UBCOB Ravens – April 2023

Ravens Defeat Rowers 41-7 to Wrap Up Regular Season: Match Report by Peter MacDonald

by Peter MacDonald

On a crisp, sunny, early spring day at Brockton Oval the Ravens and the Rowers played out the string but still put on an entertaining, fun game for the players and fans alike. The Ravens remained undefeated (on the field) while the Rowers showed their class in the set scrum and in serious flashes in the backs.

The Ravens opened the scoring at 3 minutes with #8 Joe Locke driving in low following a McLelland to Keffer advance to the line but then spent the next 20 minutes in a standoff with the hosts. The Rowers’ solid pack drew two scrum penalties, their #11 Tom Rowland, a nephew of Tim Shaddock, (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCysTb_ucFQ), put on a show with his speed and movement and there were a couple of effective kicks off the outside of the foot to the blind side winger on the right flank, all of which challenged the Ravens in contrasting ways. When Rowland scored in the left corner at 25 minutes to give the Rowers a 7-5 lead it appeared to be game on.

But the Ravens slowly steadied the ship, retained more possession and finished off the half with two late scores by centre Noah Bain. First Locke made a surging run up the middle with Ikeda in support and, from a ruck, the ball swung left to Bain who stepped away from a tackle and crossed the line. He then collected a chip kick from McLelland and dove in to bring up a 15-7 Ravens lead at the half. With three difficult conversions missed by the Ravens it was still anyone’s game.

The VRC pack, with Eddie Quinn and Ian Prendiville anchoring it at the props, continued to provide problems for the Ravens in the second half but the Rowers had no answer for the Ravens lineout, in particular their lineout/maul combination. Having shown it once in the first half, the Ravens worked it from 35 metres out to score at 48 minutes and extend the lead to 27-7. The Ravens were lucky to hold the maul together as there was little to stop it and it looked to be moving as on a giant e-scooter.

Play remained wide open and relatively even with lots of running as the subs came on. But the Ravens eventually got the upper hand and tacked on three more tries before the end. Cole Keffer snuffed out a VRC attack with an interception which led to McLelland heading east (sideways for 3/4s of the pitch inside his 22) and then redeeming himself by heading north for 75 metres before sending in #9 Alex Ball under the posts. At 57 minutes big lock Don Carson got up a head of speed in open territory and, as he bore down toward the line, he dispatched a last would-be tackler with a forearm fend/bosh that finished the issue. Kelepi Gucake scored under the posts at full time, one might say “garbage time”.

The game was played in good spirit with the Rowers wrapping up their season with a photo under the posts and the Ravens heading onto the playoffs in two weeks time against the Bays, hopefully at Jericho.

The Rippers won their first-round crossover playoff game against Bayside 33-12 and move on in the interesting Premier Reserve/Div. 1 playoff schedule. Thanks to the Rowers for facilitating use of the Brockton field for this game as well.

Posted in BC Premier.