Ravens and Rippers do the Double vs Westshore
by Peter MacDonald
Three weeks off between games for the club after a busy October appears to have been just what was needed as, for the first time this season, both the premier and the premier reserve team won on the same day. The Rippers got it going with a 55-5 win and the Ravens followed up with a 46-15 victory.
The Ravens started well and throughout the first half were able to run their attack efficiently without turning the ball over themselves or having it pilfered by the Westshore defenders. Five tries in the half were the result: lock Brian Moylett scored twice, the second combined a well-timed pass from Jorden Sandover-Best with a strong run off the ball by Moylett near the line, Aaron McLelland and David O’Donoghue touched down and Sandover-Best scored a well taken try after Connor Hamilton fielded a high ball on the right sideline at midfield, switched it left to Robert Jones and then to Graham Turner who powered through the Westshore defence on the left and got loose before drawing the last defender and turning it in to Sandover-Best for the finish.
Westshore regrouped for the second half and by the 50 minute mark they had scored two tries bringing the score to 31-15, were on the boil and were gaining confidence. Left winger Cole Davis scored first, the beneficiary of a generous overlap after centre Quinn Ngwati had dragged a few tacklers forward toward the posts. Davis was involved in the second try as he had his space on the left wing close down and he passed inside where after a ruck a Westshore forward crashed in. But gradually the Ravens reasserted themselves as Moylett tied up a Westshore tackler in a maul which settled things down, Hamilton and flanker Grant Crowell continued with straight ahead runs across the gain line and the Ravens retained more possession.
The next try was crucial and the Ravens scored it as from a lineout at 60 minutes Hamilton caught it at the back and dropped it down to a winding Sandover-Best who found a gap at the back of the lineout. He sped into space, was confronted with the Westshore fullback and left winger, and somehow managed to spin out of the tacklers’ grasp and carry on for the try. Two more Raven tries followed as the game played out, the last by McLelland who had also opened the account for the Ravens.
Westshore put the Ravens under pressure at times throughout the game but the Raven tackling was solid with Chris Taylor, Paul Ahn and David O’Donoghue most notable. Sandover-Best was first man up to tackle on two Westshore quick taps and Grant Crowell saved a first half try by ripping a ball loose and running it out of the Raven in-goal area.
The tight five seldom get enough attention so a shout out to them is due: Jon Phelan and Moylett at lock and Taylor, Ahn and Curtis Delmonico in the front row are coming together in the sets and lineouts. The club is not as deep as it would like to be in the front row but these three are getting it done. Curtis is a young prop, apprenticing and paying his dues over the last few seasons and is coming into his own. Good on ya.
There are other club successes happening as well. The U16s and U19s have advanced to the mainland finals this Sunday where the U16s will play the Caps and the U19s will play Burnaby for the right to play the Island winners for the BC title. Former Ravens Cully Quirke and Trevor Helgason helped Queen's to a silver medal at the University championships and Jacob Ikeda likewise a gold with UBC. Not to mention Conor Trainor, Gordy McRorie, Nick Blevins and the Canadian men qualifying for the World Cup in Japan.
This Saturday is the return match with UBC at UBC. Come on out, it should be a good one.