Monday's Musings

Monday's Musings

Final League Home Game


It was a pity for Burnaby Lake RFC that they had to play rugby against Castaway Wanderers RFC when they visited Oak Bay on Saturday. On what was a frigid afternoon the sparse gallery was treated to a very good match from the premier men. The start was scary! From an early penalty against CW, Burnaby found touch, won the lineout, and three recycles later they were over the line.  What the …., after a mere three minutes! CW was shaken and the reply although not immediate, was clinical enough. It came after a nice touch-finder by Eason, pressure by Peters, to earn a further penalty.  From the lineout, Davidson was held up, subsequent good lines from Krindle, Carson and short-side ball to Mitchell, saw the equalizer after ten minutes.


Play ebbed, and I note, Carson – constructive/destructive; Pilgrim enterprising, promising break from Krindle and Griffiths held up.  With CW exerting pressure, a couple of recycles saw the ball in the hands of either Fatt or Carson for the 14 – 7 lead at the midpoint. The kickoff was not handled well by CW and 8/9 Burnaby recycles really tested the defense. Again, the play went back and forth with skills sometimes breaking down.  CW’s “attacking tackles” were causing havoc and, along with superior scrummaging, The Tricolor was predominantly on the front foot. With territorial advantage, the next penalty in CW’s favor, close to the half, saw Sandner slot his seventh point and a 17 – 7 lead for the hosts. Then came a rather paradoxical play when CW splintered a Burnaby scrum, yet somehow, not get the deserved penalty, and let the ball get away! #10, MacLaine fed #15 on an alert “fill” on the blind side, Dromgool drew the tackler and fed on the overlap to winger, Mulgrew, to make it close at the interval, 17 – 14.


The second half opened with sloppy play from both squads, subjectively, advantage CW with the more useful probes, with Bossi in particular, being prominent. My notes mentioned kicking from hand and even fly-hacking of the ball being glaring CW errors. It was Burnaby’s, Albornoz who made a good run however even though it was 15 or so recycles by the Lakers, they were lucky to have gained fifteen yards, such was the defensive line speed of Castaway Wanderers. For the first ten minutes Burnaby were camped in their own half. Around the midpoint, CW managed some structure and good retention and scrummaging from them saw BL on the ropes. Nott, Finnie and Griffiths all pressed as ball carriers, and it was soon to be Peters over the line with a Sandner perfect afternoon off the tee and 24 -14 lead.


Nott was replaced by an energetic Ogunlabe, and the Lakers also made a number of replacements from a limited bench. Despite the scrappiness, Burnaby finally had some possession and gave the defense a solid test, however, they were repelled at every turn, this also included assistance from the four penalties they earned in the last ten minutes.  After a solid goal-line stand, CW’s Ng was away with an open line, only to be called back from a CW knock-on.  Must admit, Burnaby’s retention under such committed physical contact, was commendable. Griffiths, Peters, Bossi, Wallace, Fat, Ogunlabe, and Davidson bowled attackers over and got to their feet to contest the breakdown.  Their efforts left Burnaby physically gassed, also noted by the fans, these men too, were shagged at game’s end. So, the contest ended with just the sole try in the second half. Not a great deal between the teams but on the day, CW defense and scrummaging was notably superior. There is still much to be done to be considered a threat to ‘win the bickies’ however, this was a far more committed effort that the previous two matches.  Well done, all.


In the BIG GUNS department, CW’s Nott /Finnemore, Peters and Davidson had the better of Vikilani, Worden and Albornoz. Hats of to Burnaby’s loosies, Tsoi and Bolton, #10, Mclaine, who is always a pest and I thought on this day, winger Mulgrew and fullback, Dromgool were always dangerous with ball in hand, and I give Bolton my M-o-M. For CW M-o-M goes to the complete FRF. Loosie, Wallace was everywhere and, in everything, and in the backs, how could one not recognize the defensive efforts of Griffiths. One senses there still could be more potency from the backs, although they are building. It is off to UBC for the season finale next Saturday and the way the table sits, this will be a critical match.  The boys can control their own destiny with a win. (Apologies for typo, Tom!)


Other CW matches on the day saw the men’s Divvies drop one to BLRFC, 10 – 29.  For CW, I thought Seamus Goodyear put in a solid performance.  Potentially, with the return of most of these lads, there is a nucleus for a far better season next year. I must admit the team gives the impression that there is much more effort needed on the training pitch, specifically, understanding the game plan, and applying oneself with effort to it.  There will be errors, for such is the game of rugby but hard work can overcome the setbacks.


The women’s Divvies travelled to Nanaimo who are last year’s Div 2 Champions. The Hornets kept CW on their toes with their speedy backs who ran tries down the outside to take an early lead. It took some time for the “travel legs” to wear off, as CW was tested and challenged in many situations. As the half wore on, CW marched Nanaimo back into their own end multiple times. CW broke over the line to score their first try in the later part of the first half when a series of quick offloads from the backs, saw scrum half McKenzie Eckart cross for the try.


The Hornets were relentless and pushed the score further ahead in the second half. The CW forwards matched the backs with a second half try, going over top of a ruck. The final score was in Nanaimo’s favour, 61 - 10. The road trip was a great deal of fun, despite the score, as many Premier players went to give the Divvies moral support – ‘onyas! Div 2 women have no more regular games this season, however, the Premier Women will be hitting the road over the next couple of weeks to fight for a play off spot, starting next week against Capilano.  (Report - Frankie Fraser)


A day of rugby cannot occur without officials. To all of the day’s, Referees and AR’s, thank you, and to our Nanaimo hosts, also goes out a ‘thank you’. For the men’s Divvies, we had a M-i-M all the way from Berkley, Cal and he did a good job.  In the premier game, Dave Smortchevsky performed with his customary impeccable aplomb and good to see Bruce ‘KK’ Kuklinski on the sideline in both games.