Burnaby Claim Four Wins at Home - Two Over UVic in Men's Premier & Reserve
by Mike Devlin
BLRC 3rd Division Men 38 – Richmond RFC 30
A great start to the day with a fast paced and competitive game against Richmond! Richmond had some big some big boys in their pack and they made lineouts miserable for their BLRC counterparts. They also had some hard runners in their backline with #13 being lightning fast. The Outside Centre used that speed to tally a few times throughout the game. The BLRC 3rds were beset by injuries throughout the first half, losing Bitencourt, Samuels and Smith in the opening 20 minutes of the period. Their substitutes gave it their all and helped lead the team to victory in the game’s final minutes.
Richmond went up 5-0 early before tries from Kyle Geach and Travis Couture and 2 converts from Tom Menzies put the BLRC in the lead. Richmond answers twice to lead 15-14 at the break. The BLRC were fortunate that Richmond left their kicker south of YVR on the day as that could have made the difference in the match. Richmond started the new half with another unconverted try before Kayonee Genest charged down a kick which bounced into Tom Menzies hands for a try. Richmond adds another and lead 25-19 before RRFC legend Graham Haigh dives slowly and awkwardly over the try line for 5 more points. This leaves the score Richmond 30 – BLRC 19 with 10 to play.
Blue & White captain Trevor Flynn rallies his troops though and they get to work with Travis Couture adding his 2nd try from the restart and Menzies slotting his 3rd conversion of the day. Next up is Adam Paolella who takes a harmless looking run into contact at the Richmond 10m and busts through the tacklers for a breakaway try which Menzies converts to go ahead 33-30. Finally, Vita Holani shows some magic on the outside, stepping around his opposite much like his father did on the same field decades earlier to end the game 38-30 for the home team. The 3rds will try to build on their 6 game winning streak on Nov 16th when they travel West to take on the Kats. The BLRC are in 1st place with 30 points with the Kats just behind at 29. Should be a battle on the West Side!
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/q2tPtmwZfQU
BLRC Women 34 – Bayside RFC 24
The 2nd of 3 very competitive early games saw the BLRC women in action for the first time since a lopsided loss at the hands of Capilano. The Blue + White Women jumped out to an early lead with a quick tap try from Captain Emily VanGulik and a breakaway try from Alex Fern. Chelsea Rodgers added a conversion to put Burnaby Lake in the lead 12-0. But Bayside were resilient and drew even just before the break with 2 tries and a convert of their own. The 2nd half was back-and-forth with Annie Arnott opening the new half with an unconverted try and Bayside responding to tie it. Shayna Slobin would put the BLRC back in charge with a try, and Annie Arnott scored her 2nd try of the half to go up 27-17. Bayside responded though with a converted try to make the score 27-24. BLRC vet Lauren Tagg would put the nail in the coffin though, bulling through contact for a try which Rodgers converted for your final, 34-24.
The BLRC Women sit 3rd in the standings with only 2 games left in the Fall season. They are off until Nov 16th when they host SFU.
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Feo59xwM3D0
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 38 – UVIC Norsemen 29
A heck of a game with a few too many whistles (the fault of the players, not the man in the middle) that kept it from being a great game. Usually ferry legs belong to the cross Straight visitors, but in this game, it was UVIC that jumped out to an early 10-0 lead. Paul Murphy got the home side on the board at 15 minutes with a try and Nolan Shelley added the extras to kickstart a 35 point 1st half scoring streak for Burnaby Lake. Blake Steele scored next followed by James Tucker, Nolan Shelley and David Dinbandhu. Nolan Shelley was 5-for-5 on conversions to make the half time score 35-10.
David Dinbandhu attacking the UVIC line. Photo by Pj Carr
UVIC must have had a heck of a half time speech or perhaps the BLRC were a bit too lackadaisical picturing their upcoming victory pints, but the 2nd half was all UVIC with the students scoring 3 tries (2 converted) to the BLRC’s one penalty kick to end the game 38-29. Kyle Perkins continues to impress in the Burnaby Lake front row and David Dinbandhu and Nolan Shelley were outstanding in the BLRC backfield. Hopefully these 3 players get a look and an opportunity from the Premier coaches in the near future.
With 2 games left in the Fall, the BLRC Reserves sit top of the table at 7-0 including notable wins over 2nd place UBC and Abbotsford RFC who hold first place in the 1st Division league. A big Saturday looms on Nov 16th vs UBCOB who have had the BLRC’s number in each of the last 2 league semi-finals!!
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/ZkQ0AMlICro
BLRC Premier Men 57 – UVIC Vikes 5
After being knocked off their high horse 2 weeks ago vs Capilano the BLRC were at close to full strength and made a statement on home soil. The return of Reid Watkins from a knee injury suffered at a late summer 7’s tournament was a sparkplug for the BLRC in attack and his ability to stop people dead in defence brought the BLRC faithful to their feet on more than one occasion. The game was scoreless for 7 minutes until Lucas Albornoz saw some light defence around a breakdown, grabbed the ball and ran with it from the halfway line until the 22m where he passed to a trailing Mike O’Toole for the game’s opening tally. Neil MacLaine added the extras to put the score at 7-0.
Gino Paolella fending off tackles vs UVIC. Photo by Pj Carr
At 20-minutes the BLRC forwards struck again, James Kelly taking a pass out wide and pushing through the defence for a try! MacLaine split the uprights from afar to go up 14-0. With 31 minutes gone Dan Josok scored his first of the day, taking a pass at full steam in for 5 points. Reid Watkins added to the lead, following up on a long Ben McDougall run and offload from Albornoz at the UVIC 5m. 24-0 for Burnaby Lake with minutes to go until the break. On the restart, Dom Baptista caught the ball and returned it for 10 yards before being brought down. Hayden Munck bombed a long pass out wide where it was taken by Fullback Brian Fitzpatrick at the BLRC 10m and he pinned his ears back, out pacing the UVIC defence for 60m and 5 points. MacLaine hit the convert to make the score 31-0 at halftime.
The 2nd half started as the first half ended. UVIC fumbled the kickoff reception. The BLRC secured the scrum and the ball was passed through the backline until it found a streaking Dan Josok at the UVIC 22m who scored. 36-0. With 22 minutes to play, a nice set play in the BLRC backline sprang Gino Paolella down the far side. Gino beat all but one defender, pulled him in and offloaded to Andrew Porter who scored. MacLaine split the uprights to make it 43-0.
Reid “Starsky” Watkins. Photo by Pj Carr
With 18 to go UVIC would break the egg and crash through after their best foray into Burnaby Lake territory. They hit the home side with wave after wave but were rebuffed. Finally, the forwards tightened up for some slow ball and (I believe) their 8-man, Carson, crashed over the try line for 5 points. UVIC’s slippery fingers on kickoffs continued, giving the BLRC a scrum inside the 10 off the re-start. The BLRC pack drew a penalty. There was a tap and go, a few offloads and then Ben McDougall touched down beneath the posts. Neil MacLaine’s boot made it 50-5. The days final points came after a nice run and offload from Dan Josok found the hands of Andrew Porter. Andrew met contact at the line but stretched out for his 2nd try of the day! MacLaine finished it with 2 more. Final score 57-5.
In spite of the score line I thought that UVIC had a few noteworthy performances. Their 8-man Nicholas Carson made hard yards all day and still offered motivation to his team mates even when the game was seemingly out of reach. I’d also commend the work of their front row who gave as good as they got for 80 minutes.
On the Burnaby Lake side, James Kelly had another great game at Hooker, capped off by yet another great kick in open play. I know I shouldn’t encourage the open field kicking of a front row, but it always seems to work. Albornoz and Tomlinson were beasts in defence all day, laying out thundering hits that stopped the ball carriers in their tracks. In the backs, the wingers Josok and Paolella were stellar on both sides of the ball and Brian Fitzpatrick who got his first Premier start added some life to the backline as well as a timely boot. Now a week off to heal some bruises and then a big showdown at Jericho vs the UBCOB Ravens.
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/2Z0_xVYvELw