Monday's Musings

Monday's Musings

Jacob Bossi, running rampant!

(Photo credit - John Richardson)

Monday’s Musings are not exactly amusing for the writer however, in grasping for objectivity, it was a fair result to an intense and intriguing battle and if one has to end one’s campaign, it was honest effort and desire. A good crowd, particularly from UBC and UBCOB amassed as the wind, began to blow, the sky darken, and the temperature drop in what was to become, dreary rugby weather.  It was an uncharacteristic miscue by UBC to start the game, resulting in a fortuitous bounce from a CW scrum giving the visitors a tight-head scrum, seven recycles and front foot effort, only to be thwarted by a penalty.  CW responded with good possession when they resorted to the kicking tactic, which was blocked by UBC #8 Valdes, and an incredibly lucky bounce to an unidentified man, who deserved to be recognised by name as he drew a couple of defenders, breaking a soft tackle and going 40m for first blood at the four-minute mark.  It was not the way to start such a match!


UBC maintained territorial advantage and it was UBC’s Marshall who broke through two tackles and went 35 m to the line, only to be stopped in desperation by Pyke.  However, four quick recycles followed and big #8 Valdes was able to drag tacklers with him.  So, at ten minutes, CW found themselves in a deep hole and the affair could have gone sideways, big time.  Some five minutes passed before CW’s Griffiths made his presence felt from broken play and Rikley-Krindle crossed, breaking through a tackle and Sandner converted from the sideline amongst swirling winds.  7 – 12 being said, CW’s lineouts must have been causing coach Goodland fits as UBCs Hilyard Carson and Cayden Wilson played havoc at will.  CW did persist with the kicking game, improved but not effective on a day when the winds should have kept the boot on the grass and passing be 9/10s of the law.  Au contraire, UBC seemed quite content to trust the read and the result of McMullin’s boot.  Valuable UBC pressure only to meet impenetrable CW defence was the order yet it was only the rub of the green that saved CW when Bourne faked blind side and Takoda McMullin sped open with quick hands going to winger Andrianos who unluckily, lost the ball over the line!!  From the scrum, captain Nott, saved the day breaking for some 30 metres for Ng to push it up to the mid stripe. 


With ten minutes to the half CW needed and earned a few breaks.  Firstly, Ng chipped and chased only to be matched by McMullin to see the ball ‘dead’.  Big collisions occurred as battle at the break down raged – Wallace, Bossi and Pike all worthy carriers.  From a penalty to CW at the 22 m line out, ball was overthrown and ended in Nott’s hands at the back.  He rampaged over those 22 metres to see “no blood” at the half.  Some might argue this was fortunate for CW as UBC held a margin in territory.  There were many other happenings.  CW giving away ball on an intercept and a pass failing to connect after a 40 m break by Pyke, all leading to a fair score line in this pundit’s opinion.


From the restart the ball went to UBC’s Andrews and although not the threat he was last week, he broke tackles and caused serious consternation, resulting in an HIA removal of Griffiths and an opportunity for Schellenberger, who was not to let the team down with a courageous outing.  CW tried to hold a “tackled player”, only to lose some 20m.  Next it was Nott again, who broke away from the tail of the set to spring “R-K” for a good 40m gain, with Bossi carrying on, as play visited the UBC half.  It was Bossi again, Kratz, Schelly and Sandner all carrying hard, and finally Nott broke three tackles to send Pyke over from the ruck and a 19 – 12 lead after twelve minutes.  This was a CW period of possession and slight territorial advantage, then came Turning Point #1, when a ball was pinched in the tackle and Marshall scooted for 75m for the tie at twenty minutes.


Ng threatened with a chip and chase, but McMullin craftily shepherded the ball to touch in his end zone and play restarted from whence the chip took place, another example of the rugby brain this man shows.  Turning Point #2 imo, came when a UBC knock on called for the set scrum at their defending 20m spot and eight minutes on the clock.  On “engage” the front rows collapsed and referee Zussman went to the loosehead side, on the re-set the front rows collapsed again and a penalty was awarded to UBC.  As, arguably a biased observer, I am still scratching my head as to why such an experienced front row, with such a scrummage advantage that had occurred throughout the match, would collapse the scrum. With all due respect to referee Zussman who, as always, had a good game, but after watching the video replay, this layman calls that she got this one wrong, with the tight head side caving in.  This seemed to buoy UBC, and they were good value from here on in, territorial advantage, earning/forcing penalties, ferocious, fanatical, and ‘gutsy’ defense caused CW errors.  One of those errors, a failed goal line dropout where the wind carried the ball to touch, kept the pressure on.  With five minutes remaining, UBC was “held-up” over the line.  Despite Ayo, Fuli, Peters, Schelly, and Finnie all being valuable contributors with fresh legs, pundits were asking “what if it’s a tie”?  As “injury time” ticked on CW managed to get out of jail, aided by a hefty penalty they retained possession and plugged away in the UBC half.  As mentioned, the UBC defense was ferocious and one such tackle saw the ball pop loose against the flow, and who else but Takoda McMullin, Johnny-on-the-spot, scragged it and fly sixty meters for the 24 – 19 win.


Almost every man on the pitch could be applauded and recognised, however, my critics seem to delight in my opinionated recognition, so I go out on a limb.  Of the UBC pack, standouts for me were Buckingham, Carson, Wilson, Armesson, contesting Wilson-Valdes for M-o-M.  In the backs, the centres were very strong this week with Marshall particularly dangerous.  Again, Takoda gets the nod, If purely for his final heroics.  For CW, Bossi, Davidson, Pyke and Nott all toiled tirelessly, not to infer the others didn’t, but these stood out for me.  The backs were much improved with Rikley-Krindle being my man.  Griffiths was a big loss, but Schelly did not let down and Sandner, a small man, gave his all.  I always enjoy Pilgrim’s performances.  With thanks to the officials – good job – Pendrick, Horton, and Zussman, in a tough battle.  Thanks to the grounds crew setting up and taking down, with mention to Joe Sheldrake, enabling our best ‘gate’ for the season and well done on this, Peter Kilshaw.  Thanks to the fans on the day for spirited, and appropriate support and finally, thanks to the players for a great game of rugby, played in the right spirit.  So, we draw the CW men’s curtain with a HUGE thanks to players, coaches and support staff and plaudits to UBC.  We would not be fair if we omitted the upset success of our other Island team, Westshore, as they now move to the Final Four.  To our readers thanks for your support and interest and I trust this final tome is not too ponderous!!



Captain, Ollie Nott, snags lineout possession.
Photo credit - John Richardson
Further photos available at; John Richardson Images, with our grateful thanks.

– Late breaking – CW Premier women defeated Seattle by a score of 49 – 28.  This result will move them to the semi-final next Saturday at Westshore RFC – Juan de Fuca Park.  Stay tuned.  So, managed a brief note from manager, Chris Shepherd prior to blog post.

Forty players, fans and management made the trek to Seattle early Saturday morning.  The game kicked off at 2:00pm under very warm conditions.  Seattle started strongly and earned an early penalty goal.  The first half was closely contested, ending with CW 22, Seattle 17.

The second half started with a very acute change in weather conditions - cold and very windy.  CW continued to dominate the scrums and was awarded several penalties.  The forwards were rewarded for their efforts with tries from Karen Garcia (2) and Chloe Hill-Huse (2).  The strong platform also allowed for great ball movement for the backs and some wonderful open field play and entertaining tries were scored by Talia Hoffman (1) and Gwen King (2).  The backs also had a great game defensively, with Olivia Newsome running down a Seattle player near the end of the game to stop any final momentum by Seattle.

Remee Brown continued her consistent kicking with four conversions under very adverse conditions.  CW was the victor in a very entertaining and competitive match, 48 to 29.