Burnaby Claim Four Wins on Weekend: Men's Premier 33-5 Over Rowers
from Mike Devlin
BLRC Women 41 – Abbotsford RFC 12 (by Gio Lam)
It was a rainy morning in Abbotsford for our women's first match of the new season. Upon arrival, there were lots of new faces and a few wily veterans eager to get their season started. It took just 6 minutes for Annie Arnott to open the scoring after some phases linking the forwards and backs. The BLRC's second try came at the 16-minute mark after some hard & physical running from the forwards helped to recycle the ball outside. Sally Hillier ended up with the ball and some space to score. The tough conversion attempt was missed. Hillier also scored the 3rd try after some amazing ball handling from the BLRC’s newest Centre pairing of Brynna Walker and Chelsea Rogers. The pair consistently made the gain line which afforded the outside backs the space they need to score. The BLRC Women led 15-0 midway through the 1st half. Abbotsford regrouped and started to put together some offence. After a stolen lineout, the Abbotsford #10 took the ball and scampered 70m before being brought down by Arnott inside the 22m line. Several phases later and the #10 gets the ball back, cuts through and dots down near the posts. She converts her own. BLRC now lead 15-7. Abbotsford continues to apply pressure with sustained possession and score one out wide just 5 minutes before the break. Half time score stands at BLRC 15, Abbotsford 12.
The BLRC dominated the second half. They controlled possession and territory, scoring 4 more times. The BLRC #10, Leyhana Van Vugt, felt inspired by what she saw from her opposite and decided to go for a run of her own after a quick tap. Arnott was the beneficiary of Van Vugt's offload and scored her second try of the match. Hillier stepped up and made the conversion. Fifteen minutes later, Captain Emily Van Gulik cleans up the counter ruck to score a try of her own. No conversion, which left the score at 27-12 with 15 minutes to play. BLRC newcomer Brynna Walker shows off her skillset with some great hands and strong running to slice through the Abbotsford backline to score between the posts. Hillier slots the easy conversion. Just a minute from Full Time & the BLRC earn another penalty. Van Vugt quick taps and has her eyes set on the try line, but offloads in contact to a strong running Tiana Coutts who scores under the posts. Hillier makes the conversion and caps off the scoring. Final score has the BLRC winning by a score of 41-12. Lots of positives from a team with so many new faces. There’s some talent there and we look forward to their first home match next weekend.
(Wo)Man of the Match honours go to Emily Van Gulik and Brynna Walker.
BLRC 3rd Div Men 68 – Rowing Club 0
One-way traffic. Credit to the Rowers players who kept at it for the full 80 minutes when others may have packed it in. The speed of the BLRC backline was too great a mismatch. The inclusion of Kyle Geach in the centres was a huge difference maker compared to last week for the BLRC. Geach runs hard and straight lines which opens so much space for those around him. Also, the addition of flankers Tom Menzies and Scott McCartney who each played a stellar 40 minutes kept the BLRC defence on the front foot all game. The BLRC got tries from Fabio Bitencourt (3),Connor Irwin (2), Rain DeGuzman, Theo Newton, Eli Bialowas, Taylor Skwarok, Kyle Geach, Jorge Mejia & Scott McCartney. Conversions from Tom Menzies (2), Jorge Mejia and Adam Paolella. The 3rds are home next weekend to the Chilliwack Crusaders as part of a big club day!
Connor Irwin breaks the line for a try! Photo credit Terry France
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/kpPw5KMygo0
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 44 – Rowing Club 14
The second match of the day was all BLRC in the early going, working their way into the Rowing Club 22m and drawing a penalty at the 7-minute mark. Nolan Shelley made it count and then scored a try a few minutes later. A strong run from Darren McCrory brought the ball into the VRC half, Shelley got the pass and sliced through the defenders to make it 8-0 at the 11-minute mark. At 17- minutes the BLRC would score again, Kishan Karunathasan diving into the corner for the score. Shelley with the extras. BLRC 15- VRC 0. At 21 minutes, Captain Michael Gough dove over from a pick and go on the Rowers try line to add to the lead. With 10 minutes to go in the half the Rowing Club would get one back through their Hooker Ryan Chapman who burst through a few tacklers to score a good “front row” try! The convert was good, and the first half ended 20-7 for the home side.
Cam Young and Greg Crowe about to collide. Photo credit Pj Carr
At the dawn of the 2nd half and the Rowers putting pressure on the BLRC defence, an errant pass just inside the BLRC 22m bounced into the hands of Dom Baptista. Dom brought the crowd back into it by outpacing the Rowing Club backs for 80m and 5 points. Shelley made it 7. With 15 minutes gone, the VRC would get another try back with one of their backs crashing through after a botched Burnaby Lake lineout. The conversion was good, and the scoreboard read 27 – 14. BLRC Prop Juan Videla would get the next points. Picking and going from one metre out to score. Shelley split the uprights to put the BLRC up 34-14. Cooper Johnston was next, taking a soft pass at the 10m line from Provost-Smith all the way in for 5 points. The BLRC got one more try at the end of the game. I didn’t see the number on the back of the jersey but it was one of the backline. Final score BLRC 44 – VRC 14.
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Db_G2nXM6nQ
BLRC Premier Men 33 – Rowing Club 5
The BLRC were on the front foot for much of this game including the opening 15 minutes where they controlled play and spent time in the VRC 22m, but they just couldn’t quite pull the trigger to move the scoreboard. Credit to the Rowers who tackled hard and tackled often. It was a heck of a defensive effort, but the dam would inevitably start to leak with continued pressure. The final 22 minutes of the half saw the BLRC backs break through 3 times for tries. The first try came from Hayden Munck who finished off a nice BLRC scrum at the 5m line by taking a pass from Geoff Ryan and weaving through the defence for 5 points. Ryan added the extras to make it 7-0. The final 2 tries came from Neil MacLaine. At 26 minutes Big Chris Atkinson drew in a defender and passed to MacLaine who had nothing but space in front of him to make it 12-0. At 36 minutes it was MacLaine again who played a little give-and-go with winger Blake Steele on his way to his 2nd try! Ryan added the conversion on the 2nd try to end the half 19-0.
Ben Mcdougall attempts the offload to Jamie Kelly. Photo credit Pj Carr
With 18 minutes gone in the new half the BLRC would strike again with Gino Paolella getting the honors. The Rowing Club had a man advantage and were working their way towards the Burnaby Lake try line but a slippery ball found the grass and BLRC Fullback Cian Keegan came up with it, racing into the VRC half. Cian attempted to skyhook a pass to Gino Paolella but it was knocked down. The bouncing ball was kicked by Gino all the way into the Rowers end zone where he dove on it for a try! Geoff Ryan split the uprights to make it 26-0. At 23 minutes, Adrian Longbone came out of a tackle with the ball. The ball eventually found the hands of Jamie Kelly who saw that the VRC hadn’t adjusted yet to being on defence and Jamie kicked a nice up and under into the Rowers 22m. Ben McDougall came up with the ball and passed to a trailing Kelly who carried it the rest of the way into the corner for the try! Ryan made the difficult conversion to bring the scoreboard to 33-0. At 34 minutes, the VRC had gained some momentum and were camped out at the BLRC 22m, swinging the ball back and forth across the pitch. Eventually the ball went to their big winger Mighty Okafor who outpaced the BLRC defenders into the corner. That made it 33-5, which was your final. The win capped off a great day on the pitch for the BLRC senior teams. 4 games, 4 wins.
Adrian Longbone tries to break a Rowing Club tackle. Photo credit Pj Carr
Some good performances by many on the home side. Callum Toi continues to impress with strong tackling and big ball carrying. The BLRC will be without his services for a game or two as he travels down the coast for a vacation. Lucas Albornoz is another big body who has had two great games so far this year. A deadly tackler, a strong ball carrier and terrific lineout option. The front row of Longbone, Kelly and Atkinson continue to control the scrum and are handy around the pitch. The backs looked promising in the preseason and even though there are a few missing they have been getting the job done. Ryan, MacLaine and Munck are pairing up extremely well and outside center Ben McDougall runs some hard lines while being excellent in defence.
There are some big challenges coming up this week against Seattle, who will be bringing 2 Men’s and one Women’s teams to the Lake. We welcome them and Chilliwack RFC on Sept 21st.
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/1KOGqE-yfW0