Weekend Match Reports: Premier Men Edge Nanaimo; Premier Women Dominate Against Burnaby
by John Langley
2nd Division Women
The 2nd Division Women were the only senior team not playing at home this week. They travelled to Crush Crescent to take on Langley. The Caps Women won a hard fought 30-27 victory. Next weekend the Capilano Women host Kelowna.
3rd Division Men - Squamish Axemen at Klahanie
This game was close until the half. Both teams had several scoring chances but not much finish. There were some big hits and Squamish made two in a row. Rob Scott was doing some hard running for Caps and Babak was playing well. Squamish put up their first try with a score in the corner that was unconverted. Early in the second half Squamish had several more opportunities but hard tackling by Capilano and errant passes stopped them. The Squamish number 4 scored a nice try and I thought he was one of their best forwards. The convert missed. Squamish looked to be away for another but obstruction put an end to that. A penalty kick gave the Axe another 3 points and then their scrum half scored and this time the extras were added. Squamish was the better side today and Caps need to sharpen their game. Thanks to the referee, congratulations to the Axemen.
Premier Reserve Game
Last time Capilano and Nanaimo met it was the Caps that won on the last play of the game. Today it was the Hornets who came away with a 19-15 win. I didn’t see much of the game as I was announcing on the lower field. Capilano scribe Steve Feenstra is under the weather, and unable to attend. Get well soon Steve! Apparently it was a hard fought battle that could have gone either way but the visitors gritted it out. Congratulations to Nanaimo and thanks to the referee.
The Women’s Premier Game
Capilano won convincingly 68-17 over Burnaby. The last time these teams met two weeks ago it was the Macy Munson show. Today the scoring was spread out and I am sure the coaches are happy to see this. Macy had another good game but so did many of her team mates. Caps were dominant in the scrums and shoved Burnaby off several of their own scrums. Burnaby did show some expertise stealing loose ball. Caps first try resulted from a scrum won against the head. The Caps pushed Burnaby off their ball. It was picked up by Lindsay Nicholson who then ran blind and scored after a substantial run.
Lindsay didn’t play against Seattle last week but put in an excellent performance today but unfortunately she hurt her shoulder. Hopefully Lindsay will not miss many games. Stacy Hake scored the next try for Caps following a penalty. Stacy also had a strong game. Burnaby answered with a good response from number 11, Laura Londono. The score was now 10-5. Caps next score came from a Burnaby offside. The ball went out to Macy who then passed to Ella Marwick for the score. It was now 15-5.
Burnaby almost got away but for a saving tackle. Ashley Robinson, who had a bounce back game and played very well, putting her Seattle off day in the rear view mirror. Burnaby was doing a great job stealing loose ball and this kept the score down early on. Nicola Jones, who was not supposed to play struck next. She told me Thursday that she was fine but the coaches wanted to sit her out. Well she managed to talk her way into the starting lineup and was a force. Prop Mikiela Nelson scored and also had a great game. She propped well, ran extremely well and fits well into a strong Capilano pack.
Alya Gorvorchin intercepted a Capilano pass that looked like a try and turned it around with a try under the posts for the Blue and White. The conversion was made by Leyhana Vugt Van to bring the score 27-12. That was a close as it would get as Caps added to their lead. Macy finished off a nice back run by Ella Marwick. Burnaby added one by Jocelyn Guan who made a good run after coming in from the bench. The score was 47-17. Demi Stematakis came in off the Capilano bench and she made some excellent runs. Gil Boag struck for Caps and she has the look of a Canada player all over her game. Mikiela Nelson score her second of the game for Caps. Then Ashley Robinson hit pay dirt and Gil Boag got another score. The convert was made by number 10 Shannon Craig who had taken over the conversion duties. The final score 68-17.
This was a very good win for Capilano who face a stiff test next game against Westshore. This one will be well worth seeing. Cap women did a great hosting job following the game with beers and chili! Thanks to the referee.
The Men’s Premier Game
“The Shootout at the Bob Spray Corral”! What a game! What a finish! One of the most exciting Capilano games on the Bob Spray Field ever! Nanaimo was clapped on by their victorious Reserve team and the Caps was clapped on by the victorious Premier Women. The stands were full and excitement filled the air.
Caps were wearing the replica jerseys of the first Capilano Senior Team of 1969. A decision was made to switch things up and wear these jerseys again. These jersey’s as was the case with the 69 versions are ugly, faded and would not win fashion awards! They were theft proof as they could be left anywhere without fear of losing them. Those of us who wore them and the fans that supported us, some of whom were out in support today, were a proud bunch that had seen the merger of two weak North Shore Clubs and we were determined to improve Rugby on the North Shore.
Today both Capilano and Nanaimo are down in the standings but both are capable of playing solid rugby and winning games. Nanaimo lost a hard fought battle with UBC and Caps were pummeled by U-Vic. None of that mattered you knew it would be a good one and you could feel that this would be a hard fought game between two sides desperate for victory. Caps have been known for slow starts lately. Today they came out fast and got on the scoreboard with an early try. Jeremy Simon, from France, joined the club late in the first half of the season. He played one game of 3rd Division and dazzled those of us watching with his skills. He has all of the tools a number 10 could require. He can kick with both feet, has a long pass and can run. Today he was a force all game. Nanaimo also has a game breaker in number 13 Jared Stephens and he showed his-running skills and play making ability for his side! If Canada is watching this player deserves a look.
The first Cap score was off a Jeremy Simon well placed kick that was downed by Johnny Franklin, another excellent young center, with much promise. Nanaimo answered with a clever rugby league style kick to their winger, Cathal Long, from their number 10 Steffer Gillies. The conversion from the corner was good and the score was even. Nanaimo then struck again with an unconverted try to make it 12-7. Caps took a penalty shot at goal by Simon that was good and narrowed the lead to 2 points for the Hornets. Caps started dominating the Scrums and were able to push Nanaimo. It was this domination that, I thought kept Capilano in the game. Capilano took the lead with a nifty little back pass from Chris Robinson to Jon Webster who crashed over near the posts. Caps converted and they had a 17-12 lead.
Nanaimo was threatening to respond but prop Neil Courtenay managed to get the ball and punt it out to end the half. Nanaimo went to the dressing rooms and whatever was said lifted them up and they came roaring back. Caps were stung by two quick tries due to some hard running by Jared Stephens. With the two scores Nanaimo stretched the lead to 24-17. Things were not looking good for Capilano as the tide seemed to have changed.
Ryan Agyagos gathered in a loose ball and set up Johnny Franklin for a much needed score for the home side. The conversion was good and we had an even score at 24. Caps came close with another deft kick by Simon that went over the dead ball line just before it could be touched down. Then came a turning point. Nanaimo was attacking and Chris Robinson jumped high to try to intercept. He was clearly trying to catch the ball but knocked it on. The assistant referee called over the referee and recommended a yellow card. Certainly a penalty was in order but a yellow seemed very harsh under the circumstances. Robinson was binned for 10 minutes.
Nanaimo took full advantage. The Nanaimo number 10, Stepher Gillies, made another excellent cross kick and Nanaimo scored a converted try to make it 31-24. They scored another with the help of some hard running by Jared Stephens. The conversion was good and it was now 38-24 and it seemed to be out of reach with time winding down. Caps did not give up. They continued to maul the ball with much success and Jordan Reid Harvey touched down after some impressive forward work. The conversion made it 31 for Caps and 38 for Nanaimo. Caps were down but not out!
Johnny Franklin made a good run and his brother Sam finished it off with a try that tied the game at 38. Caps were on fire! Players on both sides were going down from exhaustion. With no time left on the clock. The ball went out to Jeremy Simon who had dropped back in the pocket. He sent a perfect drop goal right down the middle of the posts for the winning score. The crowd was going wild and were chanting Viva La France! This was an amazing international type finish of a very hard fought battle between two teams that were desperate for a victory. A tie would have been a fair result but the victory was sweet for the Capilano Club. The new Capilano Electronic Scoreboard funded by the Onni Group and Anthem Properties got a real workout today with a total of 164 points scored in the two Premier Games.
After the game the question was asked has Capilano ever won on a late drop kick. I couldn’t remember one but Mark Abercrombie remembered one against UBC many years ago. I know that there haven’t been many. It is a hard way to lose a game but a great way to win. Both teams had left it all on the field and there was a standing ovation for both sides at the end. The beer up and chili feed followed and the men of the match selections. Congratulations to both teams on an excellent day of rugby. Thanks to the referees for their assistance. If next Saturday’s games are on get out and support your club.
John Langley pinch hitting for Steve Feenstra who would have loved this one.