Burnaby Four Wins on the Day: Match Reports vs Brit Lions, James Bay, Westshore
by Mike Devlin
BLRC 2nd Div Men 43 – Brit Lions 21
The 2nd Div Men travelled down to Delta to take on the Brit Lions on the day of the Brits 90th Anniversary Party. The BLRC would like to wish a hearty congratulation to the Brit Lions on their almost century of rugby! We are happy that we could be involved in your big day!
James Reekie has found a comfortable place in the 2nd Div backfield and he’s found some crisp timing with the hard charging centres Barry Bonell and Francois Botes as well as FB Sean McKeown. The mobile BLRC backrow of Matt Chan, Tom Menzies and Doug Provost-Smith can add support to ball carriers all over the pitch and they stretch the defence which makes some room and allows Reekie to put the big runners into space. The Brit Lions had a big pack and a centre that really stood out but Menzies, Chan and Provost-Smith’s ability to get to the breakdown quickly caused havoc with the Brit Lions rucks. BLRC veteran prop Brent Molesworth has returned to rugby after a few years off and is having a career resurgence! He’s scored try’s in 2 straight games, I believe surpassing his career total by 2
The BLRC scored 6 tries on Saturday through Tom Menzies (2), Haydn Melin, Barry Bonell, Doug Provost-Smith and Brent Molesworth. Reekie added 5 conversions and a penalty.
The Brit Lions will have a chance to exact some revenge on the 2nds this Saturday at Burnaby Lake.
BLRC Premier Reserve Men 87 – James Bay 0
I didn’t get to see the game but from the reports I’ve received there was a mismatch that was evident from just after kickoff. I commend James Bay for pulling some players “out of the woodwork” (some from DEEP in the wood from what I understand) and putting a team on the field especially when that field is on the other side of the Strait.
Nick Vandergoes fends off a James Bay tackler – photo by Pj Carr
With the final score as lopsided as it was, it was hard for the BLRC coaches to pinpoint anybody that stood out more than the rest and many of the starters were taken off at the half, so they didn’t get to fully show what they could do. One back who was notable though was Nick Vandergoes. The winger had another great game. His hard running was rewarded later in the day when he entered the Premier game in the 2nd half. The BLRC Forward of the match was Ben Chater who had another outstanding game in the front row! The converted Hooker is finding his bearings on the tighthead side of the scrum and gives the Burnaby forwards another strong and mobile ball carrier!
I believe that this win nailed down first place in the division for the BLRC with one game left vs Capilano at home this weekend.
BLRC Premier Women 27 – Westshore RFC 7
The 3rd leg of back to back to back games for the Premier Women vs Westshore. Big thanks to Westshore for offering to change the game location to Burnaby Lake to accommodate the BLRC awards banquet held at our clubhouse that night!
Devon Luca passing to Gen Gratton on the games final score – photo by Pj Carr
Westshore had a different look this venture to the Lake than they did a few weeks back. They were missing some of the big guns that ran up points on the BLRC Women for the past 2 Saturdays. The BLRC were also far from full strength however with Maslo, Harvey, Foulds and Vikilani amongst others missing from the roster. With a win over the (heavily) favoured Island squad the BLRC would keep alive the dream of a home playoff date. With a loss, travelling to Capilano or Westshore would be assured.
The game started all Westshore with the visitors controlling the play inside the BLRC end until the 20-minute mark when the Burnaby women finally crossed the centre line. The BLRC kept marching and eventually Katie Grudzinski took a crash ball at the 22m from Van Vugt through the centres and in between the posts! Gen Gratton’s conversion gave the home side a 7-point lead with a quarter of the game gone. The teams were scoreless until 10 minutes gone in the 2nd half. Westshore were penalized in front of their posts. Megan Manson quick tapped and passed the ball wide to Leyhana Van Vugt who dove into the corner to extend the BLRC lead to 12. Westshore responded off the kickoff when one of their backs returned a misguided BLRC clearing kick all the way back between the posts to put the visitors on the board. The convert made the score 12-7.
Leyhana Van Vugt picked up her 2nd try of the game shortly after when she quick-tapped a penalty at the Westshore 5m line and dove through traffic for the points. 17-7 with about 20 minutes to play. Devon Luca added the next points after yet another quick tap inside the Westshore 22m. The ball found it’s way into the proud Pitt-Meadowite’s hands as she dove over the try line. Devon set up the last points of the game with the BLRC attacking inside the visitors end. The ball was swung wide from Megan Manson to Alya Govorchin to Luca (strange, by the way, how the younger sisters of the BLRC Men’s front row have grown up quick, mobile and in possession of such a different set of rugby skills than their older + bulkier siblings!) and finally to Gen Gratton who outpaced her opposite over 22m to make the score 27-7 which was your final.
The game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/X9TNJe3bMJU
Next week the women are on the road to Seattle.
BLRC Premier Men 27 – James Bay 10
The final game of the day was a good tilt with lots of physical play rom both sides. The old saying goes “The forwards decide wo wins, and the backs decide by how much”. This was true on the day where I thought the BLRC forwards slightly overmatched their opposition and that gave the backs all the space they needed to move the ball forward.
Cole Mosychuk runs the ball into the JBAA end – Photo by Pj Carr
Micha Govorchin got the BLRC on the board first at 5 minutes when a lineout at the James Bay 5m was converted by the Hooker into 5 points. At 9 minutes the BLRC would strike again from a lineout close to the JBAA line. James Bay repelled the maul, but #9 Jack Caithness spun the ball wide to Darren McCrory who dove over the line to extend the lead to 10. At 32 minutes James Bay get 3 points back from the boot of Elliot Mitrou. On the ensuing kickoff, james Bay were pressed back inside their own 22m and Mitrou’s clearing kick failed to find touch. It did find the hands of Ben McIvor who returned it untouched for a try. The BLRC led 15-3 which was the score at the half.
The score board stayed 15-3 for 25 minutes before the BLRC struck again. This time it was Cole Mosychuk picking up a bouncing ball in the Burnaby backfield and finding a gap in the James Bay defence at the 22m to score. Cole McQueen split the uprights to put the BLRC Men up 22-3 with 15 minutes to play. With about 10 minutes to play and the BLRC down a man James Bay was knocking at the Burnaby Lake door. #7 Tyler Rockwell picked up the ball from the back of a ruck and pushed through the defence for 5 points. Mitrou added 2 and the score sat 22-10. The Burnaby Lake forwards returned the favour a few minutes later when they found themselves camped out inside the JBAA 5m line. Jun Videla would be the man awarded with the try when he took a pick & go over the line for 5 points to finish the game 27-10.
Winger Gino Paolella avoids a James Bay tackle – photo by Pj Carr
A notable stat for the club is that when Nick Vandergoes entered the game in the 2nd half he became the 50th player to play Premier rugby for the BLRC this season. The FIFTIETH!! For a club that had hard time fielding 15 players less than a decade ago, that’s quite the feat.
Nick is part of a large group of young up + coming players at the club who are challenging some of the BLRC veterans for playing time. We hope to see more good things from him in the coming years!
The game can be seen here: https://youtu.be/mFeq7RDwKj0
Big thanks to all of the Referees on the day and to Brit Lions, Westshore and James Bay for a great day of rugby!