Whenever the Surrey Beavers line up opposite the Abbotsford Rugby Club it is always a good display of rugby and literally for decades now, these clubs have butted heads in regular season, play offs, and BC Championships.
The tone is intense, and effort maximizes. A Surrey club that had only 2 sides to field this week was less stressed, as the 3rds took a much-needed bye, the 2nds and 1sts got it on with Abbotsford at Sullivan. Two home games and 20-degree sunshine was due to make this March 30 stand out.
SBAA 2nd Division Men vs Abbotsford RFC - Draw 30-30
The second division talent pool was deep this week as everyone who wasn't named a first division starter was eligible for selection. The on-field talent was soon taken notice of when 4 minutes in Marcus Tam scored a try after runs by Andrew Johnson & Reid Mathews. The convert was missed from a sharp angle. 5-0 Surrey, good start, much to build on. In the next 4 minutes Abbotsford would reply in kind, when their 9 took off with the ball from a scrum and weaved his way through the porous defense to score Abby's first try. As with the Beavs, an attempt at a convert would be wide for the visitors. 5-5 Tie, this would be a sign of things to come. Abbotsford had a head of steam that led to their next try by a series of off loads that ended by touching the ball down in the corner, the covert again was missed. 10-5 Abbotsford. The next several minutes would belong to Abby as they would score their third consecutive try, on another rambling, ball control possession try off a turnover when Surrey was assessed a penalty. Another wonky convert had the Surrey sidelines concern by the try scoring but heartened by the fact that it could be worse if Abbotsford had a kicking game. 15-5 for Abbotsford made it a 2-score difference, but if Abby made their converts a 21-5 score would have made it more than a 2 try difference, which begins to feel insurmountable some days. Surrey began to claw their way back with a penalty kick by Brandon "The Cat" Gatto. A try by Andrew McIntyre after an evasive and bashing run that was set up by Aaron "Cheese" Viola, who made some tough meters on his own. The successful convert brought the tally back to even at 15-15. Beaver hopes were dashed yet again as right before the halftime whistle Abbotsford were playing high tempo and wore down the Surrey defensive coverage with hard quick phases that took advantage of a disorganized state and scored another try. The Beavers felt the sting of what happens when they have a 3-minute brain cramp. Happily, the convert was again missed. 20-15 for Abbotsford at halftime.
After an early unsettled period in the early second half, Surrey became coherent and Andrew McIntyre scored his second try after Abbotsford took 2 consecutive penalties, which the quick thinking Beavs capitalized on. The good convert put Surrey back on top since the first points of the match, 22-20 Surrey. The game, as these things will do, got a bit spirited with some high tensions beginning. In no time Darien Archer was assessed a yellow card for a nominal offence that was meant to take the temperature of the preceding down a notch. Abbotsford would finally make a kick, as they slotted a penalty kick, their first made kick of any variety in this match. 23-22 Abbotsford. Surrey had the next 3 pokes at the posts and missed the first 2, making the fans and coaches anxious, the third kick gave the Beavers another lead at 25-22. It was starting to look like a last score wins scenario, and it played out that way, almost. Abby picked themselves up and rucked and rambled down the park to score another try, the good convert put the road crew up again at 30-25 with time getting short. With ball in hand Marcus Tam advanced to approximately to the Abby 22 meters line and popped a chip kick, Tam and Doug Dolmans tracked down the bouncing ball with a lone defender between one of them and an appointment with glory. It was Dolmans who made the play and wound up with the ball and try. The convert would mean the game, as the referee announced full time was pending the result. The convert from the touch line missed by 3 feet right, so a 30-30 tie game was cemented. The game was such that no one deserved to win and no one deserved to lose, except Abbotsford. LOL. The tied score was a fair representation of the game and the effort given.
Tries: Marcus Tam(1) Andrew McIntyre(2) Douglas Dolmans(1)
Converts: Brandon Gatto(2)
Penalty Kicks: Brandon Gatto(2)
SBAA 1st Division Men vs Abbotsford RFC – Win 29-26
No matter how well two teams know each other, individual games take on certain tones, and each match takes the first 5-10 minutes sort itself out while deciding what match it was to be. This match turned into a good hard honest athletic display, for the most part. In the early going the field was tipped in Surrey's favor, as the majority of the action was in the Abbotsford end. Abby took a penalty and the resulting go for goal by the firsts went a touch wide. A few minutes later Chris Atkinson took off for a ramble that contained 3 violent audible collisions. Play took a back & forth tone with each side penetrating the opposition territory and being repelled. The game broke open when Jamie Beaton ran out a keeper play and went through 3 would be tacklers for the first try of the match. The subsequent convert by "Beats" put Surrey up 7-0. It was then going to be Abbotsford's turn to respond when they took advantage of a bad Beaver pass, which resulted in a lost ruck that Abby countered into an overlap try in the corner. The tough kick was missed, 7-5 Surrey. Abbotsford had possession for an extended period when the backs went to throw a long pass over the heads of some of the Surrey backs, Jamal Knowles made a super human leap and picked off the ball, much as he did as a CFL defensive back in Montreal. Jamahl side stepped the only obstacle between him and the in-goal area, and speed sealed the deal. Try for Surrey, the good convert boosted the Beaver margin to 14-5. The home team would continue moving up on the score board when Paul Kelly stole an errant throw from an Abby lineout and took it in for a score for the home side. The angle on the corner score convert was too much and missed, but still adding to their tally. 19-5 for Surrey with the 14-point cushion providing confidence going forward. A short time before half Jamie Beaton would pop a penalty kick and make the halftime score at 22-5.
At the start of the second half the Surrey kick off receivers allowed the ball to hit the ground, the ensuing aftermath of which allowed Abbotsford to score a try when their 10 made a slashing run. The convert gave Abby a flicker of hope. 22-12 for Surrey, still. After the action resumed the intensity rose and after a fracas the Abbotsford took a yellow card, the resulting penalty kick was missed from 30 meters. The Beaver defense was continually being tested at the A gap, which was often successfully exploited. Surrey would continue to pressure Abby and they would break through on a tap & go penalty by Jamie Beaton after a scrum penalty close to the Abbotsford goal line. The convert was good, and the 17-point lead restored at 29-12. In these turnouts no lead is safe as Abby would soon attest to. The visitors got their legs moving and rambled down the park at a quick march scoring another try accompanied by another successful convert. 29-19 for Surrey. Abbotsford continued moving forward and took a stab at 40-meter drop goal, which was missed, the following run back featured some bad decisions and sloppy handling Surrey was forced to turn the ball over on a penalty. Abby upped their work rate and they forced Surrey into taking an undisciplined penalty. The immediate tap & go gave Abbotsford another try, including the convert the 7-point gift was complete. 29-26 Surrey and getting tighter all the time. Riley Nagy was assessed a yellow card after a high tackle and the resulting series of plays saw Abby in possession and driving. The Beaver defense stood tall and after hammering hit by Atkinson a dropped ball was collected by Jamie Beaton, who kicked the ball into touch to end the game. Beavers win.
Tries: Jamie Beaton(2) Jamahl Knowles(1) Paul Kelly(1)
Converts: Jamie Beaton(3)
Penalty Kick: Jamie Beaton(1)