Rowing Club downs Meraloma Club at Brockton Oval—

By Braden Maccke
Photos: Malin Jordan

The Rowing Club downed the Meraloma Club in both matches played in intense flurries at
Brockton Oval Feb. 22. Here the premier teams open their match.

STANLEY PARK–The Vancouver Rowing Club rebounded this week winning both matches against the Meraloma Club in a whiteout at Brockton Oval Feb. 22. The first division squad topped the ‘Lomas 54-0 and the premier side downed the visitors 34-10. The third division’s game against Kelowna was cancelled because of an avalanche on the Coquihalla.

Henry Recinos breaks for a 30-yard run in the opening seconds of the Rowers’ first
division match against the Meraloma Club Feb. 22. Recinos offloaded to Romain
Plantey near the goal line for the game’s first score.

First Division

The Rowers (4-4) turned in a dominant performance on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Brockton, putting up 54 points against their crosstown rival the Meralomas (0-7) and allowing none.

Flyhalf Henry Recinos set the tone early with a quick offensive carry, outpacing the ’Lomas defense for a 30-yard run, then offloading near the goal line to centre Romain Plantey to finish off the point-scoring ramble. Recinos finished the day with one try and seven conversions.

Nathan Tough breaks for space down the sideline on a north-south
burst, shedding tacklers and keeping his feet.

Young blind-side winger Nathan Tough had an outstanding day, showcasing exceptional speed and hands, even in the wet conditions. Tough drew an impressive cheer from the Rowers’ sideline in the first half when he scooped a wayward ball at full pace and continued up the edge of the pitch. He was slowed near the try line (but not brought to the deck) by no fewer than three Meraloma players as he bought time for his support.

Nik Samija offloads to a streaking Luc Gourdine.

Tough’s fellow winger Luc Gourdine also performed well, scoring two tries. The Rowers points parade continued at a torrid pace, which included tries by tight head prop Phil Lantheir, second-row forward Sean Dignan, Tough, and a second try by Plantey.

With the bonus-point win, the squad climbs into sole possession of fourth place.

Premier Division

The Rowers premier team (4-4) had no choice but to treat their match against the Meraloma Club (0-8) as pivotal, a loss potentially making a playoff game into a distant dream instead of a real possibility. That’ because there is a logjam in the middle of the CDI Premier League, with the Rowers, Caps, UVic, Old Boys, and CW’s all within four points of each other, and all very much in playoff contention.

Kevin Nanne beats four ‘Lomas to cross the line for the Rowers’ first try
of the afternoon.

Before the match, coach Jeremy Sabell impressed upon the players the importance of playing with desperation. He noted that it was vital the squad used it for strength rather than to let themselves be used by it.

The premier side didn’t disappoint. Undiscouraged by an early penalty, the Rowers demonstrated excellent ball-retention as they advanced with strong, simple carries through the middle channels.
Second-row forward Kevin Nanne broke the line for the Rowers first try (converted by scrum half Darren Harris). Nanne powered down the pitch and through four Meraloma defenders for the score. A converted try by the Meralomas followed, lifting the visitors to 10-7.

Michael “The Animal” Jordan breaks the line versus ‘Lomas Feb. 22.

The Rowers stuck to their game plan though and were able to tie the game on a Harris penalty kick. The squad then took the lead on a try by Ottawa Irish import-hooker Chris Seyler. From there the home team never looked back.

It was an outing characterised by strong defense and an industrious use of space. Flyhalf Doug “Doug-E-Fresh” Crowe impressed everyone at the Oval with his intelligent ball distribution and his relentless attack into available space. Crowe finished the day with one try and two conversions.

Brian Derham sidesteps the Meraloma’s centre back.

Richie Thompson, playing an out-of-character inside-centre position also attacked very well, adding a try of his own. Denis Barnett, a sub-in for wing, scored an insurance try in the second half on a characteristically-exciting streak down the sideline. Though he was kept off the scoreboard, Caleb Hansen turned in an excellent performance at both wing and scrumhalf.

With the bonus-point win, the premier side climbs into sixth spot in the log.

The atmosphere at the clubhouse following the games was one of exciting optimism. The Logjam continues in the CDI standings with Burnaby Lake (7-1) and James Bay (5-3) ahead of a pack of skilled and dangerous 4-4 teams in the middle.
-With files from Nadine Spuls.

March 1

1 p.m. 3rds @ SFU (Banting Middle School)
1 p.m. 1sts @ Castaway Wanderers RFC (Windsor Park)
2:45 p.m. Premiers @ Castaway Wanderers RFC (Windsor Park

More match photos from Feb. 22

George Richmond runs with the ball in premiership action.
Darren Harris picks the ball from a ruck in premiership action.
Scylar Dumas jukes past a ‘Loma in the 1st div game. 
Sean Dignan breaks through a ‘Loma arm tackle.
Braden Maccke races off the line. 
Romain Plantey makes a pass.  
Nik Samija breaks for space.
Nik Samija Brett Russell and Henry Recinos line up in defense at the
Recinos hits one of his seven conversions on
the day. 
Jon Mergui receives a dressing down from the
The first team mauls just as Phil Lanthier, number 3, peels off the back to ramble
down the pitch for a try.

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