The Rowers Prem reserves were unable to keep pace with a younger, fitter UBC side that attacked at a high pace for 80 minutes, and came out on the wrong side of a 56-12 loss at home Saturday.
The Rowers D held up at first. UBC eventually got a man sprung into space, only to have him chased down by flanker Quinn Cowie, who made an excellent cover tackle in the corner to push the defender out of bounds. UBC were able to win the ensuing lineout and mount an attack resulting in their first try in the 17th minute.
The Birds struck again in the 21st minute, creating an overlap on the outside and using their speed to stay ahead of the chase. 12 – 0 UBC.
The speedy game worked again right away, as they worked their way down to the Rowers’ goal line in the 26th minute, but the Rowing Club showed guts and a capacity for execution, mounting a goal line stand that lasted a full three minutes before finally forcing a T-Birds knock on, earning the right to kick for position from the end goal following the scrum. In a recurring theme, UBC was able to gather the ball in space and run it back for a try in the 31st minute to go up 19-0.
The Rowers answered right before the half as Adrian Meering, in a much welcome return to the Rowing Club, scooped up a loose ball and showed his own ability to carry into space, out-pacing the pursuit and putting his team on the board. 19-7 after 40 minutes, flyhalf Richie Thompson with the conversion. Coach Seyler note of Meering’s “standout game,” afterwards. “He scored a massive try, and led the charge from the wing.”
After the Birds used their pace to put two more tries in in the fourth eighth of the game, but weren’t without their mistakes. Scrum half Dominic Howard timed a defensive burst perfectly in the 5th minute, putting himself behind the defense with the ball, and making it 31-12. The Rowers might have used their experience to spot a tell, because Thompson was able to come up with an interception a minute later, making long yards before being dragged down around the 20 meter line. Great support by “Tacklin’ Tom” Hyams and veteran VRC forward Ryan Chapman kept the ball for the Rowers, but the Birds’ D held up.
Ultimately, the Rowers defense couldn’t handle the wide open offense that UBC brought, and couldn’t use the the wet conditions to make it the type of tight, inside game they could win with their size and experience.
The Reserves are away next week at Westshore.