Westshore Claim Two Wins at Home Versus Nanaimo
by Clancy McDonnell
Men’s Premier: WRFC 43 – Nanaimo 12
The Velox Valhallians hosted Nanaimo on Saturday and played a solid game to record their first win for quite some time. Nanaimo got out of the blocks early, pouncing on a handling error to race in under the sticks barely a minute in to the game. Thereafter, the VVs played the most rugby, constructed a winning score, and restricted the Hornets to just one more try.
Decisive scoring plays came through the backs. Outside centre Paul van Thiel took a sharp pass and charged through the midfield defence to score under the posts. Halfback Rhett Moore squeaked down the sideline for a 40 metre dash to the line. Siti Nacoko found a gap then booted the ball downfield, chasing and scoring in an 80 metre solo effort.
It wasn’t just twinkle toes stuff though – hooker Cory Walker capped the best two minutes of his life with a dummy and a burrowing line for a try, and #8 Nakai Penny demonstrated what fitness and support running can do for a team, following a winger out wide to turn potential isolation into a five-pointer.
Elsewhere, the teams wagered back and forth in the territory stakes. Nanaimo kicked out of hand decently early on. The scrum was pretty evenly matched, while both teams did okay on their own lineout throw. Both teams put a few good shots on in defence, although the VVs was obviously overall more disciplined.
Evergreen second rower Daryl Hall reminded spectators why he was in the track some in the mid-2000s, having represented Canada West in a previous iteration of Canadian representative rugby. He mopped up ball, shifted it sensibly on attack, and made a number of text-book tackles. He rounded his day out with a visit to the Sticky Wicket, really taking things back to 2003.
Men’s Premier Reserve: WRFC 69 – Nanaimo 5
It was also a bright day for Westshore’s 2nd team. They fumbled early, but then never looked back, producing a number of good tries from both forwards and backs alike. The scrum was dominant, and the lineout was tidy until late replacements did their best. The battle of the breakdown went to the home team, who blasted through the collision zone when rucking over. Despite some intermittent handling errors, there was a lot to like in how they moved the ball, carried with purpose and supported ball runners. The standout try was a jinking run by fullback Jordan Tait, who also kicked well for touch and goal.
The sight of the day was the genuine goose-step (“Campese!”) produced by Malahat wonder Tommy Lee, who enjoyed the step up to premier level. Coming up, the two men’s teams travel to Vancouver to take on the Old Boys in the final game for December.