Caps Knock Off League Leaders UBC in Men's Premier: Five Matches Played at Klahanie
by John Langley
Alumni day at Klahanie – Saturday February 3:
It was a great day of Rugby at Klahanie Park. Three games on the Bob Spray Stadium Field and two games on the top field. Inside at noon the Canada Uruguay game was on the big screen. The Caps Alumni put on a luncheon and the stands were packed. The weather even co-operated and the rains stopped for much of the day. The fields were heavy but playable.
Caps U23 Men vs. UBC U23 Men
Caps were over matched in this one as UBC won 69-0. Many former Capilano youth players/former North Shore high school players are currently playing for UBC frosh. Congratulations to UBC and thanks to the referee Heather Lilburn.
Capilano Reserves host UBC
UBC won this one 41- 10 as the young Capilano 2nd team takes it on the chin again. Thanks and Congratulations to UBC and thanks to the referee Jivan Dhaliwal.
The 3rd Division Match. Caps won 26-3
Caps played Chilliwack at the 3rd Division level. Chilliwack appears to be quite a young side and played hard throughout the contest. Caps opened the scoring with a try by Charlie Jones who hasn’t played for quite a while but is a welcome addition at any level. The try was converted by Danny Hatch and it was 7-0 Caps. Most of the action was in the Chilliwack end but they fought valiantly and tackled well. The Chilliwack number 8 made a strong run that showed promise but he was brought down. Kevin Hatch ran well at inside center and scored. With the game well in hand I went inside and watched some of the Canada Uruguay game when Canada was up 8, I was able to see the rest of the Caps game out of the window. Cap put up some more points and won 26-3. Three of the Chilliwack players stayed for the rest of the day and the beer up and were given a rousing round of applause from the packed clubhouse crowd. Thanks to the referee Ian Trevor. This was a good curtain raiser for the games to come.
The Premier Women: Burnaby won 14-10
Caps were favoured in this one but Burnaby came out running and gunning. A Burnaby back broke through the Caps defense and scored to make it 5-0 and the convert was good to make it 7. Sorry we didn’t get the Burnaby lineup for the program. The conversions proved to be the difference today as Burnaby made both of theirs while Capilano missed theirs. The first half was pretty much all Burnaby and they out played the Capilano team that appeared to be surprised by the strength of their opposition. Burnaby struck again to make it 14-0 and they were good value for the lead. Half time came and Caps seemed to regroup. They began to take it to Burnaby and Caps flanker Gillian Boag scored to put her team back in the game. The conversion missed but the score raised the Capilano side and they were playing better. Caps scored again on a try by number 9 Christina Burnham. The convert missed. Burnaby received a yellow card to their number 9 and she spent 10 minutes in the bin. Caps attacked but were not able to score the winning try and time ran out. Caps took a lot of penalties today and the count was high. This greatly helped Burnaby establish field position. Thanks to the referee Graham Stone for his handling of the game. Congratulations to Burnaby on the win.
The Premier Men’s game: Capilano 32 UBC 26.
This was a great rugby game, one of the best I have ever witnessed on the Bob Spray field. It rivals the win over James Bay to win the Rounsfell Cup in 2012.
UBC fielded a strong side even though they have some injuries. Curry Hitchborn, who comes from the Capilano Club along with head coach Rameses Langston have done a great recruiting job for UBC. The majority of their players come from BC High schools with a few from elsewhere in the country and a sprinkling of imports.
Caps likewise use mostly homegrown players and constantly fight the attempts to increase the number of imports. If Canadian rugby is to improve we need Canadians playing, imports are fine but we believe 5 per team are more than enough. With three straight Rounsfell Cups, UBC has made a strong case that this is the way to improve Rugby in Canada. UBC is one of the top teams in North America. Capilano was happy to be at home today after a schedule that saw them travel to the Island two week in a row. The results could have been better as Caps narrowly dropped both of these games. Caps desperately needed a win today and perhaps they wanted it more than UBC.
The teams took the field and you could feel the tension in the air. UBC struck early as number 15 Fraser Hurst scored. Hurst had a strong game for UBC and looked dangerous whenever he touched the ball. The conversion by Willliam Percillier sailed through and it was 7-0 for the Birds. Caps answered fairly quickly, as following a UBC penalty for not releasing, Caps Sam Franklin hit the sidelines for a Caps lineout. Caps took the ball mauled in a try scored by Glen McKinnon who had another outstanding game. Young Austin Karius made a promising run for Capilano. This youngster looks better every time out and is an up and coming back. Caps were not able to support in numbers on this run but it showed that they could run against the students. Caps next points came on a penalty kick by Sam Franklin. He usually plays 15 but today played 10 in the absence of Steve Cassells. I thought Franklin had a good game.
The Caps have also been happy to have big Erik Hunter-James back in the lineup as he really adds to the backline. The penalty made it 10-7. The T-Birds replied with a try by Cole Keffer, a Capilano product who graduated from Sutherland High School. Keffer showed his pace and running skills and scored in the left corner. It was now 14-10 for UBC. UBC had the ball and was making ground but Caps stopped them and stole the ball. The Birds took a penalty and Caps again hit the sideline for a lineout. The throws were excellent today by Caps underrated hooker Jason de Freitas. Jason always plays well and is a threat with ball in hand. He gets around the field like a loose forward and is a great leader. Neil Courtney then scored for Caps. Neil missed several games with a concussion early in the season and was sorely missed. The convert was wide but Caps took a one point lead into half time, 15-14. It was an exciting well played half.
On the second half kickoff Caps were penalized and UBC took a shot at goal. The penalty kick was unsuccessful and Caps kicked out of their end. The ball was caught by Fraser Hurst and he made significant ground but was met with a big collision with McKinnon. Both players got up but the hit seemed to lift the Capilano club and their tackling was excellent. Capilano was awarded a penalty and Franklin went for goal but missed. UBC had a 25 meter drop out but then took another penalty. This time Caps took the lineout option, Caps received another penalty and this time Franklin goaled it to give his side an 18-14 lead.
UBC replied with a run by Fraser Hurst but a knock on stopped the attack. Caps had the scrum and early on were being forced by UBC but as the game went on the scrum stiffened. Caps won the ball and put it back to Sam Franklin to clear, a UBC Flanker, number 7 charged down the kick and touched it down just before it went out the back of the end goal. The convert missed but UBC now had a 19-18 lead. UBC got away on a long run but were forced out by the corner flag. Caps Chad Carlsen was binned for a high tackle and the Caps were in trouble. The T-Birds scored and it was now with the conversion a 26-18 lead with not a lot of time left. Caps were determined to score and at least get a bonus point. They got the ball in the UBC end and a penalty kick got them in deep. The lineout ball was secured and Caps passed to Johnny Franklin who burst through and scored for Capilano, giving his side some hope. His brother Sam converted and we were back at a one point difference 25-26.
The Capilano fans were cheering wildly, Chad Carlsen was back on the field and the momentum had shifted back to the home side. Could they upset the Thunderbirds? The answer was yes. The kickoff was returned and UBC took another penalty. Again Caps hit the sideline deep in the UBC end. Time was almost up. Caps got the ball from the lineout and mauled well. They crossed the line and Jordan Harvey, scored on the last play of the game. Sam Franklin put the icing on the cake with a well kicked conversion. This was quite a victory! It was a team effort and everyone played well; as they had to in order to stay with the powerful UBC side. It was fitting as last week Caps lost a hard fought game against Castaway Wanderers on a last play penalty kick.
A memorial trophy is awarded after every UBC vs. Capilano Premier Men’s game and today it was handed to Glen McKinnon, the Capilano captain. It was awarded by Ken Robinson a Capilano Past-President and father of scrum half Chris. The trophy is named for John Olmstead, a past Capilano President and player. He is also the father of Canada star Evan Olmstead. The Capilano Alumni also made a donation to the UBC Rugby Scholarship fund. The teams went into the clubhouse for the post game meal and drinks. It was quite a day for the Capilano Club. The referees did an excellent job and the game flowed well. Thanks to Mr. Saro Turner and his crew. It was nice to see BC rugby great Ted Hunt at the game and to talk with him. He also spoke to Capilano legends Bucky Ellison and Greg Bjarnsson. These guys were rugby greats in the 1950’s and 60’s. Thanks also to Capilano Alumni on a great Alumni Day! Next up for the Capilano Men is Seattle at home in two weeks.
The game was preceded by a moments silence for two Capilano friends:
Nick Geer, who was involved with Collingwood School and several Capilano fundraisers, was unfortunately killed in a recent MVA in California. Nick played rugby with the Trojan RFC.
The Son of Mike Lidstone, Caelen Lidstone, was taken from us far too soon. Mike Lidstone was involved with Carson Graham Rugby and played for Capilano and Snowcaps. Our heartfelt condolences go out to both families. The announcement was made at the game but unfortunately the sound system failed so I don’t know how many people were able to hear. It is at times like these I wish I had the Alex Mahood voice!