BC Rugby Weekend of October 14th 2023

BC Premier Week 1 Vikes Upset UBC; CW Dominate Bays; Burnaby Edge Caps; Pride Crush Spartans; Lomas Ground Ravens: Results and Rosters

Note: A couple of well loved and prominent members of the BC Rugby community passed last week, Kevin “Lunk” Wirachowski from Velox/Westshore and Ken Peace from Abbotsford. There will likely be a moments silence at some matches this weekend to honour and remember them. More info can be found on the respective club facebook pages, Westshore and Abbotsford.

Men Premier – Week 1

The preseason has finally wrapped up and the BC Leagues kick off this weekend. The only exception is the Coastal Cup which is just winding down, the Pacific Pride have won that title but there are some fixtures left with TWU to finish the season. TWU aren’t in the Premier, neither are the Rowers or Seattle this season. That leaves 10 teams in the competition, 8 of them are in action this weekend, Westshore have a bye, and the Pride are finishing up the Coastal Cup with a match against TWU. There are 6 weeks of action up till the winter break and then play resumes February for 8 weeks before the playoffs start on April 20th.

Meraloma 34 v UBCOB Ravens 15 @ 14:30
Referee: Shanda Assmus AR1: Riley Robinson AR2: Thomas Cooper
Venue: Connaught Park

The Lomas look the real deal this season as they double up on the Ravens in a +19 win. The Lomas made it to the final last year and this early result for them against a strong Ravens team looks promising. Next week they visit an improved Westshore team that went winless last season. The Ravens will host UBC.

The Premier season kicks off this weekend, it’s difficult to read too much into the preseason results as teams were missing key players. Both the Lomas and Ravens lost to Burnaby but the Lomas thumped the Ravens 48-7 in September. In the Premier semi-finals in the spring it was Lomas winning 27-14, they’ll have to go in as favourites this weekend, especially at home.

The Ravens have Andrew Coe in the roster, that should make a difference, he’s suiting up at outside centre. Aaron McLelland is in the reserves. Tsugunosuke Hirai played for the Seattle Saracens last year I believe, he’s at inside centre. Yo Hasegawa, from Japan, taking a gap year from work and studying in Vancouver. Kaleb Whitelaw from NZ. Many of the other players look familiar from last year including 3 Carsons in the roster.

The Lomas made it to the final last year, narrowly losing to the UBC in the final, 32-25. Monty Weatherall who was a standout in the 2022 University championships and guided the Ravens from #10 in the spring of 2023 returns at #10. Peter Hurst at #9 only shows up in our database this fall but there are plenty of results for Fraser Hurst, the talented UBC and Canada U20 scrum half who went on to play for Utah in the MLR, I’m not sure if this is his brother. Readers will likely clarify. Hopefully Ravens scribe Peter MacDonald will cover the match and write up a report.

So first prediction of the season: Lomas by 5.


1 Geoff Brooks
2 Scott Bowers
3 Mark Rickard (C)
4 Fintan O’Sullivan
5 John Willis
6 Evan Galvin
7 Ethan Jaques
8 Giovanni Guizzetti
9 Peter Hurst
10 Monty Weatherall
11 Dewi Williams
12 Joe Thomas
13 James McTurk
14 Keith Graham
15 Louis Whelan
16 Dan Aplin
17 Conor Turley
18 Gil Cann-Vaana
19 Brian Hayden
20 Dave Matthews
21 Trent Ormsby
22 Conrad Kuita
23 Jad Hamade


1 Yo Hasegawa
2 Jesse Mackail
3 Kaleb Whitelaw
4 Mathew Chan
5 Don Carson
6 David Carson
7 Jake Ikeda
8 David O’Donoghue
9 Billy Wickham
10 Harjun Gill
11 David Thompson
12 Tsugunosuke Hirai
13 Andrew Coe
14 Cole Keffer
15 Nicholas Blain
16 Taiyo Minami
17 Vassili Miroslaw
18 Frank Carson
19 Lance Lamberton
20 Henry Bibby
21 Aaron McLelland
22 Jamie Fieldhouse
23 TBD

Capilano 21 v Burnaby Lake 28 @ 14:45
Referee: Bradley Schwalger AR1: Doug Thorpe AR2: Nathaniel Hight
Venue: Klahanie Park

We got this one close, we called Burnaby +3 and it was Burnaby +7. They remain undefeated in the preseason and now the first week of the regular season. Next week Burnaby host James Bay and the Caps visit the resurgent UVic.

Burnaby were undefeated in the preseason, both Caps and Burnaby bowed out of the competition in the quarter-finals last year. It’s usually a close match between these teams. Burnaby won the preseason 31-19.

Caps have Mike Moloney at #10, so a solid veteran crew at 8, 9, 10 with McKinnon and Robinson in the roster. Johnny Franklin at inside centre is always a threat. Caps are at home so that’s a factor.

Burnaby have Reid Watkins in the roster at inside centre. Reid played for years with Burnaby at scrum half and was picked up by the Seattle Seawolves of the MLR as a back up scrum half. Bryce Worden captains the team from tighthead prop. A couple of names missing David Dinbandhu and Brian Murphy.

Just on the preseason result, we’ll go with Burnaby as favourites. Prediction: Burnaby by 3.


1 James Ritzema
2 Jason DeFreitas
3 Andrew Paton
4 Nick Pearce
5 Armin Teimoori
6 Ethan McCarthy
7 Flynn Heyes
8 Glen McKinnon
9 Chris Robinson
10 Mike Moloney
11 Mahyar Hosseini
12 Johnny Franklin ©
13 Cam Waddell
14 Matt Nicol
15 Cam Perrin
16 Keita Dueck
17 Mackenzie Mills
18 Rich Merinsky
19 Sam Eifler
20 Kes Kasha
21 Brandon Power
22 Dan Parkins
23 Sam Franklin


1. Luka Bradley
2. Evan Mackey
3. Bryce Worden (C)
4. Cooper Johnston
5. Dom Baptista
6. Jack Bolton
7. Jonah Fridfinnson
8. Taitusi Vikilani
9. Ezequiel Rossetti
10. Ethan Turner
11. Jack Brady
12. Reid Watkins
13. Scott Barr
14. Stu Jamieson
15. Sam Williams
16. Chase McCrum
17. J Videla
18. C Gavin
19. J Kelly
20. Lautaro Rowland-Toscano
21. J Coen
22. R. Malcolm
23. TBD

Castaway Wanderers 45 v James Bay 10 @ 14:45
Referee: Cole Pedrick AR1: Darren Munro AR2: Martin Thornton
Venue: Windsor Park

We predicted a CW win but the margin surprised us. A combination of the Bays missing key players and CW putting in a solid performance with national team #10 Gradyn Bowd running the CW attack. Next week CW host the Pride in a solid test of their program while the Bays visit the undefeated Burnaby team.

James Bay won the preseason match 38-28 but are missing a number of players from the preseason roster. There’s no sign of Toronto Arrows players Mason Flesch and Ciaran Breen in this week’s roster. Also missing backline players Isaac Gonevou and Mostyn Findlay. Big Mike Nieuwenhuysen, the power centre, is starting at #10. CW on the other hand look fully locked and loaded with a number of current and former Canada players, Gradyn Bowd at #10, Mike Fuailefau and Ollie Nott in the centres. Nick Carson is a talented loose forward and gets the start in the second row.

Prediction: CW by 7.


1 John Braddock
2 Jace Peters
3 Denver Fatt
4 Nat Dring
5 Nick Carson
6 Gord Kehoe
7 Steve Pyke
8 Mike Finnemore
9 Zech Pilgrim
10 Gradyn Bowd
11 Gabriel Smith
12 Mike Fuailefau
13 Ollie Nott
14 Sion Griffiths
15 Jack Shaw
16 Antonio Corbin
17 Gavin Kratz
18 Nik Hildebrand
19 Ayo Ogunlabe
20 Jack Wallace
21 Matt Sutherland
22 James Mitchell
23 Marshall Stove


1 Dakota LaChance
2 Wyatt Pilz
3 Andrew Macpherson
4 Jack Macintosh
5 Jordan Brown
6 Jeremiah Gonevou
7 Tyler Grom
8 Tom Richarson
9 Crosby Stewart
10 Mike Nieuwenhuysen
11 Jack McCarthy
12 Ryan Boothroyd
13 Thomas Burton
14 Craig Mitchell
15 Keegan Neary
16 Toby Ng
17 Kerry Park
18 Udhay Nijjer
19 Liam McGucklan
20 Joeli Gonevou
21 Mark Yuen
22 Malik James
23 Travis Best

University Of Victoria 24 v UBC 19 @ 14:30
Referee: Derek Horton AR1: David Hale AR2: Al Humphries
Venue: U Of Victoria- Wallace Field

A huge upset by the Vikes taking down the #1 ranked university team in the country. We’ll see what the ranking committee have to say when the new rankings come out this week. These teams will meet again in two weeks. Scoring for UVic was the reserve hooker Jack Marshall and the inside centre Andrew Easson. Fullback Alex Gamage and flyhalf Rhys Patterson added points from the boot with four penalties and a conversion. Next week UVic host the Caps while UBC visit the Ravens.

UBC have had the upper hand in this rivalry lately. They are ranked #1 in the Canadian University poll with UVic ranked #2.

I got a shout out for Merlin M’Cloud from his high school coach in PEI who pointed out Merlin got a player of the year award from the NZ club he played for this summer, Sumner Rugby Club in Christchurch. Well done Merlin. The Vikes have shifted Alex Gamage from #10 to fullback and moved Morgan Di Nardo to the wing.

UBC certainly boosted their squad with the return of Jacob Bossi and Izzak Kelly from their time in NZ. Kelly is in the reserves for this match. Stephen Webb, the Canada U20 scrum half, comes into the squad with James Biss remaining at #10. The tough games UBC got in France plus they’re defending Premier champions and #1 ranked university, all go in their favour.

Prediction: UBC by 8.


1 Brent Hamberg
2 Jordy Auger
3 Owen Kokan
4 Muiredach Casey
5 Merlin M’Cloud
6 Jaxson Jones
7 Tucker Nadeau
8 Brendan Kim
9 Chris Gamage
10 Rhys Patterson
11 Lockhart MacGregor
12 Andrew Easson
13 Shane Rikley-Krindle
14 Morgan Di Nardo
15 Alex Gamage
16 Jack Marshall
17 Phoenix Moller
18 Nic Willey
19 Marcus Lott
20 Henry Down
21 Ethan Smith
22 Dylan Cleaver
23 Graeme Norris


1 Koen Buckingham
2 Jacob Bossi
3 Payton Teneycke
4 Hillyard Carson
5 Joe McNulty
6 Callum Arneson
7 Sandon Gupta
8 Relmu Wilson-Valdes
9 Stephen Webb
10 James Biss
11 Jared Andrews Almack
12 Talon McMullin
13 Takoda McMullin
14 Alastair Marshall
15 Caleb Seumanutafa
16 Emmet Allen
17 Raymond Chou
18 Graham Francolini
19 Izzak Kelly
20 Callum Brown
21 Jacob Bourne
22 Kieran Martin
23 Niko Andrianos


Trinity Western University 3 v Pacific Pride 54 @ 14:30
Referee: David Smortchevsky AR1: Hudson Robinson AR2: Matthew Myers
Venue: Langley Events Centre

It was a +51 win for the visiting Pride. The match was streamed live on The Rugby Network and the archive should be available online sometime this week. The teams are scheduled for a rematch in two weeks at Shawnigan Lake. The Pride visit CW next weekend in BC Premier action.

TWU are hosting the Canadian University championships this fall. They would dearly love to peak for that tournament. They’ve dropped a bit in the University poll, from #3 to #5, but have been playing against the top universities in Canada plus the Rugby Canada academy team. It will be interesting to see how they do against some of the eastern teams in the championship tournament. I think this is the first start for their South African #10, Keegan Marengo, since November 2022 so that may improve their play.

The Pride haven’t lost a match this fall in the Coastal Cup, they’ll be solid favourites going in. Theo Espagnol is starting tighthead, he was playing for Meralomas to start the season. Listed as from Clermont, France but obviously Canada eligible. Justin Taylor and James Thiel keep getting rotated from #10 to #15 with Taylor getting the starting #10 role in this match.

Prediction: Pride by 12.


1 Ben Tindall
2 Joseph Goroza
3 Tim Zimmer
4 Leo Chen
5 Martin Zubiri
6 Caleb Van Til
7 Genaro Gandolfo
8 Nate Schroeder
9 Jan Lourens
10 Keegan Marengo
11 Isaiah De Peiza
12 Ty Dayton
13 Ken Paul
14 Liam Olafsen
15 Matthew Willemse
16 Josh Olafsen
17 Dominik Krajsek
18 Ben Graci
19 David Wegert
20 Josh Halladay
21 Brady Howlett
22 Connor Gibbons
23 Collin Lagat


1 Sam Miller
2 Austin Creighton
3 Theo Espagnol
4 Alistair Bruce
5 Karl Hunger
6 Von Richardson
7 Braden Bruce
8 Matt Klimchuk
9 Jesse Kilgour
10 Justin Taylor
11 Rhys James
12 Noah Flesch
13 Liam Poulton
14 Ian Jones
15 James Thiel
16 Sam Mace
17 Aaron Patcha
18 James Stockwood
19 Jaiden John
20 Ben James
21 Paddy Kirwan
22 Kyle Tremblay
23 AJ Kosemple

Women’s Premier/Div 1 Crossover

The women’s Premier consists of crossover matches with Div 1 teams for 9 weeks, starting this weekend and going until February 10th. Presumably teams will declare for Premier or Div 1 after that for a short 6 week season before the playoffs. Seattle are in the women’s competition, playing this weekend are CW v Seattle, Westshore v SFU, Meraloma v UBC, Capilano v Burnaby, Kamloops v Bayside. Abbotsford have a bye this weekend. Full list of fixtures is here

Men’s Premier Reserve

The Premier Reserve teams travel with the Premier teams with games usually kicking off at 12:45. Last season there was crossover with Div 1 but that doesn’t appear so this season during the regular season.

Men Div 1

The schedule shows this week it’s Port Alberni v Bayside, Abbotsford v Langley, Nanaimo v Cowichan. Rowers have a bye this weekend.

Men Div 2

The schedule shows this week it’s Meraloma v Surrey, Kamloops v Scribes, Squamish v Kats. SFU have a bye this week.

Women Div 2

The schedule this week is Capilano v Langley, CW v James Bay, Nanaimo v Cowichan, Scribes v Richmond, United v UBC, Kelowna v Rowers. Not playing this weekend are Comox, Chilliwack.

Men Div 3

The schedule shows this week it’s Capilano v Burnaby, Rogues v Richmond, Abbotsford v Langley, Squamish v Brit Lions, Nanaimo v CW (cancelled), Ridge Meadows v Chilliwack, Kelowna v Rowers. Not playing this week are Comox, United, Scribes, Bayside.

Age-Grade Rugby

On Sunday the age-grade club competition begins with a host of matches at the U14, U16 and U18 levels, boys and girls. Full list of fixtures is here

Masters Rugby

The Over 40 league continues with matches on Sunday. Fixture list at the link above.

Overall there are about 80 rugby games planned for the weekend across BC.

Posted in BC Premier, Front Page.