Around the League – Weekend of March 15th

Around the League: UBC Defeat Kamloops; Seattle Dominate Bayside; Richmond v Abbotsford Match Report by Steve Feenstra

posted March 15 2014
[ed. comments below. LATEST UPDATE UBC CONFIRM THEY ARE IN PLAYOFFS. A reporting error by the the BC Rugby Union, where they missed a number, changes the whole news. BCRU reported the score as UBC 7 – Kamloops 19, in actuality they missed a 2, it should have been UBC 72 – Kamloops 19. It sort of makes a difference. Apologies to the UBC Alumni who were getting heart palpitations and google mapping the nearest emergency room.]

BC Premier

There was no Premier action this weekend but the 2nd teams from James Bay and UVic battled it out in the Premier Div 1. The Bays prevailed 32-15. Phil Meyer has a report on that in the James Bay article.

Hopefully next year there’s some shakeup in the competition structure so we don’t have two Division One leagues. The Premier 2nd teams are in the shadows a bit and need to compete against other Div 1 sides, my feeling anyways.

A beautiful spring day on the horizon and no BC Premier games this weekend. It’s crazy and shows the need for another layer above the BC Premier where a game could have been slotted in here. From a news perspective it just kills the momentum. The UVic v JBAA default last week due to the University 7s also indicates that someone needs to look after scheduling and bring the BCRU and Rugby Canada to the table and make sure that all available weekends are used and there’s no overlaps. Give me the job, I’ll sort them out.

Also note that there is a Premier Div 1 game between UVic and James Bay today that was postponed from last weekend. It’s at Wallace at 1pm.

Division One

Lots of action going on in Div 1 both on the field and off the field. First of all, lets rewrite the news. BCRU reported the score as UBC 7 – Kamloops 19, well they forgot the two after the 7, kinda important. The score was UBC 72 – Kamloops 19. Thanks BCRU, Andrew Smith is apparently on vacation and their whole system falls apart. So kindly disregard the following observation and UBC has confirmed their playoff participation. What happened to UBC eh? They lost to Kamloops 19-7, UBC haven’t lost a game in Div 1 all year going 11-0 and Kamloops have won just 3 sitting at 3-7. Something going on there, the national U20 players have left for the UK so that hurt UBC, but this much? It was on the heels of reports (on BCRN) that there was talk of UBC not entering the playoffs or seeking promotion next year. A UBC coach asked where the rumours were coming from but so far has neither confirmed nor denied the rumours, so it’s wait and see [UPDATE UBC CONFIRM PLAYOFF COMMITMENT]. But with this result Seattle takes over 1st 2nd place and it all comes down to the April 5th meeting between these two teams. Seattle travels to Kamloops on March 29th. which may be interesting if Kamloops has strengthened their player pool recently.

Seattle crushed Bayside at home 49-7 minus four national team players who are at an Eagles camp preparing for a trip to Uruguay. Seattle definitely look the team to beat on the mainland unless UBC can rediscover their form without their U20 national team players. Meanwhile there seems to be all sorts of backroom wheeling and dealing going on in terms of setting new rules for the upcoming Div 1 playoffs. C’mon Jim and company, put this out in the light of day so everyone can see what’s going on and who is pushing for what. According to last year’s rules if the playoffs were held next weekend it would see UBC host Richmond and Cowichan host Seattle Seattle host Richmond and Cowichan host UBC. The makeup of those teams may change with Velox and Nanaimo challenging Cowichan on the Island and Bayside and Abbotsford chasing Richmond (and Seattle or UBC to settle top spot).

On the Island Cowichan won an important match against Nanaimo 18-6 in a double point game (due to previous postponement) which vaults them into first place over Velox. Velox hammered Comox 69-0 and have a game in hand on Cowichan so may reclaim 1st place with a win against Nanaimo next weekend. Nanaimo drop to 4th place with the loss as Port Alberni claimed a 48-41 bonus point win over Velox Academy in a try fest at Velox.

Returning to the mainland, Richmond and Abbotsford met on the weekend, with Richmond prevailing 13-0. Steve Feenstra covered the game for BCRN. Here is his report.

Richmond v Abbotsford by Steve Feenstra

On another Saturday in which mother nature blessed us with a driving rain, Richmond won a hard fought Div. 1 game while Abbotsford took the Div. 2 game handily.

The Div. 2 game saw Abbotsford carry an advantage in the running game and this helped produce a 35-7 score line. The backs for Abby were strong and gained good yardage with straight ahead runs that had Richmond working hard to contain them. However, even though Abby had the game in hand in the second half, Richmond showed a willingness to put everything they had into keeping the game competitive and were rewarded with a late try by the scrum half, who was a buzz saw all game and deserved his reward.

The Div. 1 game was a more even contest with Richmond slightly on the front foot with their willingness to push the ball wide and kick strategically when they could.

Richmond took advantage of two penalties in the 2nd and 18th minutes to build a 6-0 lead which looked like it would carry to the half when Alex Brown finished a series of off loads with an exciting swerving run of 40 metres to dot down for a well deserved try. The convert was good and the half ended 13-0 for Richmond.

The second half was a challenge for both teams as the footing influenced the flow of play, making it difficult to get any momentum. The kicking game became pivotal and the fullback for Richmond sent a few lengthy well placed kicks into the Abby end for some big gains in territory.

Another blow for Abby occurred when their #8 was injured early in the game due to the slippery conditions and was followed a bit later by #5 so their pack lost some much needed power at that point.

What they said. The coaching staff of Abbotsford felt that mistakes would have a large bearing on the game, and that they didn’t fare well in that respect.

The coaching staff of Richmond wanted to try and play to the corners and push the ball to the backs despite the conditions, which proved successful for them.

Referee Kai Taylor had a fairly uneventful game, just one yellow near the end, and commented that the teams were mostly compliant.

From the sidelines the score seemed indicative of the play.

There’s a full slate of games in Div 1. Abbotsford travels to Richmond, UBC to Kamloops, United to Surrey and Bayside to Seattle. Seattle will be without their National team players so the result should be interesting. The Eagles are preparing for Uruguay and there are at least 7 Seattle players away at the camp in Atlanta. If there ever was a time to beat Seattle at home, this would be it.

On the Island, the big game is Nanaimo @ Cowichan which apparently will be a double point affair covering a missed game between the two teams earlier in the schedule. Velox travel to Comox and Velox Academy host Port Alberni.

Rumours abound that the mainland Div 1 wants to change the playoff format so that they get to host both playoff games. At the present time the mainland get 3 playoff spots, the Island 1. The Island gets ranked #2 and hosts the #3 team. Apparently not satisfied with getting the 3-1 split certain people also now want the #1 and #2 ranking. Why this is coming up now with about 6 weeks to playoffs is beyond me, and reflects on how poorly managed the BCRU league structure is becoming. Surely this should be decided before the league starts and if not then it defaults to last year’s arrangement. There will always be petty people trying to gain an advantage at the committee level, even in rugby, it’s sad. We’ll see how Jim Dixon and the competition committee sorts this out.

There’s also talk of UBC not participating in the playoffs, again come out and state it now or it’s assumed you’re in the playoffs. The universities traditionally have that end of season lag when students disperse to find summer employment. However it wasn’t that many years ago that UVic won the Premiership, so it’s not an unmanageable situation. If anyone can clarify the UBC position on the playoffs, that would be great.

Women’s Premier

In women’s Premier Capilano were the surprise team of the weekend, pushing a strong Burnaby team to a close finish. Burnaby won but only by 14-10. Considering Burnaby were averaging 70 points per game before this weekend, that’s a very good effort by the Caps. They look a solid 3rd place team behind Burnaby and Velox right now, both undefeated teams. Velox put the Seattle Mudhens to the sword on the Island, winning 71-0. Another Velox v Burnaby BC Final matchup looks to be on the cards with only Capilano strong enough to possibly change that story.

A full slate of games with Burnaby @ Caps one of the top matchups. Also the Mudhens of Seattle visit Velox, United to SFU and Bayside to Seattle.



Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. March 15th:
BYE WEEKEND – Next Games March 22nd, 2014

Ceili’s Cup (First Divisiion) League – Sat. March 15th:
James Bay AA 32(+1) – 15 UVic Norsemen

Okanagan Spring Brewery League One – Sat. March 15th:
Abbotsford RFC 0 – 13 Richmond RFC
UBC Thunderbirds 72 – 19 Kamloops Rugby Club
Bayside AA 7 – 49(+1) Seattle RFC
United Rugby Club at Surrey Beavers NOT REPORTED

Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two – Sat. March 15th:
Abbotsford RFC 35(+1) – 7 Richmond RFC
UBC 79 – 5 Kamloops Rugby Club
Bayside AA 17 – 48(+1) Seattle RFC
United Rugby Club at Surrey Beavers NOT REPORTED

Lower Mainland Third Division – Sat. March 15th:
POOL A: Vancouver Rowing Club 10 – 56(+1) Brit Lions-A
POOL A: Kelowna Crows 0 – 27 Scribes RFC
POOL B: Abbotsford RFC 66(+1) – 7 at Richmond RFC
POOL B: Chilliwack Crusaders at Surrey Beavers NOT REPORTED
POOL B: UBC-B 0 – 20 Brit Lions-B

Vancouver Island First Division – Sat. March 15th:
Nanaimo Hornets 6 – 18 Cowichan
Velox Valhallians 69(+1) – 0 Comox Kickers
Port Alberni 48 – 41(+1) Velox Academy

Vancouver Island Third Division: Sat. March 15th:
Nanaimo Hornets 0 – 36 Cowichan


Women’s Adidas Premiership – Sat. March 15th:
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club 14 -10(+1) Capilano RFC
Bayside AA 44(+1) – 10 Seattle RFC
United Rugby Club 10 – 7(+1) SFU
Emerald City Mudhens 0 – 71(+1) Velox Valkyries

Women’s Division 1/2 – Sat. March 15th:
Brit Lions at Meraloma NOT REPORTED
Nanaimo Hornets 24 – 24 Cowichan Rugby Club
Kamloops Rugby Club 12 – 19 Kelowna Crows

Women’s Exhibition Game Sat. March 15th
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club 22 -15 Capilano RFC

Posted in BC Rugby.