BC Premier Weekend Results: Pride Fall to Thunderbirds; Hornets Stung by CW; Valhallians Edged by Saracens; Bays Defeated by Lakers; Ravens Overcome Vikes
Note some venue changes with field closures due to heavy rain, the Burnaby v JBAA match has been moved to Burnaby and the Nanaimo v CW game has been moved to Cowichan.
UBC RFC 20 V PACIFIC PRIDE 17 @ UBC- Gerald McGavin Centre Ref Bradley Schwalger
UBC scored first after the ball was turned over, a nice offload in the tackle led to the first try about 28 minutes in. We couldn't make out the number on the video as UBC seem to be wearing a clever white number on white jersey configuration that made all their players anonymous. That's the way the half ended, 7-0 to UBC. The Pride answered back to start the second half with tighthead Nik Hildebrand crashing over the line, 7-5 with the conversion missed in front of the posts. UBC won a penalty next inside the Pride 22, 10-5. The Pride were pinged again for not rolling away at the ruck and a more ambitious kick of about 40 metres went through, 13-5. UBC took a commanding 20-5 lead with about 15 minutes left with the reserves starting to make their presence felt. The Pride hit back with 8 minutes left, a nice running line through some arm tackles to score under the post, 20-12. Pride scored again as the reserves were making their impact felt, #22 who looked like Luke McCloskey scored out wide outpacing the defence, 20-17. The Pride were on attack again but knocked the ball on and the whistle blew. Next week UBC travel to Seattle while the Pride have a bye. UBC remain top of the table and the Pride are in 5th with a 6-1 record.
FULL MATCH VIDEO
PREGAME Mark: The match many have been waiting to see, Pride with no losses yet and UBC with just one loss, arguably the best two teams in the league right now. UBC's strength this year is their forward pack, good tight five and exceptional loose forwards led by Michael Smith and Nick Allen. Their backline has sputtered a bit in recent matches but they have Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley coming back from injury, he was the starting #10 at the University of Birmingham in the UK and came over to UBC this season but was injured in the Japan preseason tour. We'll see if he can ignite the UBC attack. For the Pride, they only list 21 players so injuries and MLR callups have depleted their numbers a bit. Brock Webster returning from injury gets the start at #10. He's also listed for the Canada U20 Portugal tour so perhaps a warmup match for him before the team leaves. Siaki Vikilani missing for the Pride, a big impact player. Quinn Ngawati had rumours of returning to League and the Wolfpack and MLR with San Diego but apparently is still lacing up the boots with the Pride for now. Should be a great match, if UBC can get their backline connecting, they may have the advantage over a rebuilding Pride team. Prediction: UBC by 5.
Brett: A new test for the Pride now since many players have moved on or up. We will see quickly how much depth they've retained. This should be a fast paced game and both teams have the pack to back it up. One to watch, for sure... Hard to go against the Pride as of yet undefeated, but I think UBC may have the best chance to take them down yet. UBC by +1
Aaron: UBC vs Pacific Pride: Pride win by +6
Brian: Pride to beat UBC by 8: Pride +8
Robin: Pride 29 - 14: Pride +15
UBC 1. Nicholas Frost 2. Connor Sampson 3. Bryce Worden 4. Liam Doll 5. Frank Carson 6. Donald Carson 7. Michael Smith 8. Nicholas Allen 9. Maxwell Radcliffe 10. Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley 11. Evan Norris 12. Adam McQueen 13. Daniel Archer 14. John Lan 15. Fraser Hurst 16. David Carson 17. Conor O'Flaherty 18. Joe Sourisseau 19. Callum Botchar 20. Owain Ruttan 21. Connor Byron 22. Jack Scher 23. Sam Hughes
Pride 1 Liam Murray 2 Ed Ilniki 3 Nik Hildebrand 4 Nolan Howell 5 Thomas Davidson 6 Mason Flesch 7 Cody Nhanala 8 Taitusi Vikilani 9 Crosby Stewart 10 Brock Webster 11 Alex Russell 12 Isaac Olsen 13 Quinn Ngawati 14 Thomas Isherwood 15 Brennig Prevost 16 Morgan MacIntyre 17 Bryce McKinnon 18 Kaden Duguid 19 Austin James 20 Luke McCloskey 21. D'Shawn Bowen
Nanaimo came out flat on defence in the first half and applied no pressure on CW who reveled in the space to take control of the game and put it out of reach early. Nanaimo came out in the second half with more resolve but it was too little and too late and CW ran out comfortable +24 winners. CW host Capilano next week while Nanaimo have a bye. CW are in 7th looking playoff bound. If the season ended today it would be UBC and Burnaby with quarter byes, CW visiting Capilano and Seattle visiting Ravens in the quarters, but there's still 7 weeks left with a lot of rugby to play.
PREGAME Mark: This game has been moved to a neutral venue, Cowichan RFC, as Windsor Park has been closed for the second week in a row. Clubs are running out of make-up weekends and have to make compromises now on home games. Cowichan own their own pitch so they decide and were generous enough to open their doors to the two teams. Well done Cowichan. CW clear favourites in the match, James Pitblado returns at #9, Fergus Hall at #10 and Luke Bradley at inside centre, it's a solid combination. Liam Chisolm at second row, they're missing Nathan Stewart in the loose forwards but overall a good starting XV. Nanaimo pushed Lomas to within 2 points last week and even though they've only notched one win they'll be good for a couple of upsets this season. CW are currently in 8th spot, one point behind Vikes with the top 7 (since Pride aren't eligible for playoffs) going to postseason play. If Nanaimo can keep it close for 60 minutes they may come through with the upset but CW have some quality players throughout and big finishers on the outside. Prediction: CW by +12.
Brett: CW at the end of the fall started clicking, albeit against teams lower in the standings. Nanaimo was one of the teams they had beaten, in Nanaimo. CW however yet to play a game in the spring due to weather. Nanaimo had a very close game with Meralomas last weekend, must wonder how much rust may play a factor. That said, have to go with the home side. CW by +19
Aaron: Castaway Wanderers vs Nanaimo: CW win by +8
Brian: CW to beat Nanaimo by 22: CW +22
Robin: CW 29 - 11: CW +18
Nanaimo 1 Sawyer Barth 2 Antonio Corbin 3 Patrick Milford 4 Cameron McKerrow 5 Max Brook 6 Zack Mayo 7 Andreas Krawczyk 8 Zephyr Melnyk 9 Sam Reimer 10 Jordan Hooke (c) 11 Ryan Bradley 12 Mua Tiumafifi 13 Tyler Hume 14 Gareth Pritchard 15 Taylor de Souza 16 Makz Foot 17 Connor Robertson 18 Christian Harpe 19 Andrew Neilsen 20 Andrew Davidson 21 Aidan Finnegan 22 Taniela Tulia 23 Brennan Bourchier
CW 1. John Braddock 2. Cameron Smith 3. Quinn Horton 4. John Humphries 5. Liam Chisholm 6. Matt Sutherland 7. Sawyer Herron 8. Mike Finnemore 9. James Pitblado 10. Fergus Hall 11. Balucci Kegode 12. Lucas Bradley 13. James Hammond 14. David Devillers 15. Brandon Schellenberger 16. David Mallard 17. Doug Wooldridge 18. Riley Ilnicki 19. Kelton Dawe 20. Brandon Gerhardt 21. Oliver Winser
JAMES BAY AA 20 V BURNABY LAKE 25 @ Burnaby Ref Ryan Alguire
A close match but no upset, Dhinbandhu scored first for Burnaby, JBAA replied with a penalty for a 5-3 scoreline. Wing McRory extended the lead to 10-3, again the conversion missed. The Bays closed it to 10-6 with another penalty before Albornoz at #8 scored a try, again unconverted for a 15-6 HT score. Albornoz again crossed the line, 22-6, to start the second half. The Bays score two tries and Burnaby gets a red card, 22-20, and it's anyone's game. Burnaby kick a penalty 25-20 with 10 minutes left and hold on for the win. The result puts Burnaby in second place and JBAA in 9th place. Next week Burnaby have a bye while the Bays visit the Ravens.
PREGAME Mark: This is another match that was moved, now it's being held in Burnaby as MacDonald Park has been shut down and the Bays are out of make up weekend options. they just moved their postponed match from last weekend to the Easter weekend. Burnaby came out slow last week against the Ravens and were down by several tries by the half, they fought back to get close but it wasn't enough. They are favourites going in, especially now they're at home, a bonus. The Bays were upset by Westshore in their last match and they were only able to put 3 points up on the board. Bays are in 9th place, chasing CW who are a point above, still in the playoff race but need to start winning matches. Burnaby with 3 losses so far this season, sit in 3rd place and with Ravens and Capilano having games in hand, a top two finish and a quarter-final bye is looking not so certain. The Bays have some reinforcements this week, Cooper Coats from the 7s program at #10, they do well when he's in the lineup. Kainoa Lloyd, who was rumoured to be heading to the Pride, is suiting up for the Bays on the wing. Mike Nieuwenhuysen returns to the roster in the centres. They are missing one of their star players, JC Fidende in the loose forwards however. It should be a close match and if I go with one upset this weekend, this is the one. Prediction: Bays by +3.
Brett: This should be a heavyweight match in the mud. While jbaa are strong at home and love that type of game, Burnaby must be seen as a deeper pack. The scrums may also set the platform for the day. Burnaby +11
Aaron: James Bay vs Burnaby: Burnaby win by +8
Brian: Burnaby to beat JBAA by 4: Burnaby +4
Robin: Burnaby 25 - 14: Burnaby +11
JBAA 1. Nico Krawczyk 2. Noah Barker 3. Blake van Heyningen Capt. 4. Peter Masimo 5. Benny Johnson 6. Kieran McAuley 7. Jake Slobodian 8. Carson O'Sullivan 9. Rhys Gregory 10. Cooper Coats 11. Kainoa Lloyd 12. Mike Nieuwenhuysen 13. John Buck 14. Jordan Austin 15. Aaron Evison
Burnaby 1 Kyle Perkins (i) 2 Jamie Kelly 3 Chris Atkinson 4 Callum Toi (i) 5 Mike O'Toole (Capt) 6 Joey Tomlinson (i) 7 Connor McCann 8 Lucas Albornoz 9 Reid Watkins 10 Geoff Ryan 11 Darren Mcrory 12 David Dhinbandhu 13 Neil Maclaine 14 Gino Paolella 15 Haydn Munck (i)
SEATTLE 11 V WESTSHORE 7 @ Western Washington Ref Brett Hay
Another stellar defensive effort by Westshore, last match they limited JBAA to 3 points and this week held Seattle to 11. Unsure if this is the work of coach Aaron Frisby or the influence of the new Director of Rugby Ray Barkwill but it's a good sign for the club. Unfortunately they weren't able to notch the attack up with only one try on the day. The result puts Seattle in 6th place while Westshore remains in 11th. Next week Seattle host UBC while Westshore host the Rowers.
PREGAME Mark: Seattle knocked off the Vikes on the road last week so no one wants to bet against them this week at home. Seattle sitting in 6th place, looking comfortable for a playoff spot and a win in this match will keep them rolling. They're missing some outside speed with Dion Crowder not in the roster. Taylor Krumrei is back in the engine room, he's one of the Seawolves reserves and obviously not making the trip to San Diego for the MLR season opener. Westshore with a roster similar to the one that held the Bays to 3 points in their last match, if they can duplicate that defensive effort it could get interesting. This is the second best bet for an upset but only going with one this week. Prediction: Seattle by +5.
Brett: Always tough to travel the border. Both teams coming off wins, that we didn't see coming. Westshore will want to keep it tight, Seattle will want to keep it moving. Must go home side again. Seattle +9
Aaron: Seattle v Westshore: Seattle win by +8
Brian: Seattle to beat Westshore by 7: Seattle +7
Robin: Seattle 21 - 18: Seattle +3
Westshore 1 Tobias Berg 2 Foster Dewitt c 3 Phil Erb 4 Tyler Symon-Burke 5 Carter Filion 6 Nathan Groenewold 7 Jade Billington 8 Peyton Eagar 9 Adam Roer 10 Isaac Gonevou 11 John Cox 12 Khaleb Whitehurst 13 Paul-henri Van Thiel 14 Spencer Dunstan-Adams 15 Taylor MacGuire 16 Matt Evans 17 Neil Hagerty 18 Aidan McCleary 19 Andrew Foster 20 Gabe Evans 21 Ryan Waldriff 22 Sawyer Schmyro 23 Malcolm Klaver
Seattle 1. Henry Hall 2. E Tiauli Halleluiah 3. Matthew Duncan 4. Chase Bates 5. Taylor Krumrei (Seawolves) 6. Jonathan Valz 7. Matthew Potter 8. Eric Soto 9. Shoop Sidney 10. Jonny Reid 11. Lauina Futi 12. Matt Brennan 13. Levi Penter 14. Sequoyah Burke Combs 15. Ian Wright 16. Jasper Bowen Shepherd 17. Sam Taungakava 18. Danny Sonon 19. Ben Gustafson 20. John Stone 21. Jack Cannon 22. William Stowers 23. Will Brennan
U OF VICTORIA 23 V UBCOB RAVENS 29 @ Wallace Field Ref Cole Pedrick
Vikes led at the half 15-12 with tries from centre Gabe Casey and replacement Jonas Robinson, with a penalty from Jenner Teufel. Ravens started the second half with three consecutive tries to take command of the match, 29-15. Vikes hit back with a try and a penalty to make it a one score match but couldn't get the go ahead score. The result puts Ravens in 4th place and Vikes in 8th place. Next week the Ravens host the Bays while the Vikes have a bye.
PREGAME Mark: After last weeks UVic performance, the pundits are not keen on backing them against one of the hottest teams in the league, the Ravens. UVic currently in 7th but with CW and JBAA in hot pursuit. The results this weekend will change the order of the teams trying to capture those last playoff spots. The Ravens put on an impressive first half display in Burnaby last week and are well positioned for a run at a top two finish. They've lost two matches this year. Jorden Sandover-Best, Aaron McLelland and Colby Mason the big names in an attacking backline. UVic have one of their leaders back, James O'Neill, so expect to see more consistency through the 80 minutes from them this week. Prediction: Ravens by 8.
Brett: Hopefully an exciting game here. Uvic smarting after a loss to Seattle. Ravens off a big win over Burnaby. I see them rolling. Ravens +16
Aaron: UVic vs UBCOB Ravens: Ravens win by +16
Brian: Ravens to beat U Vic by 17: Ravens +17
Robin: Vikes 14 -12: Vikes +2
UVic 1. Gavin Kratz 2. Carter White 3. Thomas Di Fiore 4. Benjamin Newhook 5. Nick Pearce 6. Tyler Wong 7. Thomas Heuser 8. James O'Neill 9. Jenner Teufel 10. Logan Martin-Feek 11. LIAM MAHON 12. Lachlan Kratz 13. Gabriel Casey 14. Noah Bain 15. Liam Morrison 16. Ethan Hager 17. Jarvis Dashkewytch 18. Jonas Robinson 19. Nathan Bice 20. Mostyn Findlay 21. Nathaniel Dring 22. Spencer Cooper 23. George Piper
Ravens 1. James Carson 2. Matias Suez 3. Marc Belvedere 4. Grant Crowell 5. Connor Hamilton 6. Mathew Chan 7. Simon Etheve (i) 8. David ODonoghue (c) (i) 9. Jorden Sandover-Best 10. Bryan Tyrer 11. Michael Hogan (i) 12. Sohaib Chaudhry 13. Colby Mason (i) 14. Tarzan Mac Kay Cantin 15. Aaron Mclellend