It's difficult putting together a rep, barbarians style team with limited practices and expecting them to compete against a well-drilled, well-coached side like the Pride. The Pride are a machine under coach Jamie Cudmore.
The only way a rep side is going to compete is if the players, position by position, are better than the players on the team that play together all the time. That's not the case here.
The best example of a rep side not training together was when Brennig Prevost scored a try by picking up the ball at the ruck and running it across the line. It was too easy, defending the ruck were the winger and #10 for the Tide. So many questions to ask on this, where were the loose forwards, why were the defenders so out to lunch? It's not a try that should happen at this level.
There were 3 Canada 7s players suiting up for the Tide but they only played a half, not sure if that was orders from above or a Tide coaching decision but it didn't seem to sit well with the players. Of the three Lucas Hammond was the most effective, it would have been good to see another 40 minutes from him as he looked good, probably the most dangerous backline player for the Tide.
For the Pride there are some players that look ready for the next level. Mason Flesch at #6 always seems to put in a top performance. He's lanky and will only get better as he fills in a bit but he's tough and resilient. He's an ace in the lineouts and always seems to have a line break or two in the matches. I think he's ready for an ARC performance.
Brennig Prevost had his best game that we've seen, we've been on the fence about his potential, some dodgy decision making sometimes but he shone in this match. Solid on both sides of the ball and would like to see what he could do at the next level.
Alexander Russell, he was pointed out to us by someone already monitoring his progress, and when he needed to score blindside he came through. We're warming up to his potential, on the outside or at fullback.
Siaki Vikilani setup the first try on a solo effort and top offload. He may have another year of U20 left, but at any age level he's one to watch.
Guiseppe du Toit, he's maturing into a top player, it's taken a while but he's playing his best rugby now. Hope he continues to progress in the Toronto Arrows setup.
For the Tide their scrum was surprisingly strong, the best aspect of their game. The new guy from Nanaimo via NZ, Tom Scanlon, seems to be a big part of that. He remained at loosehead through changes at tighthead and the Tide scrum continued to dominate.
Logan Martin-Feek coming off a University All Star selection at #10 did not do too poorly, tough to shine when on the losing side of a 40-7 scoreline but outside of Lucas Hammond he provided the most attacking threat in the Tide backline. The #10 spot requires a lot of patience and nurturing so he'll need to be brought along slowly.
Here's the match video courtesy of Rugby Canada.
Rosters for Tide vs Pride Match on December 13th at Westhills Stadium 6:30pm: TIDE STARTING ROSTER ADDED
An entertaining game of rugby is on the books this Friday at Westhills Stadium, the Vancouver Island Crimson Tide vs the Pacific Pride. A team selected from the match will go down to play the two time MLR champions, Seattle Seawolves in January.
Admission to the match is $10, free for those Under 20. Money raised goes to the Pacific Pride program and it's encouraged to bring a toy for the Rugby Canada Toy Drive.
Looking at the rosters, there are some good matchups. The front row battle should be good, Tyler Rowland of the Pride is a player on the rise. He did well for Canada U20 last season and is off to the Arrows for the MLR season in 2020. Jamie Cudmore has added Filip Pasagic at reserve hooker to evaluate the player. Filip is from the Toronto Nomads also played with TIRF (Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation) and has been playing with CW this season. The Tide have veteran John Braddock from CW and Bryce McKinnon from Westshore, McKinnon has been training with the Pride as well. A bit of an unknown is Tom Scanlon, recently arrived from NZ and playing with Nanaimo.
The Pride have 7 games under their belt playing together under the leadership of Jamie Cudmore while the Tide are from 6 different clubs playing their first match together, much like a Barbarians team. It will be good rugby entertainment regardless. The game won't be live streamed but Rugby Canada will post it to their YouTube page, likely the following day.
It's good to see 3 players from the Rugby Canada 7s program suiting up, Lucas Hammond, Luke McCloskey and Admir Cejanovic are suiting up for the Tide and that should make things a little more competitive. It also gives national coaches a chance to evaluate these players in a XVs match.
TIDE STARTING LINEUP
1. Tom Scanlon, Nanaimo 2. Foster DeWitt, Westshore 3. Bryce McKinnon, Westshore 4. Mike Finnemore, Castaway Wanderers 5. Carter Fillion, Westshore 6. Nathan Stewart, Castaway Wanderers, Captain 7. Peyton Eagar, Westshore 8. Admir Cejanovic, Burnaby, RC7 9. Jenner Teufel, UVic 10. Logan Martin-Feek, UVic 11. Luke McCloskey, Castaway Wanderers, RC7 12. Lockie Kratz, UVic 13. Taylor De Souza, Nanaimo 14. Sion Griffiths, Castaway Wanderers 15. Lucas Hammond, RC7 16. Tom Larder, Nanaimo 17. John Braddock, Castaway Wanderers 18. Quinn Horton, Castaway Wanderers 19. Peter Massimo, James Bay 20. Zephyr Melnyk, Nanaimo 21. Antonio Corbin, Nanaimo 22. Brandon Schellenberger, Castaway Wanderers 23. Gabe Casey, UVic 24. Sam Reimer, Nanaimo 25. Johnny Buck, James Bay
Coaches John Buxcey, Nanyak Dala, Aaron Takel, Mike Scholz
Pacific Pride Starting Lineup
1 Nik Hildebrand 2 Michael MacCarthy 3 Tyler Rowland 4 Thomas Davidson 5 Reid Davis 6 Mason Flesch 7 Taitusi Vikilani 8 Siaki Vikilani 9 Crosby Stewart 10 Joshua Thiel 11 Alexander Russell 12 Guiseppe Du Toit 13 Quinn Ngawati 14 Anton Ngongo 15 Brennig Prevost 16 Philip Pasagic 17 Liam Murray 18 Austin James 19 Ed Ilniki 20 Thomas Isherwood 21 D'Shawn Bowen 22 Isaac Olsen 23 Morgan Macyntyre