The Rowers prems disappointed the home crowd this Saturday at Brockton, as very fit and well drilled Pacific Pride club – the Western Canada working entity of Canada’s U23 program – scored early and often to beat them 51-14.
The nation’s youth gave the Rowers a run, using advantages in speed and fitness to get to the outside and exploit even the smallest holes. The Rowers defense didn’t suffer from a lack of effort, as big hits and intelligent positioning were evident, but the Pride had a way of creating the openings they needed, avoiding head-to-head match-ups with a strong Rowers pack, finding ways to make the game their own.
The Rowers got on the board with a penalty try in the 19th minute, a result of the Pride pulling down a well-set maul near the goal line. That made it 7-12, and was the last time the Rowers were really in it.
The Pride didn’t miss when given room on the outside, scoring tries on long runs in the 23rd, 24th, 34th, 44th, 63rd, 67th, and 73rd minutes.
Standout winger Mighty Okafor was able to get the ball in space in the 75th minute and make it count to narrow the gap a bit, but this one was all Pride.
Following the game, coach Seyler called the the visitors “clinical,” and noted that the coaching staff is getting the most out of the 4-5 hours a week that they’re able to train this young, talented team.
There was strength to build on in the forward play, as the pack clearly stood up to the aspiring internationals, but it takes perfect rugby to beat perfect rugby, and the Rowers didn’t show enough balance to be able to work as a unit Saturday.
The Prems are at home again next week against the Castaway Wanderers.