Burnaby Claim Three Wins in Men's Divisions vs Nanaimo and SFU: Loss to Westshore in Women's Premier
by Mike Devlin
Unfortunately, some sad news before the game reports. Last weekend the club lost a good friend and a strong supporter, Ashley Luther. Ashley passed away on March 1st after battling ovarian cancer for the better part of 5 years. Ashley was the sister of former BLRC prop Dustin Luther and was a regular on the sidelines during Dustin’s years in the Blue & White. She immersed herself in the culture of her brother’s rugby club and was seen at many social events and even took on the role of Thursday night chef in the clubhouse at times. Ashley was an amazing person who will be remembered and missed by all of us at Burnaby Lake. Our condolences to the Luther family.
BLRC Premier Women 0 – Westshore RFC 75
The BLRC’s homestand was unfortunately played at 2 different venues due to the global warming part of climate change not existing at Burnaby Lake. 3 games at Winona Park in South Vancouver which is where I spent the day and UBC where the women hosted the defending Provincial Champs, Westshore. I couldn’t watch this game nor get much valuable intel from the women’s players I spoke to who had already put the game behind them and weren’t much for talking about it. I believe the best team won.
BLRC 2nd Div Men 48 – SFU Rugby 22
The opening game at Winona Park kicked off under sunny skies and SFU were up for the challenge. The Burnaby Mountain Men jumped out to a 10-point lead before the BLRC were able to wipe the sleep from their eyes. Barry Bonell + Haydn Melin shaved the lead a bit with a converted try and youngster Lynden Duggan gave the BLRC the lead a few minutes later with a nice run down the sideline. The SFU Forwards turned the tide with some nice work through their forwards but Melin tied the score with a penalty kick. Just before the halftime whistle, the SFU #8 put his team ahead with a crunching run through traffic that made the score 22-15 going into the break.
Coach Szabo made a handful of changes at the break and a few more at 60 minutes. The BLRC were fortunate to count Anthony Luca and Nate Mantle as two of the impact subs. Both players are coming back from injury and gave the younger players around them (and a few of the older ones) a morale boost when their names were called during the break. Mantle also subbed in to the Reserves game that afternoon and should be happy with his performance on the day.
The fresh legs put the game out of reach with 5 unanswered try’s in the 2nd half. First up was Paul Murphy whose try allowed Jarret Richardson to tie the game at 22. Nate Mantle scored next followed by Alex Ryan. Another young player, Lucas Robledo showed what he could do if given an inch with a breakaway run down the far sideline for a try. Richardson went two for three on the conversions before he was subbed out. Finally, Barry Bonell would end the game with his 2nd try of the game which Tom Menzies converted. Final score 48-22 for Burnaby Lake. The 2nd Div Men are now off until Mar 16th when they travel to Abbotsford.
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 62 – Nanaimo Hornets 12
The score line was about right. The BLRC raced out to a 38 – 0 half time lead before the bench was emptied and some of the 2nd Div Men got their chance to perform in front of Coach Murphy. The BLRC got 1st half points from Jean Koorsten who scored 4 try’s. Hayden Turner and Dom Baptista each scored one. Nolan Shelley rounded out the scoring with 4 conversions.
The 2nd half was a bit more competitive with Burnaby Lake edging out Nanaimo 4 try’s to 2. Jean Koorsten scored his 5thwhile Nolan Shelley, Tom Menzies and Haydn Melin each scored one. Shelley added 2 more conversions. The Reserves are next up on the 16th when they travel to CW.
The full match can be seen here: https://youtu.be/GMtJzyXOD9Q
BLRC Premier Men 29 – Nanaimo Hornets 7
Nanaimo was tough! They had lots of new faces on the pitch on Saturday and they matched the BLRC’s physicality blow for blow in the first 40 minutes. By the 2nd half, that style of play began to take its toll on both teams but the depth of the BLRC bench proved the difference maker as the home side scored 4 try’s to Nanaimo’s one to end the game. Other than some heavy hits, the only event worthy of note in the first half was a penalty kick from Geoff Ryan to put Burnaby Lake ahead 3-0.
Tatiusi Vikilani and Reid Watkins on attack. Photo credit: Pj Carr images
The 2nd half started a little better with centre Neil MacLaine scoring about a minute after the restart. Off the kickoff, the BLRC had a scrum just inside the Hornets 22m. Taitusi Vikilani popped the ball to Reid Watkins from the base of the scrum. Watkins cut between two defenders and then passed it to MacLaine who finished between the posts. Geoff Ryan’s conversion gave the BLRC a 10-0 lead. With about 5 minutes gone in the half, captain Mike O’Toole brought the BLRC close to goal on an impressive run before being brought down along the sideline. The backs swung the ball all the way across to the other sideline where Darren McCrory dove over for the teams 2nd try and a 15-0 lead. Reid Watkins looked to score next after a BLRC scrum at the Hornets 5m but after deliberation, it was ruled that Reid was pushed out of bounds before touching it down. With about 18 minutes to play, Reid Watkins had been taken down 10m in front of the posts. Taitusi Vikilani was the first player to arrive, scooping the ball up and running through a few tacklers on his way in for a try. Ryan added two to make it 22-0.
Nanaimo Hornet Jared Stephens gets wrapped up by Toi & MacLaine. Photo credit: Pj Carr images
Nanaimo got one back through (I believe) their scrumhalf. The BLRC were taking some penalties and someone (possibly the #9) quick tapped at the BLRC 5m, ran into traffic and the 9 came out of the pile to score untouched beneath the posts. The convert was good and so it was 22-7 with only a few minutes to go and the BLRC still looking for a bonus point. Vikilani would score the 4th try for the BLRC after a lineout at the Nanaimo 5m. The BLRC’s maul was rebuffed before crossing the try line, so Vikilani went at it alone, crossing over the paint and slamming the ball down. Nolan Shelley finished the game with 2 points. 29-7 Final score.
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/uxBFPktgoA8
Big thanks to the refs for their hard work on the day and for our opposition and supporters who made the most of the disjointed field situation. Enjoy the Canada Sevens everyone!