Burnaby Lake – March 2022

Burnaby Win Two at Home Against James Bay

by Mike Devlin

BLRC First Division Men 61 – James Bay 6

The Burnaby Lake First Division are really hitting their stride of late.

Saturdays win was the 3rd in a row, after 3 close losses to begin 2022. The Blue and White came out running and quickly pushed James Bay into their own end. Big Nate Mantle scored at the 4-minute mark, which Nolan Shelley converted.

James Bays defence stiffened up and while the BLRC forced the game to be played inside the JBAA 22m for the next 15, the defenders bent but never broke. As the minutes passed you could tell the dam was inevitably going to leak and at 23 minutes it did, Preston Petrovitch taking a Tom Forde offload in for a try. Shelley added the extras again, and it was 14-0.

Jack Brady. Photo by Zach Lattie

Five minutes later the BLRC forced a turnover that sprung Tom Forde down the near touchline, he fixed the defender and popped inside to Shelley who was wrapped up and offloaded to Jean Koorsten, who scored. Extras were good to make it 21-0. James Bay caught a break with a kickable penalty and took it, getting on the scoreboard for the first time. Just prior to the break, Nick Vandergoes charged through the James Bay centres for a 40m try. Shelley made quick work of the extras to end the half 28-3 for the home side.

James Bay opened the new half on the front foot, their winger taking the ball deep into BLRC territory. An offside penalty in front of the posts gave the visitors a chance to carve into the lead with an easy 3 pointer and so it was.

The Blue + White response was immediate, pushing to the JBAA 5m line. The James Bay #13 tried to clear the ball but didn’t find touch. Tom Forde caught the ball just outside the 22 and returned it under the posts for 5 points. Shelley added two more, now 35 – 6. Jean Koorsten finished off a series of pick and goes for the BLRC to add to the lead and his replacement, Eoin Reddington would take a Geoff Ryan cross kick on the bounce in for a try a minute later. Red would convert his own to put the home side up 47-6. With about 10 to play, Giuseppe Laudisio touched down in the far corner, which Reddington converted. Jack Brady would score the final BLRC try down the near touch line and Reddington would add the final 2 points. Final score 61 – 6.

A lot of positives on the BLRC side. Scrum looked great. Lineouts looked good. Most of the set plays seemed to work. Captain Tom Menzies and his flanker partner Chase McCrum both played 80 hard minutes with too many tackles and positive carries to keep track of. The same could be said of the centre duo of Nick Vandergoes and Aidan Sarkozy. Obviously, a lot for the James Bay coaches to dissect and improve but one thing they couldn’t improve on was the heart of the guys on the field who played at 79 minutes down by 50 points as if they were down a try. They tackled and fought for the inches until the final whistle. Next week the Firsts head over the mountains to take on our friends at Kamloops RFC.

The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/IPFjIHNtci8

BLRC Premier Men 18 – James Bay AA 13

The Premier Men’s game began and the BLRC had all the momentum, spending the majority of the first 20 minutes inside the JBAA half. They got close to scoring once, Fuku Vikilani driving the defenders over the try line, but James Bay’s Wyatt Pilz got his arms under the ball to prevent it from being touched down. As in the First game preceding it, The BLRC bent the Bays defence but could find the break. At 21 minutes the BLRC would finally get on the scoreboard, Ethan Turner punishing a James Bay penalty inside their 22m for 3 points. James Bay tied the game at 26 minutes, with Thomas Burton reciprocating the penalty kick. Just before halftime, the BLRC had a scrum at their own 10m, the ball was won cleanly and after 2 crash balls was spun wide to Kou Odaka. Odaka made a break and passed the ball back inside to Brian Fitzpatrick who scored. The half ended 8-3.

Ethan Turner kicks a penalty. Photo by Zach Lattie

James Bay tied the score at 8 about five minutes into the new half. Winger Gio Douyon took a gap outside the BLRC 22m and crossed the try line out wide. With 20minute gone, the BLRC would re-take the lead after stealing a lineout at the JBAA 5 metre line. The ball was sent wide on the turnover where it found Ethan Turner who cut back and dove over the try line untouched! Turner would convert his own and the score was 15-8. Ethan Turner turned another James Bay penalty into 3 points to cap the BLRC scoring for the day at 18. James Bay would add one more unconverted try via Austin Creighton to cut the BLRC lead to 18-13 but that was all she wrote.

Nik Hildebrand tries to break a tackle. Photo by Zach Lattie

A win is a win, but I think this particular win will give the BLRC coaching staff a lot to look at. The BLRC spent most of the game inside the JBAA 10m line but only came away with 2 tries, 2 penalties and a conversion. If they are going to win out the rest of the season and make a run in the playoffs, they need to find a way to be a bit more clinical with the ball. My choices partner John De Goede tabbed BLRC Prop Bryce Worden and Scrumhalf Dean McMahon as the men of the match while I chose James Bay 8-man Alex Jordan and Centre Thomas Burton. After watching the game on Youtube, I concur with these choices though Burnaby Lake’s Connor McCann deserves an honorable mention!

The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/H-HN0HFnpAI

This week sees a location change for the team, they will now host the Rowing Club at Burnaby Lake this Saturday! 2:30 kickoff!

Posted in BC Premier.