Burnaby Lake Open 2021-22 Season with Three Wins at Home; In Memory of a Dear Friend Steve Batie
by Mike Devlin
The Burnaby Lake Rugby Club & UVIC Rugby community lost a dear friend on Oct 6 2021 with the tragic passing of Steve Batie. Steve was originally from Ladysmith BC and started his rugby career there before moving onto the UVIC Vikes. He represented Canada at the 2003 U21 World Cup before moving his studies to BCIT and joining the BLRC. Steve donned the Blue & White for 14 seasons, winning provincial championships and representing the BC Bears on numerous occasions including their game vs Oxford at Brockton Oval and in the BCRU 100th anniversary South American tour where he started in games vs Buenos Aires and the historic BC victory over Uruguay in Montevideo.
He was a great rugby player but most importantly a great person and great friend. We offer condolences to the Batie & Takel family. The BLRC honoured Steve on Saturday at the clubhouse and dedicated the games to him, earning victories in all 3 BLRC games as well as in the Van East game.
BLRC 3rd Div Men 22 Bayside RFC 21
In the first league game played at Burnaby Lake since Feb 29 2020 we welcomed our friends from Bayside RFC. The game played like a true 3rds season opening game should, with grizzled, graying veterans teaching green new players the ropes.
The BLRC got on the board first with some nice mauling that led to 2 trys from 8-man David Zhang interrupted by a Bayside breakout down the far sideline that left the game 10-7 in the home sides favour. Just before the break, scrumhalf Ryan Sewell made a nice run into the red zone and veteran prop John Decaire ended up with the ball and drove through traffic for a try. Ezequiel Rossetti made the conversion and the BLRC were ahead 17-7.
The 2nd half opened to 15 minutes of back-and-forth rugby before the scoreboard turned over once again. Bayside were threatening along the BLRC 22m, the home side creating a wall that Bayside pounded against but couldnt break. Suddenly the BLRC centres inexplicably parted like the Red Sea and a spry Adam Roberts stepped into the gap and galloped under the BLRC posts. Convert was good and it was 17-14. Ezequiel Rossetti answered almost immediately. Bayside were running the kickoff out of their own end and telegraphed the next pass a little too early. Zeke took it back for a try. Bayside tallied once more and it made for a tense final 5 minutes but eventually Tere Blakes whistle blew, and the 3rds have their first win in 19 months!
Big congrats to the BLRC players who played their first league game in the Blue & White 3rd Div jersey: Mike MacLellan, Lachlan Cowe, Amir Nikravan, Thomas Palmieri, Tyson Johnston, Tom Rosas, Ezequiel Rossetti & Robie Willis.
Even bigger congrats to the players who played their first games of rugby EVER: Tom Rafuse, Jonah Fridfinnson, Dante Cervo, Mateo Carteri, Connor Flynn & Omar Ramy.
Big thanks to Bayside for the game and to Tere Blake for stepping into the middle under unfavourable weather conditions! This week the 3rds host Richmond!
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/-q8HKCPF6pI
BLRC 1st Div Women 32 Bayside 5
A bright start for the BLRC Women who are being led by two new captains this season, Leyhana Van Vugt and Gabrielle Hindley. The co-captains take over for Emily Van Gulik who the BLRC would like to thank for her 3 years as captain! EV always gave 100% on the field, led by example and is a great club member. We look forward to seeing her back in the Blue & White later this fall!
Both new captains played pivotal roles in the outcome of the game today with Hindley being a force for 80 minutes in the pack, coming out of ruck after ruck with the ball and making tackle after tackle. Van Vugt is always a presence on defence and showed some attacking flair, scoring the BLRCs final try which Chelsea Rodgers converted.
Mele Vikilani has returned to the club after taking the previous season off and made an immediate impact pulling out some big hits and scoring a hat trick. One, after Van Vugt took the ball into the Bayside 22m, Mele was there for support and took an offload in for 5 points. The 2nd was a solo effort that saw her take a pass at the 22m and dart around defenders for a try. The 3rd, a simple crash ball from in close. Shes her fathers daughter and has the skills to prove it.
Natasha Lalonde was the first half hero, scoring 2 trys in the opening 40 minutes and organizing the BLRC defence from scrumhalf. Some other impact players were newcomers Santina Luti and Rachel Choboter who were tough in the pack all day and strong with the ball in hand. Both had some big runs and defended well. Big thanks to referee Brett Hay for his fine officiating. The BLRC Women host Capilano this weekend.
The game (minus the first 20 min) can be seen here: https://youtu.be/QeVqanpLNjU
BLRC 1st Div Men 26 Bayside 12
The BLRC 1sts got the ball rolling early with Bayside taking a penalty at their own 22m just 2 and a half minutes into the game. Nolan Shelley split the uprights, so the Blue & White led 3-0.
At the 26-minute mark, Nolan would once again be offered the opportunity to add a 3 pointer and he connected there as well. The BLRC struck again at 36 minutes with Kou Odaka taking a Bayside clearance kick from the 10m line all the way back to the goal line. He was brought down but off loaded to a trailing Preston Petrovitch who dove in under the posts. Shelley added the extras, and the score was 13-0.
The 2nd half opened, and Nolan Shelley added another 3 points before Mike Gough took one in for a try from the back of a ruck to make it 21-0 with about 10 minutes gone. At the games ¾ mark, Bayside got on the board with their big inside centre taking a crash ball inside the 22m all the way to the goal posts. The convert was good. 21 7.
Dom Baptista tallied next for the BLRC when the Blue + White forwards stole a 5m scrum. The 8-man picked up and dove over for 5 points to cap the BLRC scoring for the day. On the final play of the day, Bayside veteran big Josh Arei bulled through a pack of BLRC defenders to the 5m and tossed a short pass to his trailing Loosehead prop who scored to make the final 26-12.
A good game that was hindered with some of the worst weather on the day. Im sure that coaches from both sides will find much to work on. Big thanks to Tyler Dawson for his work with the whistle. Next weekend the BLRC renew rivalries with Capilano!!
The full game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/8mahuk370Wk
A new feature that the BLRC Are adding this year is the clubs TOP XV, sponsored by the best mortgage broker in the business, Mike James. If you need a new home, a 2nd home or advice on having amazing hair into your 40s, call Mike James. (778) 385-5503.
Any week that the club plays a minimum of 3 games, the BLRC coaches will recognize the top performers throughout each team. At the end of the season, the player receiving the most nods to the list will be crowned the pound-for-pound best club player of the year and receive a new award sponsored by Mr. James.
Here is the week 1 Club Top XV!
Legal disclaimer: Mike James cannot help you with hair advice. You either have it or you dont. He has it. You dont
Many Teams~One Club