Bowd's Boot Keeps Boys Unbeaten
Grady Bowd has laced them up in three matches this season and the boys have won all three, in no small measure due to Grady! Last Saturday’s victory over Capilanos also produced a bonus point. These two storied combatants opened on a beautiful afternoon of rugby weather with the flow going back and forth and CW committing some early penalties due to over eagerness. At ten minutes, Caps converted one of these chances from Moloney, 3 – 0. CW responded immediately with a well-taken 40m break by Bowd and a feed to Griffiths who was under the posts, 7 – 3. CW pressed, although a long touch-finder from Caps gave breathing room. Thence an exchange of kicks, from which Bowd backed himself and was swiftly away. He fed Mitchell/Shaw (??), and on to the high flying, Rio Apt to complete the 60m movement for a 14 – 3 lead at 15 minutes. Next it was Caps winger, Whiting, on a good break, forcing stout defense. However, an experienced #10, Moloney, eventually flung a wide “miss two” pass to Whiting for his deserved try and 14 – 10 score, mid-half.
It was Apt again who broke free, following some alert positioning from Sandner. Rio scooted for 30m and fed Pilgrim as the defense threatened. Zec has deceiving pace and was not to be caught, 21 – 10. Five minutes later an exactly, identical scenario with the same actors, broke down with the final pass. Caps capitalized on their good fortune with probing runs from Johnny Franklin and Huntington, causing pressure and earning a penalty. An alert tap went to Franklin for a valuable Captain’s try and a 21 – 15 score. This was maintained by CW until the half. It was a match where CW had most of the possession, yet credit to Caps, with desperate but sure tackles, they hung around on the shoulders of Mc Kinnon, De Freitas, Heyes, Maloney and Johnny Franklin. On the tricolored side of the ball, there were many staking a claim.
CW started the second half under a yellow card which was not a deterrence. At three minutes, good ball from a touch-finder, saw Griffiths probe, wide ball to Mitchell and Shaw on the overlap for 26 – 15. Pilgrim threatened with an alert break, only for an error, to miss an opportunity. Caps came back with a break from Waddell and on to Franklin, and a player being bundled into touch in the red zone. CW worked their way out of this mess, and it was Pilgrim again. He was devoid of support and another opportunity went a-begging. At the mid-point, Caps worked from their own 40m and it was either Johnny Franklin or Whiting with a 50m break and 26 – 20 scoreline, creating pressure which should never have been the case. This seemed to inspire the visitors, as they dared to move the ball wide to create gaps.
It was a cheeky chip from Pilgrim after turnover ball and Peters, Kratz and Davidson asked solid questions to regain perspective. At this point CW’s shape seemed to lose the plot. A deep touch finder from a penalty and lineout drive creating another penalty caused a measure of havoc for CW. Fortunately, it became Caps turn to err and take themselves out of the picture as play became very sloppy for this level. CW worked their way deep, only to incur a series of three penalties. Very late in the day, a deep ball from Bowd ended in a break by Shaw, a series of recycles and a forward crashed over, 33 – 20. From the kickoff, in injury time, it was showtime for Shaw again, Peters drove hard drawing a penalty and from a series of recycles, Nott ran a sharp line for the final, 40 – 20 – a scoreline not indicative of the difference between the teams.
Referee, Zussman had her usual, quality outing, keeping in order what often, in the second half, appeared as a rabble. Caps with far less ball, stuck to the task although they never really looked a chance for the win. I liked Heyes, McKinnon (surprise?), in the forwards and Captain, Johnny Franklin, in the centers, was my M-o-M, although Whiting added some real energy. For CW, now sitting at 3 – 3, it was an outing where much will be gleaned from the VEO replay! I’ll leave it at that. Pilgrim gets my M-o-M. Shaw and Bowd, both off to the MLR, had their moments in the sun as well. (Forgive the pun!) Ollie Nott was the pick of the pack. It was not a “thing of beauty” but still, a good day. Enjoy the break and a Merry Christmas to all. (The Ruggernut).