Burnaby Match Reports: Men Claim Two Wins on the Road Against Westshore; Women Lose to Seattle
by Mike Devlin
I’m slipping. I was unable to complete last weeks game reports due to some emergencies at work and by the time I was able to get back to it, Mark Bryant was already putting up the week’s predictions. For those of you (my mom mainly) that hang on my every word, I apologize for last weeks missing report. Here is the gist of what I had:
BLRC 2nd Div Men – “BLRC rides first half lead to a 26-12 win over SFU”.
BLRC Premier Women – “BLRC takes over in 2nd half to defeat the Thunderbirds”.
BLRC Premier Reserve – “BLRC hold off late comeback to down UBCOB”
BLRC Premier Men – “Jorden Sandover-Best is too good to play in this league and I’m not sure how Rugby Canada can, with a straight face, play anybody else at 9 and expect us to support that”.
Now on to this weeks reports
BLRC Premier Women 29 – Seattle Saracens 53
There was a Premier Women’s game played at Burnaby Lake on Saturday where the visiting Seattle Saracens outscored the home side 53-29. I chose to hop on the ferry to watch two games that day and I couldn’t get reliable info on the going ons at Burnaby Lake but congratulate the Seattle women for travelling tough and getting the win. This week sees the roles reversed as the Burnaby Lake Women will head South to hopefully return the favour.
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 58 – Westshore RFC 15
The Reserves sit top of the table for a reason and they put on a clinic at Juan De Fuca, opening the game with 32 unanswered points. The score was 39-5 at the break with the BLRC scoring 7 try’s and 2 converts to the home sides lone try. The 2nd half was a bit more competitive with Burnaby Lake adding 3 more try’s, 2 converted to Westshore’s 2 unconverted try’s. BLRC got try’s from Giuseppe Laudisio (2), Dan Josok (2), Nolan Shelley, Andrew Porter, Domenic Baptista, Cian Keegan, Brian Murphy and Hayden Munck. Cian Keegan made 3 conversions and Andrew Porter added one. This week sees a big test as the team travel to face the Meralomas who handed the Reserves their first loss of the season at home in a tight game played in October. The Lomas are the only team that can catch the BLRC in the standings so hopefully the guys will be up for it.
Tom Dear in full stride for the BLRC Reserves. Photo by Pj Carr
BLRC Premier Men 36 – Westshore RFC 27
The BLRC could not have started worse. They were unable to string any phases together and consistently ran afoul of the referee putting them at numerical disadvantages. Westshore capitalized on the BLRC dysfunction in the first 40 minutes running up a 20-5 first half lead. The first score went to their #3, Tobias Berg, who barreled over the try line after a series of phases inside the BLRC 5m. Moments later, a costly turnover put the ball into the hands of the speedy Westshore backs and former Abbotsford junior, Jordan Tait was given the ball with plenty of space to score. The convert was good. Next up was Westshore hooker, Saman Rezapour, who took a hard line in from the 22m, crashing into 2 defenders and making it across the paint. The BLRC would finally respond through winger Jean Koorsten. The team finally came to life and strung some quality phases together. Eventually Ben McIvor put the ball to Koorsten with some space. The speedster popped the ball over the Westshore defence and won the footrace to the back of the end zone for 5 points. Not content with the 17-5 score line, Westshore’s Quinn Ngawati tacked on 3 more points just before the break to give the Valhallians a 15-point cushion going to the intermission.
Reid Watkins tries to escape a Westshore tackle. Photo by Pj Carr
Perhaps after playing 3 consecutive halves of painful, hard to watch rugby, the players finally gave their heads a shake and remembered who they were. Sometimes it only takes a look. Or perhaps it was something specific that was said in the huddle by coaches or captains…I don’t know. But a different team emerged to start the 2nd half. The BLRC put Westshore under pressure for 5 straight minutes before the ball was swung wide at the 5m for centre Sean McKeown who scored to make it 20-10. Some back and forth ball for 5 minutes with Westshore and Burnaby Lake testing the others midfield defence but eventually a penalty allowed the BLRC to set up a lineout inside the Westshore 22m. Nik Hildebrand eventually broke off from the maul near the white line to score. The conversion sailed wide, but the score was now 20-15 and the writing was on the wall.
Captain Mike O’Toole tied the game, taking an offload from Tom Dear in for a try and Geoff Ryan’s convert gave the BLRC the lead. 22-20 on the score board. The comeback continued with Cian Keegan adding the next try after getting the ball at the Westshore 22m and zig zagging through the tacklers en route to a try. Ryan did the honours and suddenly it was 29-20. With about 10 minutes to go Chris Dunne scored from the back of a maul off a 5m lineout and Cian Keegan converted to cap the BLRC’s scoring for the day. The score sat at 36-20 at that point. On the games final play, Westshore’s Quinn Ngawati scored and converted his own to end the game 36-27.
Some good performances from both sides. Quinn Ngawati stood way out for Westshore. He’s a big powerful runner and hard tackler. He was always in the mix on any go-forward ball that his team produced. On the BLRC side, the final 40 minutes showed the leadership abilities of Mike O’Toole. The young Burnaby Lake captain put the team on his back and made big hits and (having watched the video a few times) I believe also had more yards with the ball than any of his team mates. He was rewarded with a try but was stopped just short on a second. In the backs, Ben McIvor was dangerous any time he got the ball. He doesn’t look the part of a big ball carrier, but he is tough to bring down.
One more regular season game to go vs the Meralomas this Saturday at Connaught Park.
Many Teams~One Club