Bays Earn Draw at Klahanie in BC Premier
from JBAA Media
A large contingent of JBAA players and supporters, including a welcome cadre of Kiwi navy boys, travelled to the North Shore to play against the Caps yesterday. There were 8 teams playing on the afternoon; the hosting by the Capilanos was impeccable and the referees for the senior mens' games were Chris Assmus and David Smortchevsky, two of the top officials in the country.
In the premier reserve game it was clearly a tale of two strengths with the Bays dominating in the forwards while the Caps demonstrated superior striking ability through the backs. The first try was scored by the Bays when the always-dangerous Tom Eton, wearing the number 7 jersey for the visitors, made a high-stepping break from a crowd of unsuccessful Caps tacklers for a 40 metre run, dishing off to his buddy Mitch Pye five metres from the try line. Pye scored and Boothroyd converted to give the Bays a 7-0 lead fifteen minutes into the first half. Shortly after, the partisan crowd is treated to a couple of monstrous boshes by JBAA's Riki Gunn which lead to a high tackle by the home team. Following the resulting kick and lineout, Mac Greed powered over on the blindside for the Bays' second tally, giving them a 12-0 lead.
With 32 minutes expired in the first half, the always dangerous Capilano backs exploited some questionable tackling to close the gap to 12-7. Five minutes later they repeat this performance and without the convert the two sides break for the half with the score knotted at 12 apiece. Both Bays' tries came from the forwards while both of the Caps' successes were from the backs.
The second half continued with the visitors pounding away with their forwards while the home team worked to spring their backs. The backs were first to strike, giving the Caps a 19-12 lead at the 20 minute mark of the second session. With about 10 minutes remaining in the back and forth struggle, Evan Boothroyd made a nifty kick ahead that relieved the pressure exerted by the Caps and eventually lead to a yellow card against Capilano for a dangerous tackle. The Bays then took a set, won the ball cleanly and eventually got the ball to Ben Curley who made a sweet break and dished to the winger who scored in the corner to bring the score to 19-17.
Unfortunately for the Bays, the dogged defense by the Caps prevented any further scoring during a furious final few minutes, with the game ending with a knock-on.
As the crowd began to swell, with both humans and a rather large group of pet dogs, the premier teams took to the field. Immediately following the game-starting kick-off, the Capilano squad force a turn-over and scored with less than two minutes gone in the game... looks to be a long day for the visitors from Vancouver Island. Only two minutes later, the hard-running number 13 for the Caps knifes through for the second tally of the game. With the convert the home team jumps into a 12-0 lead. The day is beginning to look really long for JBAA. There is a period of scrappy play with a succession of high tackles by the Capilano team, although non are deemed bin-worthy by referee Smortchevsky. Throughout this period the number 7 for the Bays, a fellow named Jean-Charles Fidinde, is creating whirling-dervish havoc, both on offense and defense... fired up by his action, the visitors come alive.
At the fifteen minute mark the visitors win a lineout and get the ball to big Mike Nieuwenhuysen who makes it look easy as he glides through the defense and accelerates over the try line for JBAA's first score. Cooper Coats drills the convert to bring the score to 12-7 for Caps. After a fumbled re-start by the Capilanos the fired-up Bays go on the offensive and after multiple phases are able to spring scrum half Rhys Gregory for a try in the corner, evening up the score at 12 each. Three minutes later a nifty break by the elusive Coats forces a desperate Cap to trip him, allowing for a shot at goal which Cooper gleefully accepts and completes, putting the visitors in the lead for the first time with a 15-12 lead.
After JBAA is penalized for pushing too hard in the scrum, the home squad takes advantage and are rewarded with their third try of the game, giving them a 17-15 lead after the convert is missed. Cooper replies with a long penalty kick to regain the lead for the Bays at 18-17. He then goes on to show that the boot still has a place in today's game when a strafing punt following a penalty puts the Bays deep into Cap territory. After multiple phases following the ensuing line-out win, the ball ends up in the hands of Nathan Tough who flips it to Johnny Buck for a tally converted by Coats to make the score 25-17 for JBAA. With two minutes left in the half a blocked kick allows the home team to travel some 60 metres and eventually score to tighten up the game at 25-22 as the half ended.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw the home team hemmed into their own end, until it appeared that Nieuwenhuysen had scored his second try of the game; however, the referee detected some obstruction and the try was disallowed. The Caps quickly pounced on this momentum change and scored a well-executed try of their own, giving them the lead in the see-sawing battle at 27-25. A chip kick by the Caps created a Blake Van Heyningen yellow-card for obstruction and the Bays were suddenly a man short. Then Nicco Krawczyk is binned for an intentional knock-on and the visitors are playing with two men down. Almost immediately the Caps manage another try to go up 32-25.
Newly-minted fullback Hamish Pyne decides to take matters into his own hands at this time and gathers a long clearing kick and bursts through a gaggle of defenders to score the Bays fourth try. Cooper converts and the game is once again tied. JC Fidande joins in the enthusiam moments later and after a monster run sees the ball end up in Tough's hands who then throws a hook pass to John Buck, ultimately sealing the deal in the corner to make it 37-32 with only minutes left. As the never-say-die Caps press, another yellow card for not releasing he tackler is presented to James Bay in their attempt to prevent a Cap score. As the clock marches inexorably into injury time, and beyond, the short-handed Bays defend valiantly, but the Caps, led by veteran Glen McKinnon, continue to bang away and are rewarded with a try three minutes into injury time. With the game on the line, the Capilano kicker misses the convert, to leave the score at 37-37 as the referee blew the game-ending whistle.
Neither team was over-joyed, yet neither was overly-distressed. Sort of a good day.