James Bay News - Fall Season 2011

November 28 2011


Bays Power Their Way to Barnard Cup Win

by Phil Meyer
posted Nov 28 2011
[ed. here is a link to the JBAA 125th Anniversay video]

On Saturday at Centennial Stadium on the U Vic campus, James Bay Athletic Association won their 53rd (or 55th ) Barnard Cup victory – resorting to powerful forwards play – and stiff 15 man tackling - to again win the Vancouver Island Rugby Championship.

Incoming weather gave the game a pass – and play was wide open to begin – as is usual between these two top teams. Seven minutes on, the Blue Crush powered to the Vikes line, and J.T. Rowbotham boshed over. Bays 5 – Vikes 0.

At fourteen minutes, the Crush again rucked and mauled to the goal line, and Rowbotham notched his second, converted by Jeff Williams. But from 20 minutes on, play subsided to trench warfare, as the Bays had to deal with a more than 2 to 1 adverse penalty count, and two yellow cards to zero, issued by the struggling referee. This saw JBAA’s attacking momentum stopped – with no option other than playing shut-down defence the rest of the way. Not much fun for the 700 or so spectators hoping for another explosive game.

The Vikes did get three points from a Pat Kay penalty goal mid-way through the first half. But this was answered by a Dan Harlow score, on passes from Jim de Goede and Jeff Williams. Brett Beukeboom notched the students’ only try of the day 43 minutes into the first half. Kay converted. Bays 17 – Vikes 10.

Mid-way through half two, the Bays again shorthanded, Kay was good on a cleverly taken drop goal – inching the Vikes within 4. But the Blue Crush continued to ruck and maul up field – JBAA defences, led by two try-saving tackles from Morgan Williams, held firm – and with four minutes left, Rowbotham got his “hat” – powering over for a concluding Blue Crush try.

The Vikes, led by Tony La Carte, played spirited rugby, as they always do. But on this day, the Bays were better – and overcame adversity for a deserved win. JBAA 22 – Vikes 13.

In the 12:45 game, U Vic Norsemen, led by Kane Wyatt and Chris Linn, secured a well played 39 to 17 win over a brave, but outgunned, JBAA Ones team.

The Bays’ Ones are scheduled to finish their fall season next week in Nanaimo, in the VIRU Cowichan Cup final – while the Prems settle down for some Christmas R&R.

The now 2-0 Prems will next play Abbotsford on January 28th at MacDonald Park, with Division One CDI teams also clashing in the early game.

JBAA’s Saturday rugby did not end with Their Barnard Cup win. In the evening, 125 Olde Stars, and some of today, squeezed into the Navy Blue draped 125th Anniversary Lounge at the House of Bays, and sat down to a menu of fine food from The Local Restaurant, and fine companionship with rugby mates from many years.

MC’d by Tommy Woods, the event was blessed by long time Bay, Frank Gower. Lew Madley, JBAA historian, who celebrated his 90th birthday last week, shared some Bays’ history with his rugby friends. Mike de Goede outbid Norm Hadley for a limited edition Henry Vickers print! The dynasty that is JBAA was evident – with nine de Goede’s and six Briggs leading the way.

A highlight of the evening was the awarding of seven Canada Caps – presented to each Bay by other Capped Canada’s who had also played for the Bays – and in the same position!

Casey Walt: Presented by Ron McInnes.

Chris Whittaker: Presented by Hans de Goede, Norm Hadley and Dave Ramsay.

Roy Radu: Presented by Ken Wilke and Gary Johnston.

Jared Barker: Presented by Bob Ross.

Paul Vaeson: Presented by Tom Woods.

Pat Dunkley: Presented by Mark Cardinal.

Dave Moonlight: Presented by Jeff Williams and Dan Harlow.

JBAA and Canada Warriors All!!!

The Speaker for the evening was Dave Cutler – who played junior rugby and football for the Bays, before going on to his Hall of Fame career with the Edmonton Eskimos. Dave went out of his way to thank several JBAA Olde Stars – including Sonny Vickery, Mel Davison, Bobby Coutts, Adam Ustik, George Jones, Les Underwood and Tillman Briggs – who, in his words; “taught him the things he needed to know to compete at the highest level in the CFL”.

At the end – Comrades Together!!! Secure with each other – and with the satisfaction that, on this Saturday, our Boys on the Field had added another chapter to the 125-year JBAA story.

JBAA 2011 Barnard Cup champions
click on image to expand
photo by Mark Bryant

Heart of The Bear: Bays Defeat CW for Third Time in Fall Season

posted Nov 22 2011
by Phil Meyer

On Saturday, in what passes for winter in Victoria – clear skies – “cold” wind off the Olympics – temperature of 3 degrees or so – the JBAA Prems again took the field against their oldest foe in Canadian rugby – the Castaway Wanderers. Last season, CW surged to a BC Championship. This season, the Bays have been working toward remedy - with home and away wins going into Saturday’s game.

This game would be a tester – with four JBAA starters, and one or two CW, off to a Sevens Camp behind the Malahat hills. And so on the day, it would come down – as these struggles often do – to a small bounce here or there, and to the players on the field.

CW, bolstered by the return of Canada’s Scott Franklin, Nanyak Dala – and of Kenny Goodland – opened strong, driving JBAA back in the sets – and creating space for centers Bainivula (two minutes in) and Savea (at 18 minutes) to score trys. An answering Jeff Williams penalty goal saw the half end CW 10 – Prems 3.

But by half time, the storm was turning round. Perennial all-BC Scotty Warren, stepping in at #1, yet again last minute – Russ (The Bus) Ward – and Silent Danny Hrycyk at hook – regained their own versus Franklin, Tiedemann and Thornber in the sets. Ramar Ramsay, Big E Forsythe, and Jimmy de Goede seized line-out control. New Bays Zac Coughlan and Adam Drury ratcheted their psyche up to this game’s accelerating ebb and flow. And the Bays’ backs, QB’d by Jeff Williams, upped their D – giving nothing away - from sideline ‘cross to sideline.

CW continued to play hard, led, as often, by Goodland – combat intensifying minute to minute on – tackle and bash – bash and tackle – back and forth. And then at 56 minutes, with the ever-quickening flow of combat beginning to turn toward the Blue - Morgan Williams, as he often does, drove a stake into opposing hearts. A twisting dodging run to the CW 15 meter line – clothes-lined there – penalty whistle blows – Morgan springs to his feet – quick taps – twists and turns over the line – delivers an end zone straight arm to a final CW in his way – touches the ball down to score! And Kyle Laberge, substituted into the game six minutes prior, ignores his dislocated finger, extruding at a silly angle, to slot the convert – and to tie the game! JBAA Prems 10 – CW 10.

With the Morgan score – and the game tied - the Heart-Beat of the Bear could now be clearly heard - on field – and resonating back from Bays’ spectators - spread along both sides. Sixteen minutes from full time, Dave Moonlight - another Bay who knows his way to scoring very well – clinched the deal. Playing in his first game back this season, Dave cut back sharply 18 meters out – another zig – and then a zag – and powered over for the winning 5 point score! JBAA 15 – CW 10.

Both teams played fiercely – and the Bays were pleased to earn the win. Many JBAA Olde Stars – veterans of successful seasons past – were at the game – perhaps readying for JBAA’s 125th Anniversary Celebration one week hence. All agreed - the conflict on this day did justice to wars waged across past seasons and past decades – and to future battles between these two historic rugby clubs o’er the 125 years still to come. On this day, in our 125th year – the outcome was decided by The Heart- Beat of the Bear – heard strong and clear upon MacDonald’s field!

So we end our day – clubhouse congrats to Bays and CW foes alike. Bryn Keys - back fractured three weeks past - awkward in his brace – but standing tall inside the House of Bays – welcomed home by teammates and by CW rugby friends.

And a thank you to referee de Goede. On this fast and furious day, he let the game flow – controlling play without recourse to funny coloured cards - in what, some remarked, was the finest performance by an official seen at The Mac in several years.

Next Saturday JBAA will enjoy a multitude of special rugby events.

Saturday at 2:45 at Centennial Stadium.

JBAA Prems take on the U Vic Vikes, in a Winner Take Three contest.

• The Barnard Cup – for the Championship of Vancouver Island.

• The first game of the two-game Bays-Vikes Challenge Cup – initiated by Ian Stewart to foster athletic competition and citizen-building between these two rugby powers.

• The second game of the new BCRU Premier League season. Presently, the Bays – and Vikes – are 1-0 in Premier League play.

The early game will see JBAA Ones, who suffered a difficult 22-0 defeat at the hands of CW yesterday, take on U Vic’s Norsemen.

And Then!!! On Saturday evening, JBAA’s 125th Anniversary Banquet – and presentation of official Canada Caps to JBAA Legends Jared Barker, Dave Moonlight, Roy Radu, Paul Vaeson, Casey Walt, Pat Dunkley and Chris Whittaker. This event is sold out. A waiting list is being compiled.

Bays Power On vs. Castaway Wanderers

by Phil Meyer
posted Oct 30 2011

Saturday, under blue-grey skies at MacDonald Park, James Bay Athletic Association continued to build their team for the 2011-2012 season – powering off to a 54-7 win over Castaway Wanderers.

Danny Hrycyk, J.T. Rowbotham and Russ (the Bus) Ward led the Blue Crush forwards from the front row. Dave Ramsay returned to the line-up – his two week old baby watching from the sidelines – and Eric Forsythe, back home on his one week sabbatical from work in the Oil Patch, came in to run rampant in the second half.

Morgan Williams – together with Dan Harlow – again led JBAA try scorers, with two apiece. Conor McCann notched a try, four converts and two penalty goals, for a total of 19 points.

Hugo Belanger opened scoring two minutes in, finishing off a Bays’ attack through several hands in the left corner. Mc Cann converts. Four minutes later, Rowbotham boshes over in the same corner. Bays 14.

At 13 minutes, McCann notches a penalty – followed by Dan Harlow’s first – a clever pop through, gather of his own kick, and plunge across the CW line. McCann scored his own try midway through the half.

At 24 minutes, CW applied some sustained pressure near the JBAA goal line – with Dylan Jones finally pushing in, Paul Buckley converting, for their only points of the game.

Six minutes further on, an attack by JBAA’s Williams brothers – Jeff setting up Morgan for a slice through to score. Conor convert. Half score: Bays 36 – CW 7.

The second half was all Bays. A McCann penalty goal two minutes in – Morgan Williams slicing in again five minutes on, Conor converting – Dan Harlow with his second at 58 minutes, off a strong attacking run by Nolan Miles – Adam Drury scoring at 70 minutes, Miles again providing the setup. Final score: JBAA 54 – CW 7.

The game was called 7 minutes from time to facilitate on-field treatment of former Canada Bryn Keys, making his debut at #13 for the Bays. Bryn has been admitted to Victoria General Hospital with a back injury. The thoughts of all in the JBAA family – and of CW well wishers - are with him.

In the 1:00 PM game, a well coached Nanaimo side received two trys from Rocky Cousins, and powered to a well deserved win over the JBAA Ones, 22 to 5.

Finally, this report recognizes Gary Johnston. Jono was welcomed into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame last evening, joining past inductees “The JBAA Club”, Hans de Goede, Tillman Briggs, Mark Wyatt, Gareth Rees, Don Burgess – and such “other sport” luminaries as Torchy Peden, Porky Andrews, Norm Baker, Jeff and Russ Courtnall, Dave Cutler, Gary Gait, Peter Reid and Silken Laumann. Jono is a good man – and he is in good company in The Hall!

Former Canadian International and current James Bay President Tom Woods with daughter sporting the "Kleeberger Beardo" T-Shirt
photo by Mark Bryant

Bays Build Their Season with 11 Try Performance

posted Oct 23 2011
by Phil Meyer

With Velox struggling, and added players still snaking down the western slopes of the Rockies, this was a game that JBAA was supposed to win – and did – rolling over the Valhallians with an 11 try 69 to 0 win on a soft MacDonald Park surface. The Bays are trying to build their team during these early season games. The highlight on Saturday was the season debut of former Captain Canada Morgan Williams.

Morgan, now an Esquimalt fire fighter, celebrated his return by scoring three trys, with assists on two others. Even with Sean White a last minute pick for Guadalajara, the Bays were able to field Morgan, brother Jeff, Connor Braid, Dan Harlow, Conor McCann and Franco Lloyd – a deeper set of backs than they have enjoyed for several years – enabling Captain Hugo Belanger to return to wide side flanker.

Nolan Miles opened the scoring seven minutes in – combining with Morgan Williams and McCann on a 40 meter romp. Connor Braid kicked the convert – and the flood gates opened.
• Dan Harlow, diving over on a feed from Braid at 12 minutes;
• Morgan with his first, from Miles and others at 18 minutes;
• Spence Dalziel, on a pass from Conor McCann at 24 minutes;
• Connor Braid finishing off a multi-player passing attack at 35 minutes.

At the half time whistle, Jeff Williams lofted an attacking kick cross-field. Miles leaped into the air – gathered the ball – and fell forward into the Valhallian end zone for his second try of the game. By this point, Braid’s talented toe had taken a southern vacation, so Conor McCann was brought up to kick the convert – successfully. Score at the half: JBAA 34 – Velox 0.

The second half was much the same. Belanger scored twice within nine minutes. Morgan Williams scored his second at 13 minutes. Braid slashed through mid-way in the half. Williams mysteriously appeared in the middle of a Blue Crush boshing exercise to get his “hat” with 10 minutes to go. Conor McCann converted all five second half trys for the Bays. Velox played hard throughout – and kept their heads up. They simply couldn’t score – and couldn’t find a way to keep the Bays from scoring. Reinforcements are reported to be in the wind.

JBAA Ones 41 – Velox 5.

The (mostly) young JBAA Ones showed improved form and focus – obtaining a workmanlike 41 to 5 victory in the rain-splashed early game. Ollie Briggs led try scorers with two. Blake van Heyningen, Derek Thomas, Willie Ganong and Elliot Peacock added singles. Andrew de Goede kicked three converts. Quinn scored a try for Velox.

Next Saturday, JBAA Prems host Castaway Wanderers in what should be another classic battle at MacDonald Park.

The 3-3 JBAA Ones finished 3rd in VIRU Div. 1 Round 1. – affected this week by a decision by U Vic to redistribute some of their Norsemen players to Jutes for Saturday’s games – and a resulting Norsemen loss to CW Ones. An unpleasant outcome for JBAA. It is not yet clear where the JBAA Ones will play next Saturday.

Velox coach, John MacMillan, looks despondent as James Bay scorekeepers are kept busy
photo by Mark Bryant

Vikes Run & Gun to Squeeze Victory Over Bays

by Phil Meyer
posted Oct 16 2011

Saturday under a cool blue University of Victoria sky, assembled fans were treated to 12 trys and 86 points of top notch attacking rugby – with Phil Mack driving a stake through the heart of JBAA supporters to lift Vikes to a 44-42 victory at game’s end.

The Bays, embarked on a major rebuilding program this season, were unsure how well their new moving parts would mesh and run together. For the first minute of the game, the Big Blue engine didn’t run at all – as Vikes struck for two scores, first on an interception by Sean Duke, then a high step down the left sideline by Willem du Plessis. Phil Mack drop-kicked one convert, Dustin Dobravsky converted the other. Vikes 14 – Bays 0.

Recovering from shock, the Bays came back six minutes in – Hugo Belanger finishing off a multi-pass attack in the left corner. Connor Braid converted from the sideline. He was to convert all six JBAA trys on the day. Ten minutes on, a highlight reel 90 meter JBAA score – Danny Harlow starting the attack deep in his own end – passing off and coming in to take a pass himself up-field – the ball crossing from right sideline to left – virtually every Bays’ back handling - #13 Sean White, back from Kiwi Land, finishing the score. Bays back even at 14.

Two minutes later, JBAA hooker J.T. Rowbotham was concussed and had to leave – bringing Scotty Warren on for his second straight two-game Saturday. The Blue Crush rolled on – and 24 minutes in, pushed over for a third try, John Moonlight touching down.

Four minutes from half, and playing a man short, JBAA encountered a series of penalty whistles – Vikes’ Dobravsky notched the “two of five chances” he was to have on the day – and the Vikes were back within one. Score at the half: Bays 21 – Vikes 20.

Half two started as half one – Sean Duke scoring two minutes in – Dobravsky converting – the Bays still short a man. Then, at the 50 minute mark, Duke raced in again for his hat trick. With the Dobravsky conversion, Vikes 34 – Bays 21.

But JBAA was not done. Tries by Nolan Miles, Moonlight, and White, against a fourth (unconverted) score from Duke, advanced the game count to Bays 35 – Vikes 34.

Then, two minutes from time, Phil Mack short-tapped a penalty to squeeze over for Vikes’ final five points – and seal the deal for U Vic.

The game was a tribute to offensive rugby – Duke and White, Mack and Moonlight – du Plessis and Braid, Tony LaCarte and Conor McCann – Danny Harlow and Remi Anctil - leading the way. The Vikes attacked all the time from everywhere – and looked particularly dangerous down the sidelines. The Bays’ Blue Crush controlled most scrums and mauls, and matched the Vikes, try for try. Connor Braid continued his kicking wizardry – converting six of six – but had no penalty opportunity to kick at goal. Dobravsky went 2 for 5 on penalties at goal – in retrospect, the score-line difference in the game. The officiating – hit and miss – did not enhance the game – but chewing bitter pills, unfortunately, is not uncommon in Island rugby. At the end – fans animated – Vikes jubilant – Bays congratulating the victors - chewing down hard.

With this result, both teams are 3-1, Vikes atop the league on a third-level VIRU tie-breaker (points scored minus points against in the two games between the teams – Vikes by 1). These two outstanding teams will meet again on November 26 - the first game of the two-game Bays-Vikes Challenge Trophy, donated by Ian Stewart. Next Saturday, JBAA hosts Velox at MacDonald Park, while Vikes play third-place Castaway Wanderers (2-2).

In Division 1, Norsemen defeated JBAA 46 to 12, continuing their undefeated South Island streak. Bays’ Ones are now 2-3 in Round 1 league play – and face a must-win encounter with the Valhallians, also next Saturday at MacDonald.

Celebrating Rugby! : Accolades to World Cup Team and Weekend Victory

from Phil Meyer
posted Oct 2 2011

The weekend started for this writer with Tonga’s “we will not be beaten” defiance and defeat of France. I also watched Invictus again – reminding me that sport, and rugby in particular, can fulfill dreams in special times, if hearts are strong!

We salute Our Canada’s and their Coach. The boys got everything they could out of their World Cup performance, and only praise rests on their shoulders. DTH, Jason, Whitey, Aaron and Taylor have all worn our traditional Navy Blues. For some, it is a family affair. Brother Pieter van der Merwe was cleats-on-field for our Bays yesterday. Trainer, and sister, Karla administered to our bent and battered. Dr. Danie would have been there to stitch our boys up, as he often is, if not in Kiwi-land. Tim White was with our Bays Saturday at Windsor Park, one eye on son Sean down under. Credit also to the rest of the Canada’s! Eddie Fairhurst, Jamie Cudmore, and the rest of Canada’s Proud Warriors. With resolute courage they have seized the full measure of credit in Canada’s performance. If blame is to be found, it lies elsewhere.

Huddy Huddy Canada’s!!!

On Saturday at Windsor Park, JBAA, led by loose head Scotty Warren and #10 Connor Braid, out-gunned BC Champions Castaway Wanderers 18 to 14. The game was loose lidded – featuring a surfeit of knock-ons and whistles – and hence lacked flow. Yet, at the end, it was competitive – attractive for spectators – and introduced a new crop of talented youngsters who will offer “better to come” as the season progresses. At the final whistle, CW legitimately felt they should have won. JBAA, with equal legitimacy, believed we should have won by more.

Newfoundland’s Zac Coughlan, and Barrie Ontario’ J.T. Rowbotham made impressive debuts for the Bays – but JBAA’s two trys were left to veterans Hugo Belanger and Danny Harlow – with Braid adding a convert and two penalty goals to the score line. Isaac Bainivalu (try) and Pita Savea (convert and two penalties), CW’s Pacific Islands Connection, took care of their scoring. Scotty Warren, benefiting from his new-found fitness regime, played 130 minutes on the day to lead the Bays in both games.

The competition was unfortunately impeded by Canada 7’s Geraint John, who facing a choice between holding a “Canada 7’s Camp” this week, or next week when no BC games are scheduled, chose yesterday – removing top players from club rugby games across British Columbia. Such disrespect for domestic rugby in British Columbia puts our players between a rock and a hard place, and unnecessarily increases the price that we at home pay to support competitive efforts abroad. It needs to be corrected going forward.

With the win, Bays now stand at 3-0 in VIRU Elite League play. They will rest over the Thanksgiving weekend – and look forward to seeing some of our Canada’s back when we play Vikes (2-1) at Wallace Field two weeks hence. CW (1-2) also rests next week, and will host Velox (0-3) in two weeks at Windsor Park.
JBAA Ones 31 – CW 24.

In VIRU Division 1 play, JBAA scored five trys to obtain a hard fought win, avenging a last second defeat to CW in mid-September. Blake van Heyningen, Mike Charlesworh and the Canadian Navy’s Dylan McGinn scored first half trys for the Bays– while Andrew (the Puzzler) de Goede converted two. Mike Dalsin scored two for CW, Steve Grdic notched one, with Brandon Gerhart kicking two converts. Score at the half: JBAA 19 - CW 19.

In half two, CW scored first - a second try from Grdic at 52 minutes. JBAA edged ahead to stay with Ben Johnson slashed through to score five minutes later – de Goede converting. Pieter van der Merwe, playing in the centers like older brother, completed the scoring, to see the Bays to their six point win. The JBAA Ones’ next game will be against U Vic Norsemen in two weeks.

Bays celebrate post game: Hugo Belanger, Connor Braid and Zac Coughlan (Swilers, Newfoundland)
photo by Mark Bryant

Rugby Excitement Returns to MacDonald Park

by Phil Meyer
posted Sept 25 2011

Saturday, at MacDonald Park, James Bay Athletic Association hosted the Vikes from University of Victoria, in the first of four league contests between these two top tier rivals set for the 2011-2012 season. With one eye on our Canada’s, still playing in Kiwi-land, there remained a surfeit of “coulda-shoulda” Canada’s on the field Saturday – Phil Mack, Sean Duke and Doug Woolridge for the Vikes. Connor Braid, John Moonlight and Eric Forsythe for JBAA. The entry to the Vikes of Woolridge was of particular interest, and he fought to a thundering front row standoff, mano-o-mano, with emergent former Ontario colleague Russ Ward of the Bays.

The game offered seven lead changes, and a high charge for spectators right to the final whistle. Braid opened the scoring two minutes in, with a long sideline penalty goal from 45 meters out. Bays continued to command possession and press up field, as they would for much of the game. But the Vikes, equipped with Thunderbolt Philley Mack, and Lightning Remi Anctil, notched long strike-back trys to stay even or better for much of the game.

At eight minutes, Vikes #8 Dustin Dobravsky scored a clean try to see Vikes to a 5 to 3 lead. At twenty-six minutes, it was JBAA’s turn – scrum pressuring up the middle, Spenny Dalziel spinning the ball left to Braid – Braid slicing to the corner to score, then making the difficult sideline conversion. Bays 10 – Vikes 5. Four minutes later, Anctil raced half-field against the run of play to score. Dobravsky was good on the convert. Score at half: Vikes 12 – Bays 10.

The second half offered more of the same excitement. A Dobravsky penalty goal at three minutes extended the Vikes lead. Braid pulled the Bays back close with a reciprocal four minutes later – and then another, seeing the Bays ahead 16-15. At 68 minutes, Anctil returned – with his second long score, Dobravsky converting. Vikes ahead again 22-16.

But the Bays, led by forwards Warren, Ward, Moonlight and Forsythe – and in the backs by Dalziel, Braid, Belanger and Williams – found another gear, and rucked, mauled and boshed up field to see hooker Dan Hrycyk drive over near the Viker posts four minutes from time. Braid slotted the in-front convert, to see the Bays to a 23-22 victory.

These two teams have built a lasting relationship of respect over past years – and Saturday’s result will be no predictor of outcome when they meet again. On this day, Connor Braid, who made more with his talented toe from less opportunity, proved the score-line decider. Next Saturday, the 2-0 Bays will front up against Castaway Wanderers at the House of Windsor, while Vikes host Velox Vallhalians at Wallace Field.

In Division 1 play, U Vic Norsemen bested the Bays 24 to 5.

Bay's 9-10 combination Dalziel to Braid
photo by Mark Bryant

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