Capilano RFC Match Reports – November 23rd at Westshore by John Langley
The day started early 7:15am at Klahanie. The bus left at 7:30am. It wasn’t long before a problem arose that started the bus ride from hell! As we traveled across Lions Gate Bridge it became obvious that the window defrost either wasn’t turned on or wasn’t working. The windshield was fogging up and the driver was trying to clear it with paper towel while driving the bus. There was some concern from those of us especially those near the front of the bus. As we approached Lost Lagoon it looked like we might be getting closer than we would like. We made it around the corner to Georgia Street with the driver still attempting to clear the windscreen. Comments were made that perhaps he should pull the bus over and we would help him clear it but these suggestions fell upon deaf ears! He was approaching a red light while still rubbing and someone yelled RED LIGHT and he managed to stop just in time. Again it was suggested that he should pull over. He continued on and turned down towards the Granville Bridge. He nearly collided with a construction fence and I hear a noise that would indicate he clipped the fence. He continued on down Granville. Cap head coach Garth Prouse went up front with a towel, while still suggesting that the driver should pull over. Garth finally said “If you don’t pull over I am phoning your office”! The driver finally pulled over, the windscreen was wiped and some windows were opened and that seemed to resolve the problem. We made it to the ferry! The ferry ride was great and most of the players headed to the buffet.
When we arrived we were met with a first class touring coach that Capilano player and team manager Chris Robinson took full credit for ordering. We arrived at the Westshore field but the first leg bus ride was quite an unforgettable experience.
The Victoria weather was better than expected and it turned out to be great rugby weather especially for late November. We even had some breaks in the sky and a hint of sunshine. Jim Leith credited his umbrella for the decent weather. Jim claims that whenever he brings his brolly to Victoria the rain that was predicted doesn’t come. The rain held off until after the game and that was quite acceptable. Whatever works Jim!
Premier Reserve Game:
This was an entertaining contest. Westshore looked bigger and somewhat more experienced but Caps had some veterans also with Kes Kasha at number 8, Reece Roberts on the side and Lucas “Fish” McLennan at number 10. Westshore began pressuring the Caps but Caps rebounded and Caps did some good pick and go stuff. Caps fullback, young Carter Wanless, was celebrating his 18th birthday and his parents were out supporting him. Carter put on quite a performance today and showed lots of promise with his running, kicking and overall excellent play. He is one to watch if he continues like he did today. Caps scored following a good Carter Wanless run, and pass to Johnny Allen, a penalty kick to touch, a lineout and a pass to Fish who found a gap, slipped through and scored under the posts. Fish converted and Caps led 7-0. A lady asked me “why do you call him Fish” and I told her I didn’t know. Then she said “does he smell” and I said “I didn’t think so but maybe he is Fish because he is slippery”.
Westshore’s pack pounded the Capilano goal line but the Caps kept them out but they kept at it and one of their forwards dived over the line for the score. Westshore converted and it was even at 7. Ryan Scott got away on a big romp and Caps number 2 James Riztma scored 14-7 in Caps favour.
Westshore number 22 made a good run but he was stopped by the Capilano cover play. The ball was spilled and Reece Roberts broke through and was supported by Johnny Adams, Caps scrum half, who passed to Ryan Scott for the score. The conversion missed but Caps now had a 19-7 lead. Westshore kept attacking but Caps defense held firm and it was now half time.
Caps Reese Roberts was injured and had to be replaced. Caps had a line out and turned it into a score by prop Johnny Ray Houston. The kicking tee went missing so Fish drop kicked the conversion. It was 26-7 and it looked like clear sailing for the visitors but Westshore had other ideas. They scored a nice try to make it 26-14 with the extras. Westshore struck again with a try by their number 8 to make it 21-26. Capilano Captain Kes Kasha struck back with an excellent run to make it 33 to 21 and again things looked very good for Caps.
Caps number 15 made a good run and a chip but Caps were penalized and the momentum swung back to Westshore. Following the line out they scored on a run by number 12. Westshore stole a ball and their number 4 went all the way to close the gap to 33-31. The conversion missed. West shore was pressing but Fish intercepted one of their passes, he didn’t go all the way but passed off and Caps scored to make it 38-31. Westshore scored the last try of the day on an excellent run by number 13. The conversion sailed through and it was tied at 38. Time ran out it that was the final. Both teams had played hard and it could have gone either way. A draw was a fair result but the Caps were disappointed as they thought they should have won it. The referee did a good job and he kept the game under control. Congratulations to both teams.
There have been many classic battles between these two clubs. Who could forget the 4 overtime playoff battle of attrition at Klahanie. That was one bone crushing game. The clubs have had many others some at the old Velox pitch and some on the Bob Spray field. Today’s game was typical with many huge hits by both teams. I thought the difference today was ball retention. Caps did a better job holding onto the ball in contact. I spoke to some Cap players on the ferry ride home and apparently the ball wasn’t great. The nubs that assist in gripping the ball were worn off and the ball was slippery. Perhaps teams should ensure that at least 2 fairly new game balls are available and the referee should check this out before the game starts. Westshore I thought did a good job countering the vaunted Capilano rolling maul. Caps made some ground but they didn’t dominate in this area as the usually do.
Caps had the first chance to score in the Premier match on a Penalty kick for goal that was missed. Jeremy Simon, who has been excellent all season was a bit off today but he still made a crucial penalty kick late in the game to extend the lead beyond one converted try. Westshore got on the board first with a try by their Canada number 8 Kyle Bailie.
Johnny Franklin answered for Capilano as he scooped up a bouncing ball, broke a tackle and went in under the posts. Jeremy Simon converted and it was now even. Westshore struck again though with a good effort by their right wing. He chipped the ball the grubbed it ahead and outran the cover to fall on the ball in the in goal. This made it 12-7.
The referee spoke to both front rows as he was not pleased with the manner in which the scrums were coming together. Caps were called offside Westshore opted for a lineout but then Caps stole the ball in the loose. Johnny Franklin got hold of the ball and again broke through a couple of attempted tackles, he then passed to speedy winger Jared Andrews-Almack who finished it off to tie the score. The conversion from the side missed.
Westshore attacked but turned over the ball. Glen McKinnon made a nice run and passed. Westshore were penalized for not releasing the tackled player. Caps went for a lineout and then swung the ball wide but an errant pass was knocked on. The front rows were again spoken to and then Caps were penalized. Glen McKinnon started a run that ended up with a score. He passed to He passed to winger Andrews-Almack, who passed to fullback La Lieve to make it 17-12. It was half time. There had been some good play by both sides and it was very competitive.
The Westshore left winger scored in the corner to even the score at 17. The conversion attempt missed. The next score of the game was by fullback Phil Le Lieve of Capilano who scored in the left corner. The conversion was good and now it was 24-17 for Caps. Johnny Franklin had another big run that ended up in a try for the visitors. Referee Dave Smortchevsky was playing advantage so Jeremy Simon did a cross field kick pass right in the arms of Sam Franklin who dotted it down. The conversion made it 31. Westshore threatened to score but lost the ball forward and Caps cleared. Westshore was rewarded though with try following a good run by one of their centers. The conversion brought the score to 24-31.
It looked like Westshore might come back and draw even. They had another chance but again spilled the ball in contact. Caps stole another loose ball then were awarded a penalty kick. Jeremy Simon slotted it through and it was 34-24. That ended up being the final score in an entertaining game. Caps had played well and Westshore had shown much promise but as I said earlier they lost a number balls and that cost them dearly.
Caps have had an excellent comeback season so far and now get a break. Getting Glen McKinnon back has been huge. It seems like Glen has been playing for Caps forever. He came straight out of High School as an undersized prop. He loved playing front row but was moved to number 8 where he has excelled. Glen loves the game and although we believe he has the talent to play International rugby he seems to prefer playing club rugby. Glen is a big asset to the Capilano RFC.
Caps have been fortunate with respect to their front row. With Mackenzie Mills out for most of the fall season they have been short of front row players. Callum Blair arrived from New Zealand and he will help. Jesse Ryan has been very solid and has had to play full games most of the season. Jesse had another excellent game today and was picked man of the match by his teammates. Neil Courtenay a stalwart prop has also missed some games with injuries so Caps will welcome the break and should be stronger in the second half.
The after game festivities were well done and the players were well fed. Thanks to Westshore for the hosting and good luck to them next half. Thanks to David Smortchevsky for his handling of the game. A lot of the players stayed over for the night to celebrate their success. It was a very quiet trip back to Klahanie!