For those who missed the reading at the Rowers Christmas dinner: Rowers Ruck Muck is proud to present “T’was the Night Before Rugby”, a festive poem.

Twas the Night Before Rugby.
T’was the Thursday Night before the Rower’s Christmas and all through the bar,
There were players and coaches from near and from far.
They downed the odd jar and obeyed all the rules,
Except when they didn’t, and acted like fools.
As the noise level grew and the staff fled in fear,
The Rowers reflected on their 106th year.
T’was a summer of workouts crafted by Si Taylor Two,
And fitness with Coach Ben, where we ran ‘til we puked.
We hosted some prize-fights, cuz the club’s strapped for cash,
Where Skylar & DJ had each-others’ faces smashed.
As the days shortened up and the sun sunk down low,
A bunch of U20s started to show.
Two strapping young back rows from the isles out East,
Named Pat and Dave Matthews who ran like wild beasts.
The Kootney Connection brought Bjorn and Kane,
Who walk between raindrops and play like freight trains.
With Matt Bacon and Vince and Ben Johnson up front,
The academy looked like a promising bunch.
But wait! What’s this? Around goes the word;
Lack of numbers club-wide – they’ll all have to play 3rds.
To Kelowna and back with a bus jammed with beer,
We made the round trip, barely lost any gear.
Gaden and Yankee at 9 twisted passes like screws,
The Godfather made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.
Under the careful direction of new coach Brett Russell,
What the thirds lacked in brains they made up for in muscle.
Nate Tough and Andy Donne and Nick Coles and Rob Crowe
Saf, Trev and Rice all put on a show.
The thirds lost some players to call-ups and pains.
They dropped a few games and their fortunes did wane.
But when news of the trouble reached field agent – Jake Chahwan,
He sent Jaden and Chayse, the original French Connection.
With size and with courage they owned the front row,
The 3rds rolled over Burnaby, and had one more place to go.
A determined squad showed up hungry at Klahaney,
They’d earned their cup final against U-B-C.
At 9 was Josh Dougherty, at flank Brian Andrews.
It felt on the sidelines like the Rowers couldn’t lose.
The cameo cast featured Nikki Grease & Fagan
With support from The Gus Bus barreling in to the station.
John Fitzy ran twelve and some good solid lines,
And captain McGlivery broke through for a try.
They bled white and red for their spot at the dance,
And the great 3rd division walked out league champs.
The cup sat and shone in the carver room case,
We got one more round to close down the place.
When out on the deck there arose such a cacophony!
We fell over the couch on the way past the Christmas tree.
And there on the mast tower, his clipboard in hand,
Stood square-jawed and determined a coach with a plan.
He raged a cold fire, not a bit self aware,
His bark left no doubt: it could only be Jer.
“What the hell are you doing?” we heard him exclaim,
“Resting on laurels will bring only pain.”
“There’s weights to go lift! Don’t just drink and get fatter!”
“We’ve only 8 weeks to work on the pattern!”
“On Seyler, on Cowie, on Chapman & Richmond!
On Henry and Brandon, Parlato and Nickelson!”
“I need Michael Jordan at 8, and Brett in the centers,
Get on Facebook, you guys – we’re already short numbers!”
A great laugh erupted from the VRC faithful,
For that dedication is what set the table.
From Bice’s diplomacy, Pete Muirhead’s support work,
To Mark Smith’s tireless game-day help network.
The club has been blessed with a big-hearted fanbase,
Who back all divisions whether in first or last place.
Timmy Shaddick, Bob Flood & The alumni come out in force,
Amy, Nadine, and Pat Sorge, of course.
It feels good to look over at the sidelines all jammed,
It never gets old to know we have fans.
And so we all drank a toast to a great Rowers Year
To the feeling of union we all feel in here.
As ‘014 closes, ‘015 promises so much more,
For Cam Tompkins is hard at work on our World Cup Tour.

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