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All four teams run away with victories on Club Day
Photos: Malin Jordan

Duncan James chases down a kick in the in-goal area during the Rowers’
second division game against Langley Sept. 22. The seconds ran away
with the match 55-12.

The Vancouver Rowing Club steamed to victory at home Sept. 22 as the club posted four wins and swept the competition for their 2012-2013 home opener. It was also “Club Day” at Brockton and many alumni and their families and friends showed up to support the club.

Starting with the U-19s, and ending with a strong victory in the firsts, the wins complemented an already successful alumni celebration.

The U-19 squad gave everyone a boost early in the day when they ran over Abbotsford 52-12 in the opening match.

“I was very happy with the U-19 performance,” said club coach Jeremy Sabell. “But we know we have many areas to improve on and this coming weekend will be a big test versus Bayside.”

Sabell noted there are roughly 30 athletes in the program and the battles for starting spots each week offer a healthy internal competition. “It will ultimately help the performance on the field.”

The Thirsty Thirds were looking for a reversal of fortune against the Kelowna Crows after suffering heavily during their opening match of the season versus the Scribes. Kelowna managed to start strong, scoring two tries to go ahead early. But the 3rds’ tackling, ball retention, and backline play in the first half proved the squad was out to play.

Irish Richie almost loses his head as he dives in for a try against the
Kelowna Crows Sept. 22.

As the first half wore on, the 3rds managed to claw back some points after flanker Andy Donn notched two beautiful tries from set play. Brendan Flanagan also touched one down between the posts after running through several Kelowna defenders. At the end of the first half the Rowers were down 22-19.

In the second half the 3rds picked up the pace – led by the spry and functionally agile Patty O’Gorman – and the tourists couldn’t seem to keep up, despite some fantastic speed on the wing. Stu Holland and Irish Richie repeatedly led the charge into Kelowna’s end as the Rowers posted 5 tries in the half to the Crows 1. Final score: 44-27.

“Two tries after two years away!” exclaimed the thirds’ player/coach Jamie Overgaard. He was elated that Donn, after suffering through a terrible knee injury, played so well on his post-injury debut. Overgaard also noted that Irish Richie’s two tries on debut in the second half offered a great boost to the squad at key moments.

Stu Holland dives for a try against the Kelowna Crows.

Overgaard chalked up the win to a perfect combination of “youth and enthusiasm and old age and treachery.”

“The thirds were a pleasant surprise and it afforded opportunity for quite a few U-19 players to get more game time surrounded my more experienced players,” added Sabell.

The Super Twos picked up where they left off last week as they stormed to another victory, this time over Langley 55-12.

Rob McDonnell throws Conrad Lehane a miss pass in early 2nd division
action against the Langely club.

“The second division put out a comprehensive performance and again some young guns combined with more experienced players to put together a match that was fun to watch,” said Sabell.

“Young gun” Dillon Debono scored a nice try in the pavilion end of the pitch that seemed to solidified the seconds’ momentum. Shortly after that, Alex Ackerley ran 30 metres through – and around – several Langley defenders to touch one down between the posts, sealing the win.

Alex Ackerley straight arms a Langley defender before cruising
30 metres for a try.

The Rowers firsts trotted out for the final match of the day against a much bigger Langley side, but the Rowers held their own early against some solid tackling and rucking.

Graham “Hammy” Keane opened the game with some stalwart runs and later Tom Winter put the Rowers up with 20-metre romp for five points. In the second half, the Rowers traded momentum swings with Langley, but managed to keep them off the scoreboard for most of the half. The Rowers added two late tries to pull away from what had been an otherwise close match. Final score: 31-15.

“The first division was underwhelming,” noted Sabell after the game. “To their credit, Langley fielded a big, hard-working side who threw themselves into us with great energy.”

ell added that his squad struggled to find their rhythm in the game. “Nevertheless, we prevailed. We’ll have to step up our efforts more than a couple of notches this weekend, though, as we face James Bay in the historic Cox and Ferguson Cups.”

This weekend all four squads play at Brockton Oval:
10:00 – U-19 XV versus Bayside
11:30 – 3rd XV versus Surrey
13:00 – 2nd XV versus James Bay
14:30 – 1st XV versus James Bay

Tom Winter rambles for a try in the first division game.

Graham “Hammy” Keane bursts towards Langley’s goal line.
The Rowers await a kick off.

Coach Sabell rallies his squad.

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