Burnaby Lake Claim Division One Title: Lose to Caps in Premier
Saturday saw BLRC contest for VRU Championships in both the premier and 1st divisions. A testament to the continual hard work and progress that the players of the Blue and White are making.
Captain Aaron Reed’s 1st div team were first up and despite the hard work on the training field they showed the effects of 5 weeks without a game and struggled with their rhythm and flow for the 1st 20 minutes this allowed opponents Bayside to shoot out to a 15 point lead courtesy of a converted try, a try and a penalty. Burnaby’s plan was further disrupted with injuries to Mike “Country Bear” Wong and Dan “quiet guy” Schinbein which saw them leave the game. Sensing that it was close to do or die time Burnaby raised their game. For the final 60 minutes Aaron Reed led his team and played out of his skin, his example was followed by all but notably Brad Mchugh, Adam Macluskey, Preston Petrovitch and John Decaire. John showing that dogged determination and heart will always go a long way in our great game. The Burnaby pack was now able to establish pressure and a platform for their talented backs. This led to Bayside giving away penalties. Nolan Shelley putting BLRC on the board just before the 1/2. 15-3 Bayside.
At 1/2 time coach Dave Murphy asked for his team to keep the intensity and to stay patient and trust that good things would happen. Again the blue and white pack took control and after a multi phase attack Brad Mchugh touched down for a try after a trademark barrelling run. 15-8 all to play for. From the kick off Burnaby again put together many phases and with no option but to give away penalties Nolan Shelley made good on penalty kicks at the following minute marks 55,63,69 and 75 as BLRC clawed their way back into the game and then finally nudged ahead on the scoresheet. The game ended in Bayside’s 22 and the 1st div boys claimed their 2nd championship of 2011, much like the BC title they won in May at the same ground this was a team effort with once again Brad Mchugh notching the try and Nolan Shelley doing the honours with his boot.
The Prem final saw BLRC play Capilano for the VRU prem title. After a period of sparring Matt Yaniga hit a penalty for a 3-0 Cap lead. Burnaby’s next possession saw the Caps transgress and Geoff Ryan converted a penalty to even the scores. Burnaby were now able to get some flow to their game and threatened the Caps line. A tip tackle from Caps Nate Rees on Joe Dolesau earned him a 10 minute rest and Burnaby the chance to make hay. Credit though to Capilano as they stood their ground and played “smart rugby” not giving up a score. They were next to string some phases together with the excellent Charlie Jones steering traffic and a Burnaby offside led to Matt Yaniga taking a quick tap and scoring close to the posts, he made good on the convert. Sensing the need for a tally before the 1/2 Burnaby worked their way into the Cap half and then after working the ball to the left wing worked possession back towards the posts, with the Caps running out of defenders a 4 on 2 was created less than 10 yards from the Cap line however as so often happens at all levels of rugby a miss pass was picked off resulting in Akio Tyler going 70 yards before offloading to Mike Langley who scored, Yaniga once again added the extras and the referee’s whistle went for 1/2 time. 17-3 to Caps when no-one would have argued with 10-10 meant that Burnaby had a big mountain to climb to get their hands on the Miller cup.
Unfortunately the same knock-ons and poor decisions alongside good Cap defence resulted in little flow to Burnaby’s game and much of the action being between the Cap 22 and 1/2 way. The Blue and White finally were rewarded when Joe Dolesau picked up an errant pass and fortuitous bounce and scored a try. The extras were required to put Burnaby within a score and unfortunately Geoff Ryan was just to the side with his kick. The “rugby supporter” in the stand who saw fit to blow what sounded like an Airhorn/Bagpipes combo every time Burnaby had a kick at goal will hopefully realise the error of their ways.
20 mins left and down by 9 BLRC needed to recover possession quickly and get back on the offense unfortunately a silly unnecessary penalty given away at a breakdown when the Burnaby defence was set gave Yaniga a shot at goal from out in front, to which he made no mistake.
Saturday seemed like a day when for every step forward Burnaby took they took 2 back, returning to attack and pressing the Capilano line Caps Evan Mallory took a yellow card, Geoff Ryan made good on the penalty and now a golden opportunity for 10 minutes of extra man rugby, the quick score that was needed did not materialise as Caps took care of possession when they had the ball and showed the improvements they continue to make. The game ended on a penalty kick to touch and Capilano claimed the 2011 Miller Cup. Credit to the Capilano back row who were very good, the work of this unit has really enhanced the performance of the team, Penhall was involved in everything and has added real needle to his game and Mckinnon’s return has injected extra strength into the Cap team.
The 2 teams meet again with CDI points on the table at the end of January when Burnaby looks forward to properly hosting their North Shore rivals. The question as to who has made the biggest improvement in the next 8 weeks will be answered on Jan 28th. BLRC would like to thank referee Mike Jones and assistant referees Gerry Clayton and Sherry Trumbull for making the game possible.
CDI pre season training starts for BLRC this Tuesday & goes every Tuesday & Thursday with strength & conditioning. The annual Blue & White Mickey Reverse Draw & Food Bank Collection is Thursday post practice. BLRC would like to thank all the rugby administrators for their efforts during the 1st half of the season & wishes everyone involved in the BC rugby community a great holiday season. Excitement is building for the annual over 30/under 30 “John Latham Memorial Challenge” on Boxing day when the BLRC family will reconvene to honour the memory of our brother John Latham.
BLRC – Many teams – One CLUB