Westshore Premier Lose Close Match in Seattle
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: WRFC 7 – Seattle 11
Westshore’s VVs went down to Seattle to play. There was some story about the hosts scrambling for a field in the lead-up, hence an unconventional kick-off time and just the top-flight game taking place. The teams scored one try apiece and Seattle added a couple of penalties to take a close-fought victory.
Looking at the game statistics produced by BC Rugby is interesting. Westshore had what seems like a significant edge in certain facets – line breaks made (5 v. 1), handling errors (12 v. 16), scrum success on own feed (100% v. 50%) and missed tackles (15 v. 25). Seattle did better in terms of getting beyond the gain line (79% v. 66%), 3+ passes (16 v. 5) and restart retention (80% v. 50%). And, of course, the scoreboard.
For all that, it’s hard to say what you can conclude based on looking at the stats from a single game. It’d be interesting to see how they add up across the league and across the season. Which metrics, or combination of metrics, are most closely tied to the game results? When the game is won by seven points or fewer, which of the stats, if any, are most significant? How often does a halftime lead translate to the final outcome? Is there a difference between games involving the top six ranked teams in the league and those outside playoff positioning? In any event, without pumping their tires too much, my opinion is that BC Rugby adds value by providing these stats.
Coach Aaron Frisby was stoked with the defence, saying “with just the one line break you can’t ask for a better effort”. Of the attack, he said that the number of opportunities created was really positive and pointed to prompter support and better rucking technique as the work-on to convert those opportunities. He also noted a trend with defensive teams sending a would-be scavenger to grab or bind on to the tackled player without making any meaningful attempt to actually pilfer the ball itself, and then being awarded a penalty for the tackled player not releasing. “We have to adapt to this trend in the breakdown and the way referees are interpreting it, and make sure we are more prepared in that area with support and strategy”.
Women’s Premier: WRFC 10 – Seattle 28
The Valkyries also travelled to Seattle, and also went down to the home side. Coach Barbara Mervin described the opposition as “very skilled”, saying “we learnt some extremely valuable lessons on which we will build”.
The Valkyries play a rare Thursday night fixture this week against the Thunderbirds (6 p.m. kick-off). On Saturday the men host the Rowers, with the 2nd XV kicking off at 12:45 and the Premier XV at 2:30. John Lyall is selling raffle tickets for a VIP experience at the Vancouver 7s. $5 each, or a very un-John-Lyall-Special of 3 for $10.