UBCOB Ravens – March 2022

Ravens Up Their Game: Ravens 46 – Burnaby 17

by Peter MacDonald

On a sunny day at Jericho the Ravens and their recent rival Burnaby renewed acquaintances after a two-year break in their relationship. After the Rippers came out on top in a hard-fought game against the perennially tough Lakers second squad 17-11, the premier players took the field not certain about the relative strength of their teams. It took till early in the second half to get some clarity on that matter.

The first 20 minutes was an even affair with the Ravens’ winger Sean Hase scoring from close range with a half step right and a dive in and Burnaby slotting a penalty kick, 7-3 Ravens. Burnaby then struck for two quick tries through the dynamic running of fullback Brian Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick finished off a movement in the left corner and converted from there. He then was the provider as after a probing run he fed left winger Jack Gelbart who put a cross kick in which was fielded by right winger Kou Odaka and touched down, 17-7 Burnaby.

At this point though the game turned in the Old Boys’ favour as they began to have more ball and they began to find less resistance. First lock Brian Moylett spun in off a ruck after a strong run from centre Dan Pelletier, then winger David Thompson dove in at the right corner flag after Colby Mason had made things hard on the defenders and then hooker Sean Pyle at 40 minutes scored in the left corner with a determined run to finish off some quick handling, 24-17 at the half.

With Burnaby now playing into a low sun and a brisk wind the Ravens continued to have the upper hand in the second half. Pyle from a front wind, Aaron McLelland from a patented run, Thompson using a quick burst and a dummy and Mason finishing hard after an equally strong run by Grant Crowell were the try scorers. Burnaby picked things up in the later stages and threatened to score but the Ravens held them off led by Simone Etheve who after a string of unfortunate injuries was back tackling and turning over ball in contact.

A notable sequence in the second half involved a Burnaby clearance kick from their line that fell to flanker David O’Donoghue centrally just outside the 22 metre line. With much of his support in front of him and with the team holding a healthy lead, the moment cried out for a drop goal attempt. And lo and behold David seized the moment. But out of respect for the captain I will draw a veil over the matter except to say that Ronan O’Gara is safe in Irish lore.

Taitusi Vikilani went out injured in the first half and Brian Fitzpatrick did not return for the second half so Burnaby were not at full strength as the game wore on. But the Ravens had fielded a full-strength side and were good value for the win. Another long break now for the Ravens will lead into some tough matches to end the regular season.

Photos by Alistair Palmer

Brian Moylett on the carry

Hooker Sean Pyle on his way to a try

David Thompson touches down

Colby Mason takes on defenders

Posted in BC Premier.