Rowers hand Beavers three losses
It was all smiles April 20 as the Rowers completed a clean sweep of the Surrey club, dumping their Fraser Valley competitors at Brockton Oval in all three matches.
|Surrey’s fly half tackles Andy Donn via Half Nelson April 20.|
The Thirsty Thirds came out of the gate strong as they battled the Surrey Beavers and never looked back. The squad grabbed two early tries off some intense rucking at the breakdowns and led 12-0, carrying their lead into the mid-point of the first half. Surrey clawed back into the game with a try, but the Rowers stormed right back down the pitch to score again, restoring their 12-point lead as the half ended.
In the second half the Rowers played defense well, only allowing Surrey one more try. The squad’s speedy backs also added some more tries, as the team notched another 17 points. Final score: 36-12.
The Rowing Club’s Super Twos played strong in the second match of the day, but not mistake-free rugby, in their home-pitch victory over the Beavers. The Rowers drew first blood on the score sheet when Braden “Bee-Mack” Maccke pounced on a loose ball in the Surrey in-goal area after a blocked clearing attempt by the Beavers.
|Braden Maccke (orange scrum cap) moves toward the Surrey in-goal
area moments before he pounces on the rolling ball for a try.
|Maccke scores the try.|
The set pieces gave the second division varying degrees of trouble all afternoon, as the Beavers’ pack put up a strong push. Ultimately, the home side was able to win enough of their ball to give the backs a suitable platform for attack. Two beautiful tries from Franco Scodeller stood out, one of which saw the young winger using very quick footwork to make several, much-larger defenders miss.
Substitutions played a significant role as utility forward Cabe Laderoute came on to replace concussed-hooker Max Buckle. Laderoute played well, despite being out of his natural position, delivering several long carries and a strong rucking presence.
Fly-Half Richie Thompson had an outstanding game (and was this writer’s man-of-the-match) as Thompson ran, passed, and out-rucked most men on the pitch. Scrumhalf Riley Trimble had break-neck game as well. The scrummy made good use of open space, finding Liam Hunter and Rob McDonnell for inspired runs into the in-goal.
The 52-22 victory puts the squad in third place behind Abbotsford and UBC, going into their final game of the season against United Rugby Club.
|Joshua Schrieber dives for a try against Surrey April 20.|
The First division treated Surrey as an important challenge, needing the win to stay relevant in the Lower Mainland’s playoff hunt. Surrey rose to the challenge, leading early by a score of 9-8 and contesting very well in the first half. The Rowers were able to put a rare smile on the face of head coach Jeremy Sabell as relentless effort at the breakdowns resulted in enough sustained possession to wear down the Surrey defense.
The Rowing Club’s quicker backs were able to break free for several exciting runs resulting in tries for Sean Hickson, Kevin Gurniak, Caleb Hansen, and an inspired dive beneath the posts for young, tireless-flanker Joshua Schrieber. Second-row forward Sean Dignan, playing in his second game of the day, was a key contributor to ball retention at the breakdown. Fly-half Henry Recinos kicked very well as the Rowing Club outlasted Surrey 27-19, banking the bonus point and moving them to fourth place in the standings behind Richmond, Abbotsford, and UBC.
|Phil Hosie reels in a line-out April 20.|
All three teams play at Brockton this Saturday. It is also the VRC’s family day, and member-at-large Matty James is encouraging everyone to bring their family down to support the club.
The thirds are in tough in a playoff quarterfinal match versus a Burnaby team they lost to earlier this year 15-10. The match was a no-posts battle on the Plains of Winona. It’s do or die for the squad on Saturday.
The seconds sit firmly in third place and play the United Rugby Club. It’s a nothing game as far as the ladder is concerned, but it’s an everything game as far as groundwork and mental preparation go as the Super Twos ready themselves for their first-round playoff tilt at UBC May 4.
The Rowing Club’s first division side needs a win and a Richmond loss in order to make the playoffs or a bonus-point win and a Richmond tie, as they sit 2 points back in the ladder. According to the BCRU website, only the top-three teams make the playoffs. If the firsts do make the playoffs, they will likely play at UBC next week.
11:30 3rds vs. Burnaby “B” – playoff match
13:00 2nds vs. United – last game of the regular season.
14:30 1sts vs. United – last game of the regular season.
|Chris Gaydon passes to a winger April 20.|
|Third div action April 20.|
|Jon Mergui fights off Surrey’s eight-man April 20.|
|Richie Thompson scrambles in 2nd div action April 20.|
|Jon Mergui runs to block a kick.|
|Caleb Hansen scores a late try. The marker sealed the match for
the Rowing Club.