Rugby club finds success in first half, more work to be done–

David Andersen creates a seam in a first-half game versus the UBC Old Boys. The Rowers
won the first division match 55-14.

STANLEY PARK–The Vancouver Rowing Club surprised many in B.C. rugby in 2013 with a power performance of sorts in their return to top-flight rugby. In the first half of the 2013-2014 season, both the Rowers’ top squads achieved success in the CDI Premiership and Ceili’s Cup leagues. The Rowers’ third division side also realised success after winning the third-division bowl championship for the fall season.

PREMIERS

The Rowing Club’s premier side exceeded the expectations of many in the first half as they ran out three wins in Canada’s highest-calibre rugby division. Many observers do not expect a newly-promoted club to win many games after being elevated to a higher league, but the Rowers proved it could be done as they built on their success at first division, garnering a 3-3 record.

The Rowers’ premier side rucks over the ball in their 12-8 win over the
Meralomas Oct. 19 at Connaught Park.

After winning two consecutive first division provincial championships, they had a lot of success to build on. The strong dedication to off-pitch training from a tight-knit group of players yielded tremendous results and generated exciting play for all six games of their first-half campaign.

The premier side dropped their opening match but then managed to string together three straight wins. Losing their final two matches, the squad finished the half with a .500 record. They have a lot to look forward to over the final eight games of the regular season, but the side knows that it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to be able to compete.

First-half results
Loss: 15 – 44 vs. Old Boys
Win: 12 – 8 @ ‘Lomas
Win: 25 – 22 @ Caps
Win: 18 – 11 vs. UVic
Loss: 19 – 47 vs. Burnaby
Loss: 8 – 29  @ James Bay

FIRSTS

The Rowers first division side (premiership reserves) showed flashes of complete-game fluidity over the course of their six matches, but they often lacked the consistency of 80-minute game play. This contributed to their up-and-down campaign as the squad won two, lost three, and finished with one win to round out the first half.

The Rowers’ 1st division side runs out a 48-5 victory over the
Meralomas Oct. 19 at Connaught Park.

A big win at home over Old Boys was followed by another big win at ‘Lomas. A close loss at Caps (the 14-point scoreline gap belies what was a much-closer game) was followed by a big loss at home to UVic. And a twenty-one-point loss at home to Burnaby was followed by a strong road win over James Bay at MacDonald Park.

The hard-working squad take that .500 record into the second half with a lot of positives to build on. The group has proven they are dedicated, they have a high level of roster consistency, and they can score points in a tough league, as they were only held to single digits once.

Though the results from their three losses were rocky, the squad has shown it’s capable of playing at this higher level as they provided strong opposition for every team they faced in the Ceili’s Cup league.

First-half results
Win: 55 – 14 vs. Old Boys
Win: 48 – 5 @ ‘Lomas
Loss: 23 – 37 @ Caps
Loss: 8 – 29 vs. UVic
Loss: 20 – 41 vs. Burnaby
Win: 31 – 10 @ James Bay

Both squads open the second half with two homes games in February, a road trip to Victoria (Windsor Park) in March, two home games, and a jaunt to Jericho Beach. They finish the regular season on the road in April at both Burnaby Lake and Victoria (Wallace Field).

THIRDS

The Rowers’ third team found success in the first half, taking home the third division bowl championship after downing the Brit Lions ‘B’ team in the final. The game was eventually played at John Oliver Park in Delta after the Capilano’s field was closed because it was iced over. The Rowers scored 22 points to the Brit Lions 10 to take home the victory. See match report here.

Third division fall season bowl champs.

After a strong start out of the gate to open the Lower Mainland third division’s fall season, the Rowers foundered for three straight games before wining their final two, garnering them some BCRU silverware. The Thirsty Thirds have a large group of players returning for the spring season as they look to build on the success they achieved in 2013.

First-half results
Regular season
Win: 17 – 10 vs. Mountain Old Boys
Loss: 10 – 27 vs. KATS
Win: 27 – 7 @ Ridge Meadows
Win: 60 – 10 vs. Chilliwack

Loss: 7 – 13 @ Scribes
Loss: 14 – 36 @ Capilano ‘A’
Loss: 17 – 46 vs. Brit Lions ‘A’
Bowl Playoffs
Win: 34 – 14 vs. Mountain Old Boys (Semi-final)
Win: 22 – 10 @ Brit Lions ‘B’ (Final)

The Thirds open the 2014 campaign Feb. 1 at UBC, though kick off and location are still to be confirmed.

Nick Coles straight-arms a Brit Lion player during the thirds’ 22-10 victory in the
bowl final at John Oliver Park Nov. 23. 

NEXT MATCHES

FEBRUARY 1
1 p.m. 3rds @ UBC (Time and location still to be confirmed.)
***UPDATE!
11:30 3rds vs. UBC (Brockton Oval)

FEBRUARY 15
1:00 p.m. 1sts vs. Castaway Wanderers RFC (Brockton Oval)
2:45 p.m. Premiers vs. Castaway Wanderers RFC (Brockton Oval)

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