An inspired second half comeback by the Rowers Prems wasn’t enough to erase a first half deficit, as they fell to the Ravens 26-34 at Brockton.
The Rowers had a chance to get on the board early, but were unable to slot a penalty kick from the 28 metre line in the second minute. They threatened again in the 6th minute, but the visitors’ D held strong. The Ravens missed their own kick from the 23m line in the ninth minute, and were able to get it to a dangerous fullback in space on the return kick, giving him a chance to elude tacklers and find the end goal in minute ten. It would prove to be a theme on the day.

Mason Pedersen, shown here on the carry, is on loan to the Rowers from Austin, Texas.

A dangerous runner, the Ravens fullback was able to score another try in the 13th minute, the Rowers again having no answer for the quick fullback when he was turned loose with the ball. 12-0 Ravens.
Other than not having an answer for that counter, the Rowers D looked strong early. Flanker James Kelly laid several textbook tackles and laid a guy out with ball in hand in the 21st minute, but the Rowers weren’t able to make anything count. Forwards picking from the base of the ruck was making the most yards, so halfback Chris Nolan elected to continue with the rolling attack, earning respectable yards but never being able to convert against a fit and well drilled Ravens D.
A strong and physical end to the half carried the Prems into the halftime huddle on an emotional high, despite being down 15-0.
That fullback struck again in the 42nd minute, and again in the 49th minute, and the Ravens backline added another one by working an overlap in the 52nd minute, making it 34-0 after the dust settled, and silencing the home crowd.
James Kelly, shown here breaking a tackle and preparing to flatten an opposing scrum half, has been a powerhouse for the Rowing Club all year.

But the Rowers weren’t done. Some physical play at the breakdown earned Kelly a Yellow card, and continued physical play frustrated the visitors into a yellow of their own at the 63rd minute. With the home crowd back in it, the Rowers continued a strong, forward-based attack until hooker Jason Carton was able to find the corner with the ball to get the Rowing Club on the board in the 64th minute. Substitute Centre Brian Derham made good on the conversion to make it 34-7 and send the home crowd to check the clock. Sixteen minutes left.
Working strong phase play and off-loads, the Rowers were able to put another one in and make it 34-14 in the 68th minute after the Derham conversion.
Jason Carton scored a try Saturday at Brockton.

From there, the Prems started to look like we’ve come to expect them to with ball in hand. Derham sold a dummy in the 70th minute to create some space for himself and beat his mark, sucking in cover tacklers to make space for fullback Kevin Gurniak who gathered the offload in space and went for a run, but was chased out of bounds in striking distance. The Rowers were able to keep the attack in their opponents’ end, though, winning their lineout and pounding away until tight head prop Mason Pedersen, on loan from USA Pro Rugby’s Austin Elite, put one in in the corner to make it 34-21 after the conversion. The Rowers attacked again right away, but lost the ball in a wayward offload. The phase play earned the Prems a final try in extra time (try scorer unknown) to make the final score 34-26. Not enough.
The loss puts the Rowers Prems at a 2-3 record ahead of a match against blood rival Capilanos at Brockton next week.
Photos by Kelly Eglisson

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