The Rowing Club Premier Side went down early, but fought back to earn a 30-30 draw at home against the Nanaimo Hornets Saturday.
The Hornets got on the board first running a disciplined game that opened up space and gave an excellent back line the opportunity to succeed. They scored a try in the 5th minute, nailed the conversion, and added a penalty at in the 10th minute to go up 10-0 and put the hosts on the back foot.

Eighth man Coin “Swamp Monster” Cooper got the Rowers on the board in the 26th minute, but the Rowers missed the conversion in an unfortunately inconsistent day at the tee to make it 10-5. Nanaimo answered to end the second half, as their scrummy picked and went from the base of the ruck to run untouched and put one down under the posts. The conversion made it 17-5.
The Hornets opened the second half as well, as their fullback, well rested after a first half binning, punctuated an offload-heavy Nanaimo attack that was able to misshape the Rowers’ defense and find paydirt in the 44th minute. That made it 24-5. 
But the Rowers weren’t going to give up easily. The Pack was able to narrow the Rowers deficit in the 47th minute, executing at the lineout, then marching in a scrum at the 5, forcing the Hornets to pull it down and earning a penalty try. The conversion was good to make it 24-12.

James Kelly watches an offload after drawing the defender. Kelly was outstanding on both sides of the ball Saturday.

Second row forward Kelly Anderson found the end goal after a strong run up the wing in the 64th minute to make it 24-17, and “Saint” Paddy O’Connell put one in in the corner in the 70th minute to make it 22-27. Poor discipline allowed the Hornets a shot at the posts that they didn’t miss, giving the hosts an 8 point deficit in the 72nd minute.
A successful penalty opportunity in the 75th minute brought the Rowers within 5, and some gutsy, physical play led to a try by Captain Michael Jordan that tied the score. Fullback Nick Wackwitz, was unable to successfully convert, putting it off the left upright and leaving the score tied at full time.
Coach Seyler singled out kicking (including several failed kicks for touch) and straying from the pattern as his the top side’s weaknesses, but was nonetheless proud of his squad’s performance. “We dug ourselves a hole, but we never gave up.”
The Rowers Prems take the show on the road next week, heading down to play on the turf in Seattle.
Reserve scrum half Chris Nolan sets up the Rowers attack. Flanker Quinn Cowie gets set to join it.

All photos by Rowers Sideline Photographer Amy Rankin

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