The Rowing Club’s top side played a passionate, physical game Saturday, but came up short of the result, losing to the Bayside Sharks on the road 36-17.
The hosts came out strong, scoring a try in the third minute and adding another in the 23rd minute, with conversions, for an early 12-0 lead.
The Rowers found the handle at minute 30, as loose head prop Morgan Smith put it down in the end goal to make it 12-7 after the Brian Derham conversion. Smith, despite being a recent victim of VPD police harassment, had an excellent game, running strong support lines, showing strength in the rucks, and making four big tackles. The same foundation of common law underpinning the justice systems of Canada and Smith’s native Australia mandates that the hard-charging forward be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

Prop forward Morgan Smith (left), running as though he’s being chased by the cops to set the ruck for roommate Nick Wackwitz.

The Sharks added another try right before the half to make it 17-7, but the Rowers came right back at them. Smith’s roommate, fullback Nick “Wocka Flocka” Wackwitz went hard in the paint to find paydirt partially thanks to strong rucking by third roommate, centreback Matt Litz. The try made it 14-17 after the conversion, and the domestic arrangement has us questioning Lower Mainland housing availability.
But the Rowers would fall short of the comeback. It wasn’t a lack of effort on either side of the ball, but some bad fortune for the 1st div and opportunistic attacking by the hosts that put the Sharks up three more tries before time expired on a 36-17 Sharks home victory on the way in to the playoffs.
Nick Wackwitz puts a step on a guy. Wacka scored a try against Bayside Saturday.

Apart from a single defensive lapse that left Bayside with an overlap in the 60th minute, it’s hard to pinpoint anything the Rowing Club could have done differently Saturday. The defense was strong all down the sheet, with Litz, fullback Richie Thompson, flanker Quinn Cowie (man of the match), and beastly second row Kiwi Kelly Anderson tied for the tackle lead with six each.
The Rowers 1sts finished third in the BCRU Mainland Division 1 table, three points behind the Sharks and five behind the Surrey Beavers, who the Rowers cleaned up on in last Saturday’s road game. They final standing slate the Rowers in a first round playoff game against Abbotsford this coming Saturday.┬áThe Firsts’ last game against Abbotsford was a close 23-21 victory at home November 18th, 2017.

The 1st round playoff against Abbotsford goes this Saturday April 21 at Brockton Oval. Kickoff is 2:30pm.
Our score sheet reflected a balanced team effort on D. Totals are not exact. Special thanks to scorekeeper Pat Sorje


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