James Bay Win U15 and U17 Provincial Championships
from JBAA Media
The JBAA Youth Program made it two BC Championships from two at a crisp Westhills Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The JBAA U15s defeated Abbotsford 41-5 while the JBAA U17s came away with a 33-17 win over Capilano.
Both teams were full value for their wins. The U15s, coached by Glenn Barlow, Jake de Goede, and Etienne Roberts, played a hard, fast, north-south style of rugby. Their opponents, Abbotsford, were strong in defense and admirable with ball in hand, but the young Bays never took their foot off the gas.
The U17s, led by Jared Barker and Greg Clague, with management from Amy Walt, looked like a Premier Men’s team. They were well organized, with exceptional support play, and precise set-pieces: add sixty to eighty pounds to their frames and the Young Bays would do well in the Premier League. Their opponents from West Vancouver were equally as impressive, and their late-game charge made the last few minutes tense for JBAA fans. Full credit to the Capilano as well.
The U15s score their first try within five minutes of the match. A decent platform from the forwards lets Morgan Brandwood slice through the Abbotsford defense. Five minutes later, Jhye Graffi, playing fullback but looking like a blindside flanker, gallops through would-be tacklers and scores himself. Ty Driscoll, comes close with both conversion attempts but the ball falls just short. 10-0 Bays ten minutes in.
Shortly thereafter, Abbotsford finds their footing. After having been starved of both possession and territory for the first ten minutes, they string together multiple phases. Quick hands results in a tally. The conversion is unsuccessful, but let it be said the Abbotsford kicker has a mean slipper on his foot! 10-5 JBAA.
The Young Bays regather, regroup, and get right back to their direct, north-south style of rugby. JBAA openside Owen Barlow plays well above his weight-class, taking the ball into contact time and again; crisp delivery from scrum-half Mitch Buie at the base gifts his backs time and space; and Bays’ loose-head, Thorson Noble, outruns and offloads as if he’s a young Dane Coles.
Owen scores at twenty minutes bringing the score to 15-5. Abbotsford, led by their big number eight, fights back, venturing into Bays’ territory, but the JBAA counter-rucking stymies them. The Bays look primed for another score after Thorson and Owen connect in the Abbotsford twenty-two, but an obstruction call puts an end to it. It should be noted that Thorson completely and totally boshes Owen by accident, but it’s still a penalty. Jhye scores again two minutes before halftime after a good string of Bays’ play. Half one ends Bays 20, Abbotsford 5.
JBAA starts the second half under pressure, but their defense holds. Full credit to Bays’ winger, Kalum Strachan, for putting in big hits out wide to halt any Abbotsford progress. The Abbotsford number eight is a constant thorn, but the JBAA defense keep him in check.
Ten minutes into the half, Jhye gathers an errant Abbotsford kick just inside the Abbotsford half, and runs as if he‘s JBAA Men’s Captain, Blake van Heyningen, toward famed Vic West eatery Chicken on the Run (only a lot faster). He speeds through the defense, scoring under the posts. Ty slots the conversion. 27-5 Bays with eighteen minutes left.
Thorson gathers the ensuing kickoff and steps, fends, jukes, and looks destined for a glorious tally – only to lose his footing five meters from the in-goal. The Abbotsford defense withstands the pressure, winning territory and possession. At fifteen minutes, Jhye and the Abbotsford number eight collide – and what a collision! We’ll spare you a crummy simile or metaphor. Abbotsford are stymied again.
Four minutes later, Jhye scores again in the corner. Ty slots the conversion from out wide this time. 34-5 Bays with ten minutes left. With six minutes remaining, and JBAA pressing again, the Young Bays quick tap a penalty ten meters out from the Abbotsford in-goal. Tighthead, Daragh Carrol, switches and pops to Thorson, and Thorson boshes his way in to finally score. Ty succeeds with the convert. 41-5 Bays.
Abbotsford impresses again in the last few minutes. Not giving up and playing hard. They are fierce and come close, close, close, but JBAA is too strong. Final score: JBAA 41, Abbotsford 5. Full credit to Abbotsford. They never gave up, and played with a lot of guts.
The JBAA team operated like a well-oiled machine. Though not every player was mentioned by name, every-single-player was vital to their success. Huddy Huddy all you Bays!
After a considerable amount of pressure put on the Capilano defense to start the U17 match, Taine Clague scores at six minutes from a brilliant crosskick from Kai Khan. The kick is good. 7-0 Bays.
The first ten minutes of the game is played entirely in Caps territory. The Bays impress - each and every one of them. The lineout is fierce, with Bashir and Nathan and Bays Blond Backrow turning over the Caps throw-in regularly. At fifteen minutes, the Caps work their way into Bays’ territory, winning a penalty about forty meters out. Their inside-center, with a massive boot, slots the penalty. 7-3 JBAA.
From the kickoff the Bays push right back, pressuring the Caps. We’ll call them the Bays’ Blonds, because it was hard to know who was who, but all of the Young Bays with blond hair cause havoc throughout, on both offense and defense. Credit to every last Blond Bay.
JBAA number eight, Marcus Lott, does well to sustain pressure minutes later, fending, boshing, and winning territory. A few minutes later, after a few phases deep in Caps territory, the JBAA #13, Keaton Williams, runs a perfect line off Kai, scoring under the posts. 14-3 Bays.
No from points are scored for the remainder of the half, but the defenses of both teams is massive. The Bays are quick, athletic, and well-drilled. But so are the Caps. They trade territory and possession. At one point the Caps look destined to score, with an overlap, but one of the Bays’ wingers puts in a textbook tackle, halting the Caps advance.
JBAA begins half-two at another level. Delivery from scrum-half, Caleb Milette-Barker, is crisp, allowing Kai to spring his backrowers on his inside and his centers on his outside. Three minutes in, Kai finds Marcus on a perfect running line. Marcus fends and steps, scoring under the posts. Convert is OK. 21-3 Bays.
Caps then press again and again. But the Bays defense is fierce. Bashir and Atticus Karakostas a constant thorn in the Caps’ side, especially at the breakdown. At twenty-minutes, the Caps are running very good lines. They push their way into the Bays’ 40, and then into the Bays’ 22. They win a penalty, elect the scrum, but continue to be pushed back by a very organized Bays’ defence. The Caps win a scrum again, and apply more and more pressure. The Bays’ defense doesn’t break until the Caps take a quick-tap penalty and score under the posts. 21-10 Bays.
JBAA charges right back, though. One of the Bays Backrow Blonds scores minutes later. The conversion from the touchline is tough. Kai can’t convert, but comes close. 26-10 Bays.
With six-minutes left, the Caps score from a JBAA error. The convert is good, and the Caps have some momentum. 26-17 Bays. The Caps apply more and more pressure, stringing multiple phases together, coming close, moving deeper and deeper into Bays’ territory. But the Bays’ turnover, sustain, and consolidate possession. The Bear takes the wind right out of the Caps’ sails. JBAA continues to consolidate, they take their time, and string phase after phase together. Once into the Caps’ twenty-two, JBAA lock, Nathan Sneek, snipes from the base, scoring under the posts. Kai converts to end it. Final score: 33-17 JBAA.
As noted regarding the U15s, we didn’t mention every player by name, but that by no means takes away the contribution from every last player on the field. The U17 team is a cohesive unit – one of the best we’ve seen in a long, long time.
Neither of these successes would have been possible without all of the JBAA Junior Program’s volunteers, parents, supporters, coaches, and managers. Huddy Huddy, all you Bays!
You can’t stop the bear.