutes remaining the Bays are awarded an offside penalty just inside the 50 m. line and the JBAA captain decides to let Cooper Coats have a shot at goal. His effort comes up short. Burnaby gleefully grinds away the remaining minutes to secure the victory!
This was a tremendously disappointing loss for James Bay. They certainly played well enough against the second place team in this league and should be proud of their effort. Congratulations to Burnaby Lake on their successful day and thank you for your hosting of our teams.