Burnaby Lake – March 2022

Burnaby Match Reports: Wins Versus Squamish, Westshore and UBC: Match Video

by Mike Devlin

BLRC 3rd Div Men 41 – Squamish Axemen 15

The BLRC traveled to Squamish to take on the Axemen for the first time in decades. There are few pitches in the world more picturesque than Brennan Park.

The day began with a guest speaker from the Squamish nation welcoming rugby back to town and ended with the BLRC and Surrey Beavers winning the boat race at the Axemen’s sponsor bar, Norman Rudy’s. In between the two important events, the BLRC used a powerful pack, boasting 6 front row regulars spread throughout jerseys 1-8 to create space for a speedy backline that crossed the paint 7 times, securing a much-needed bonus point win.

The team was bolstered by the return of veterans Scott MacKay and Giuseppe Laudisio which gave the team a boost of confidence and they were joined on the day by Jean “Fish” Koorsten who was my (and the Axemens) choice for Man of the Match. Laudisio scored 3 tries, MacKay was a wrecking ball at 8-man and Koorsten added a try and 3 conversions to lead the Blue & White to victory. Winger Mateo Carteri scored twice while Center Lachlan Cowe added a try at the final whistle to cap the scoring.

The 3rds have the week off and take the pitch next vs undefeated UBC.

BLRC 1st Div Women 95 – Vancouver Thunderbirds 12

The BLRC Women were the lone team enjoying the sunny skies and familiar conditions of Burnaby Lake. They used the home field advantage perfectly in the battle of the two undefeated teams and powered over the try line 15 times while adding 10 conversions to fall just short of the century mark on the scoreboard. The Thunderbirds were fast and fit but lacked the overall size and aggression to match the Blue and White on the day. Vivian Hinch stood out for the students in the front row, scrummaging well and making a few strong carries with the ball. Also, flanker, Jade Farhat, who scored a nice try in the first half and was a nuisance at the breakdown.

Francesca Andreoli shrugs off a tackler. Photo by Zach Lattie

The BLRC were led by Jess Walrond at Flyhalf who was one of three BLRC’ers who scored a hat trick while adding conversions. Captain Gabrielle Hindley and 8-man Francesca Andreoli were the other players who crossed the line 3 times. Forward Santina Luti continues to impress. She’s a strong tackler who can play anywhere in the pack. Center Chelsea Rogers also stood out. She’s a reliable tackler who scored once and set up a few tries as well as stepped in for some converts!

BLRC Tries: Jess Walrond (3), Gabrielle Hindley (3), Francesca Andreoli (3), Chelsea Rogers, Mairin McCaskill, Rachel Choboter, Natasha Lalonde, Nunu Holani, Lauren Tagg
BLRC Conversions: Jess Walrond (6), Chelsea Rogers (4)

The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/PIrWFQ6Jtvo

The Women have a week off and are on the bus to Kamloops on April 2nd.

BLRC 1st Div Men 57 – Westshore 0

A bit of a one-sided affair where the BLRC ran out to the early lead with tries from Nick Vandergoes, Nate Mantle and Kishan Karunathasan and never looked back. Westshore had moments where they could have taken some of the momentum but whether through slippery fingers, inopportune penalty or staunch BLRC defence they couldn’t get over the paint to get themselves into the game. Burnaby Lake brought a sizeable team, and they were able to control scrums and most points of contact which kept things moving forward. In all they pumped in 9 tries and 7 conversions to claim the bonus point. This weekend they are at home to James Bay.

BLRC Tries: Nick Vandergoes (2), Jack Brady (2), Nate Mantle, Kishan Karunathasan, Preston Petrovitch, Dom Baptista, Tom Forde
BLRC Conversions: Nolan Shelley (6)

The game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/-J19242vgSM

BLRC Premier Men 41 – Westshore 24

The victory in the Premier Men’s game puts the BLRC on the right side of 500 at 3-2 and should give the squad a boost of confidence in this weekend’s tilt vs James Bay.

The team has been re-joined by Bryce Worden and watching him don the Blue & White #3 jersey, thus allowing our other returnee Nik Hildebrand to retake the #1 jersey gave me feelings. Bryce’s inclusion solved a problem with Hooker Dylan Vermette unavailable this weekend allowing former Calgary Saint, Lalit Bharadwaj to slide over to Hook. Lalit played well… VERY well and it gives the coaches a different look to try out going forward. The front row made life difficult for the opposition and it would have made the old guard proud.

Brian Fitzpatrick in some space. Photo by Mark Bryant

I spent the day in Squamish and the game video is missing the first quarter of the game, but the game video picks up with Burnaby Lake in the lead 17-7 after tries from Brian Fitzpatrick, David Dinbandhu and Blake Steele combining with an Ethan Turner conversion.

So, with that in mind… the 2nd quarter of the game is played primarily inside the 22m with each team making big gains only to be rebuffed at the opposition goal line, turnover the ball and watch the other team charge back. Very little action in the middle of the pitch. A big Brian Fitzpatrick run takes the ball to around the Westshore 5m, and the ball is recycled to the right. At the far corner Ethan Turner and Connor McCann play a game of tic tac toe and Turner dives into the corner for a try! Ethan converted his own and so the BLRC led 24-7. A few minutes later the BLRC were into the same corner again. This time it was Mohi Parata crossing the paint after a BLRC 5m scrum. 8-man Joey Tomlinson picked and popped to the scrumhalf, and he dove over for 5 points. 29-7 at the break.

Mohi Parata stretches out for a try. Photo by Mark Bryant

No scoring for the first 17 minutes of the 2nd half, but Westshore broke the quiet streak with their big number 1 charging over the line after the Valhallians were camped out at the BLRC 5m for some time. Convert was good so the score sat 29-14.

Burnaby Lake responded immediately. The kickoff was deep, and the Westshore receiver had trouble corralling it in the swirling wind. The ball bounced out of his hands, and it rolled towards the W/S goal line before rolling out of bounds near the 5m. The freshly subbed on Dom Baptista would have his hands on the ball as the maul touched the try line to make it 34-14. The Westshore end zone chat must have included cans of Popeye’s spinach for everyone because they came out blazing and put together a series of hard, straight ahead running that is almost impossible for the defenders to stop. Their 6 and 7 had the biggest runs and in only 5 phases they had moved 50 m forward and scored in the near corner. I couldn’t see the scorer but feel like it was #14. 34-19 for Burnaby Lake. The Blue & White response was immediate, pinning Westshore inside their own 22m. The home side had a scrum at their own 5m which the BLRC walked over and through. Remarkably there was no penalty, but either way, James Catterson pounced on the ball inside Westshore’s goal for a try. Turners’ conversion was good and so the BLRC led 41-19. On the game’s final play, Westshore would earn a bonus point with the scrumhalf quick tapping a penalty at the BLRC 5m to score their 4th try of the game and end it, 41-24.

Not a bad game for the BLRC, not one of their best. They showed flashes of brilliance that will beat most teams but seemed occasionally disinterested on defence and that will cost them against the top teams. A bonus point win is the goal though, and by that measurement it was mission accomplished on the Island.

The BLRC are back at it on Saturday, a home game vs James Bay which will be live streamed on the BLRC’s YouTube channel. My normal broadcast partner, Aaron Takel will be away, so I will be joined in the broadcast tent by none other than John De Goede. Hope to see you there!

Posted in BC Premier.