Grady opens CW account.
UBC Men completed an undefeated season on Saturday when they bested CW, 49 – 34. CW’s four tries were a good effort, however UBC maintained their season’s scoring average of 48 points per game with their seven try performance. CW had a marginal edge of 17 – 15 at the interval. Despite the Thunderbirds scoring two early second half tries, CW responded and led 29 – 27 with ten minutes or so left on the clock. UBC’s depth, speed and arguably, edge in fitness, took its toll when they notched another brace to ice the cake with an insurmountable difference.
It was an enjoyable exhibition of quality rugby from two highly motivated sides. The predicted rain was absent although the wind played havoc. The venue, a first for BCRU, no doubt will become a permanent one for BC Finals day. A shout out to Bayside RFC for their vision and hard work. Brickbats to BCRU for (i) long admission lines, inadequately served, (ii) no programs were printed. Clubs provide team lists for a lesser, attendance donation and (iii)….most disappointingly was the answer to the question, what’s the score? No scoreboard! With 154 points scored in two, see-sawing matches, a glaring omission. Other than that, a great pitch surface and suitable layout – licensed serving area and limited food options. Plenty to work on for next year.
This pundit viewed the game from the end zone – a great coaching perspective however, limiting for providing a game narrative. UBC opened scarily, with an easy tally. Following quick transfer, support, a half-break, and missed tackle, hooker Bossi showed good wheels, thirty metres for the textbook try. The Birds followed that with further pressure resulting in a penalty and 10 – 0 lead. CW finally gained some possession and position and was duly rewarded with a Bowd penalty around fifteen minutes. Momentum swung Tricolours way when their pressure resulted in an errant clearance into the hands of Bowd, a deft dummy, sidestep, fifty metres, and he was over in the corner. Then an interesting twist occurred. CW’s lineout which had been money all season was challenged – not by the wind, but by Frank Carson! Disconcerting, in that a game outcome is often the result of the small battles. Despite this, CW was next to score from a penalty, after good defensive work on the floor. UBC incurred a series of whistles at the breakdown from referee, Schwalger, seeking very definite adherence to the law. UBC did respond with a long touch-finder, resulting on a CW defensive lineout in their red zone. A costly overthrow resulted in the easiest of tries and UBC regaining the lead at 15 – 11. Two more Bowd penalties related to the preceding deemed violations, gave CW a half-time edge of 17 – 15.
Following the interval, UBC came out blazing. From a quickly taken penalty, the ball was in Ruttan’s hands, and he proved unstoppable at five minutes. Upon restart, it was UBC again when, from a scrum sixty metres out, the ball was swiftly transferred through five pairs of hands. Deceptive running caused missed tackles and it was a 27 – 17 lead. Following a late tackle on Bowd, the penalty saw ground gained and a switch blind side, and Pilgrim was over, 27 – 22. CW dug deep and good retention after a strong thrust from Fuli saw Braddock cross to regain the lead, 29 – 27. Unfortunately for Ceedub, it was some Jacko magic that came next. With clever footwork (this reporter having seen it often over many years), Jack Carson opened the gap and transferred the ball in the tackle to cousin, Frank, who pinned his ears for the line. With his forwards flagging, Bowd saw a hope in chipping to space for an outside break. Unfortunately, it went to hand – UBC’s, and the resultant death knell being a try by #12 or 15, 41 – 29. From the restart the Birds showed their pedigree with quick ball to an un-numbered, thus un-named winger, beating the cover, 48 – 29. CW had the last say, when from a Bowd ‘diagonal’, the ever-reliable, Adibe outleapt the opposition and a 48 – 34 final score.
Congratulations go to UBC and a ‘thank you’ to the match officials. To CW, a season with outcomes possibly beyond early expectations with only the Capilano score being an aberration. Well done boys, and on behalf of the Faithful, thank you.
The Women’s Final was more of the same, when UBC came away with the 43 – 29 victory. CW opened the parade after an initial Aberg break. Next it was Schell and CW had started strong. UBC defended stoutly but good retention saw McKinnon’s determination being unstoppable and first blood, 7 – 0 after ten minutes. CW was in early set scrum trouble, and it was only the tough play of Erickson that prevented possible disaster. For UBC it appeared only to be a matter of time. It was #10 who made a long break, thence a series of four recycles and a try under the posts, around eighteen minutes. Following the re-start, CW made hay with a series of phases, Aberg again being noticeable. It all ended with a Peary dummy and try. 14 – 7 CW at the mid-point. UBC then scored two quick tries – one from scrum superiority and a lineout pick and drive, the other from big locks, running hard, a loop and quick transfer resulting in the overlap, 21 – 14 at the thirty-minute mark. With CW living off scraps, the half ended.
The second half scoring was 21 – 15 for UBC. For CW, a try at the end of good transfer to Pedrick, a tough little customer, for a tally. A penalty, try and conversion to Aberg, for a bagging of a total of fourteen points for the match. Perhaps, fittingly, CW was bundled into touch at the corner and the whistle blown by referee, Zussman for ‘no side’.
Akin to CW Men, kudos to the CW Women for an amazing season. Full credit and congratulations to the UBC Women and thanks to the officiating crew. This result, along with that of a successful, inaugural season for the CW First Division side, augers well for the future.
This writer received a reminder from one of the Faithful with a mind for history, that it was exactly two decades ago when CW had a Men’s and Women’s team in the BCRU Premiership Final. On that occasion, the Men were victorious and the Women, runners-up.
Found it most amusing to read from a BCRU scribe that “Rugby is back at Castaway Wanderers.” Not sure where it went. Maybe it alludes to the aforementioned? Should that be the case, by way of information, CW Men have won four other titles during that span.
Opinions expressed are solely those of the blogger.
Season is "put to bed" with the convoy!