The Rowing Club’s top side fell to the visiting University of Victoria Vikings this Saturday 60-21, as a fit, well-prepared UVic side executed perfectly to win on the road.
UVic started out quick, scoring two tries in the first five minutes, and three in the first seven minutes, but missing all three conversions. The visitors attacked with pace and intelligence, and were able to create openings and overlaps, then get the ball in position to take advantage of them with frightening accuracy. 15-0 Uvic after seven minutes.
The Rowers answered in the the thirteenth minute, with a tight, physical attack, moving through the middle off of a penalty near the UVic 22m line, like a loaded fright train, gaining yards off of each phase before finally getting the ball to “Newfie Rob” Spearing, who put one in under the posts; his first as a Rowers Prem. Kevin Gurniak bounced his first conversion attempt off of the uprights and in to get the Rowers on the board with the full seven. 15-7 UVic in the thirteenth minute.
More physical play up the middle got the Rowing Club another try in the 31st minute. Strong, tight, patient attack put “Kiwi Kelly” Anderson in a position to reach over the line and score ANOTHER Rowers try, giving Gurniak an opportunity for yet ANOTHER conversion, which he executed perfectly, making it 14-27, including the two UN-converted U-Vic tries that happened in the interim.
The strong university side, who included several Canada U20 selections, was able to overcome their underwhelming kicking game with a high-paced offense, lots of physicality in defense and the aforementioned deadly attack pattern, but that was really all they had.
Newfie-Rob was able to put in another try in the 44th minute to make it 21-34 after yet ANOTHER successful conversion by Gurniak.
The 60-41 final score line was largely a result of a UVic attack that knew how to create opportunities and take advantage of them, and just wouldn’t quit. Rowers winger Jordan W-R, 8th man James Kelly, and hooker Jason Carton all stood out in a game that the whole side can be proud of despite the lopsided final scoreline.
The Rowers Prems are next in action March 23rd against Seattle at Brockton.
All Photos Amy Rankin.