Double at House of Windsor - Bonus Points to Boot!
CW opened their season on Saturday with a pair of home wins – Reserves, 40 – 12; Prems 28 – 15, against cross-town rivals JBAA. The Reserves were ahead 19 – 7 at the half, with James Bay well “in it”. Both teams scored early second-half tallies and it stayed that way until mid-stanza. Despite having to work hard for overall territorial advantages, CW featured with some good breakout stuff when the passing clicked. This site mentioned Adibe as one to watch and he was great value with a hat-trick of tries, bagging 25 points in total and clearly, M-o-M. Others to catch the eye were; Adams, bigger, tougher and making much better decisions after his first year and some Rep rugby. Fowler, Yama and Newhook also worked hard in the pack. All were cleverly orchestrated by the Mighty Midge, Hickman. Newman at fullback showed flashes and earned a brace of tallies but he was to be even more impressive as a Premier sub, later in the day. A good outing first up for the chaps. The Bays showed good resolve, fielding a competitive effort when this match was a “postponement” mid-week. The likes of Brad Underwood and Jake De Goede answering the call, whipped by stalwart, Neil Meechan showing club character. I like Johnson at #10 for M-o-M as he was often a threat. Cole Braid did not disappoint, crossing for a five-pointer.
Field conditions became much slicker by kickoff time for the main game and early season handling and timing issues would be compounded with the conditions. It was only five minutes old when a massive JB shunt from Heyningen and Barker shocked the CW pack with a tight-head win and loosie, Davies, broke for a try under the sticks. James Bay’s, Andrew DeGoede provided some early minute’s worries and play ebbed to and fro. CW’s ‘Ice’ Povey put Schellie away to no avail and JBAA stole the attacking lineout. It was at ten minutes when Braddock burst off a maul, hot-footed it for 20 meters with a Moody-like ramble and put Leask over for his first tally in club, senior rugby, 7 – 7. The conditions caused some handling errors and the locals appeared to force matters, coming to a head when a needless and dangerous “flick”, all went terribly wrong, giving JB’s #8, Larsen, the easiest of gifts at the 25 minute mark. CW’s response was immediate, aided by a fortuitous bounce of the ball, showing just how electric the boys might be this season. The ‘Ice Man’ chipped and chased from an off-side advantage. The bounce favoured Povey, he fed D.D. who returned the favour as he went to deck. Povey converted his own try, 14 – 12. Play settled again for a stage but it was James Bay who was to regain the lead with a Mitrou penalty, 15 – 14. Mack could have been deemed unlucky as the half closed out. He single-handedly, as is his wont, almost created a try at the knell, only to see his heroics knocked on. Thus endeth the half.
The second stanza started with another JBAA tight-head. Mack’s alertness from the quick tap, saw him gain 25 meters but this thrust was snuffed with stout defence. The first score and ‘go-ahead’ came when Schellie, who was having a day he will want to forget, slipped a deft “delay” pass to Dobravsky. Dusty sent sub, Newman, on his way to the line, 21 – 15, CW. D.D. was the man again with a demo to ‘Ice’, that he too can “diagonal”, making good ground. Polson followed up with a sure tackle, earning a penalty for the home team. At lineout #1, the maul was “pulled down” to nullify the drive. Penalty #2. The next lineout and maul #2 saw Leask streak towards the posts. It was “all hands on deck” for the Bays but Buydens was unstoppable from the ruck, 28 – 15, CW. Fifteen minutes remained and adversity brought out character from James Bay. Mack, disguising what looked like an injury, one sub only on the sideline; Harriman and his boys dug deep. A good series of a dozen or so retentions got the Bay about 30 metres out, only to lose the ball when the defense failed to break. The resultant breakout from ‘Burger’ Thornber to Povey to Fraser went sixty metres and it would have been with great disappointment that this went to naught with the cover-defending tackle. The Blues did come back, methodically earning some forty meters of territory and the clock ticking on. It was a hard grind and errors appeared, JBAA tiring noticeably and CW failing to click. In the waning moments, the mercurial Mack, again almost had the last say, then Meeres nearly side-stepped through but it was to be the defense that spoke last. Final, four try bonus point, 28 – 15 CW win.
In summary, an intriguing battle for a season opener. The JBAA must get plaudits for their FRF efforts and when Cole is inserted, this unit will lead this team to far more wins than losses. For CW fans, it was great to see Tiedeman back in a Tricolour uni, first time for many moons, between contracts, and injuries. Andrew has finally returned home, solid job and family man and we welcome him with open arms. He revelled with ball in hand, off-loading to Chisolm on a couple of occasions, making matters dangerous for the visitors, although lineout work needs some brushing up. Substitutions did change the face of the set scrummage, with the platform visibly more stable. At the moment, a luxury that will not always be the case this season. Others who impressed were Stewart, not surprisingly, as we have come to expect much from him and Chisolm on debut with the club looked like he was enjoying himself and gave an honest eighty. The halves looked pretty slick and marginally may have had the better of their opponents; Di Nardo looking much more the goods in these early days. Dobravsky was solid without brilliance and Vataiki, on debut looked comfortable with limited opportunity. Captain Fraser ran some hard lines and is just sooooo reliable, with his hands under pressure, his ability to take the tackle and defensively, ever so solid. As mentioned earlier, Newman, also on debut finished a good pass with his crossing and hat-trick of tries on the day. One name not mentioned and I give him my M-o-M, Cam Polson. Not enough superlatives for his efforts on this day.
For James Bay, I give #8 Larsen, M-o-M honours. Can’t recall him from last season. He is a big, non-compromising unit with good jets and hands. The FRF has already been mentioned and I must add Jimmy De Goede for his honest toil, but with that lineage, what else could we expect? Mack was obviously head and shoulders, leading with rugby intuition, spunk and skill. I must add, that I thought his on-going diatribe with the M-i-M detracted from his performance for M-o-M honours and in fact, seemed just a little out for character. Mitrou had a solid game and Meeres in his first outing for some seasons with the Blues will only get better. Adams at #15 was not the threat I had expected and Andrew De Goede and Waldmann did what they could when they could.
Finally, I thought the officiating crew in both games did admirable work. Sara Turner in the Premier game, patiently seeking to keep players on the field was a welcome treat. Always a pressure cooker between these two with players seeking to get the edge, adhering to the laws is a challenge. Other games around the league produced only one surprise with a somewhat depleted and rookie Vikes team succumbing to Panga’s Westshore Valhallians. A good start for Westshore. The locals take a week off to prepare for a visit from Seattle who were on the wrong end of the score Vs Caps yesterday, whilst the Bays “travel” to UVic. CW Women also have another week to muster their troops before competition. Go, CW!
CW ‘Family’ News. Always the coach, Tom Browne in action! A reminder to our readers that Tom was the co-coach during CW’s Trifecta of B.C. Premierships in 2001, 02, 03. Tom Browne Update - Mel Jones brings us news about Tom. Tom is fighting a torrid disease, CJD. This diagnosis has been arrived at following a battery of tests. We will spare the details but a quick search will enlighten those interested. Mel, in his most dulcet tones crooned “The Wild Rover” to Tom, on his most recent visit, eliciting little response, perhaps his non-approval of the rendition! Other key word memories evoked no responses and he tires very quickly. At the moment his brothers, Noel and Mick are in town and have been with him. We pass on to Tom all the love and good wishes that are given to us for him. To Tom, Barb, and the family, you are in the forefront of our thoughts and we put you “in the light”. He'll love the result from today’s game at Windsor Park. Regards, Mel
Opening Day. Saturday’s Gala was truly that, despite the inclement offering from Mother Nature. Of course the rugby was the highlight but mateship of a bunch of “old boys” (and some younger) was on display in a game of touch that featured some rusty but pretty fair skills. The unveiling of the Willems’ plaque was very special and honoured by both teams. The CW brand was on sale and the deals were hot, a big thanks to all who supported our club by purchasing gear. Sunday dawned bright to Open Mini Rugby Season for the year, with a cast of thousands enjoying the action.
U10's going through the hoops.