Saturday was a beautiful day for rugby, and the Beavs would take full advantage of the weather especially because this season has been forecasted to be a repeat of last fall and winter's colder than usual weather. The men were headed back to Brockton Oval located in beautiful Stanley Park with two games against the Vancouver Rowing Club.
At first it was scheduled to be a three-game day at Brockton but the Rowers had fallen short on numbers and requested a postponement of the Div 3 game. The day still promised to be a great club day at Stanley Park. The second home to the Beavs since beating Meraloma in a semi-final Div 1 game last April the men looked to keep their winning streak going at Brockton. The Div 2 men would start things off with a 12:45 PM kickoff followed by the Div 1 men in the heat of the day at 2:30 PM. The Div 2 women had home field to themselves as they hosted Langley Rugby Club in the morning. Another Saturday in the books and some great matches had.
SBAA 2nd Division Women – Win 72-8
The Div 2 women took the field for the first time this season and it was great to see they had things rolling in the right direction. With such a large result in the home team’s favor it’s fantastic to see the Beaver women are off to a fabulous start offensively. Hopefully in the coming weeks the women can keep adding new additions to the roster and keep it up against other competition. The game looked to have some familiar faces on the roster and it is great to see players are staying around the club for more than one season. The team is still in the developmental stage but the club is still very happy to see the women out on the pitch representing the Beavers proudly. Well done ladies.
SBAA 2nd Division Men – Loss 32-42
This match was a great start to the club day at Brockton. It was a very evenly played game throughout the 1st half of play with the Beavers holding onto a narrow lead. The play shifted back and forth as both clubs proved that they had much more depth outside their starting Div 1 rosters. The Beavers were running into some penalty trouble in the game just like last week and this time the Rowers capitalized with some clutch penalty kicks. This would really come back to bite the Beavers as their own kickers failed to convert the majority of the tries scored. The fans at Brockton were in for a great preview of the Div 1 game as both teams had many skilled players making some awesome plays throughout the game. It was a lot of expansive rugby on the menu and both teams looked to attack out wide. It was also a very well-managed game by the referee who encouraged flow to the game and punished players that tried to spoil ball and kill the flow. Both sides had some big boys playing, but the Rowers definitely had a larger pack and tried to use this to their advantage. And fortunately the Beavers defense was sharp and the smaller Beaver players were making big hits.
With about 20 minutes left in the 2nd half the Beavers stormed out of the gates with 3 tries scored, and watching the game from the Beaver sideline it was believed that this game was now concluded. The experienced Rowers reminded everyone in the final 10 minutes there is a reason you play the full 80. The Rowers responded around the 9 minute mark with a try and convert, following the ensuing kickoff a Beaver player was binned for the remainder of the match. Now down a player the Rowers took full advantage and scored 3 more tries to take the lead and finish off the Beavers. Very uncharacteristic of the Div 2 side blowing such a big lead but full credit to the Rowers on a great comeback. There are some lessons learned from this loss but the simple fact that the Beavers only played 70 minutes of an 80 minute match didn’t help matters. A tough pill to swallow for the Beavers being up comfortably but it’s still early on in the season and clearly there are not going to be any EASY wins. Full kudos to the Rowers for a well-earned win.
Tries: Dylan Vermette (2) Ryan Mitchell (2) Jeff Bergunder (1) Shane Ram (1)
Converts: Brandon Gatto (1)
SBAA 1st Division Men – Win 49-22
The 1st div men waited patiently at the center of the rugby pitch for the opponents to make their way out to the field not knowing exactly what to expect from a club they had not faced in Div 1 for about 3 years. With several changes in the lineup both in the pack and backline the men definitely felt they had a little more grit on the field compared to last week. And the grit would pay off as the men were relentless in the rucks and even more so in the scrums. Dominating the scrums at first the Beavers were well on their way on controlling the match. Scrum half Dylan Tatomir was able to connect with flyhalf Jamie Beaton with ease. Clay Ross and Alex Martin in the centers paired up to be crushing with their hard lines and the opposing backs did little to counter their attack. Clay and Alex played an in your face styled attack with explosive pace to top it off, and if given the opportunity these two centers would run through the Rowers on the pitch rather than around them.
The Beavers found the scoreboard within the first 10 minutes of the match with a pop pass to Tatomir off a scrum play that had him split 2-3 defenders on the blind slide. Following the first score the visitors found the scoreboard often. It was a try-feast for the 1st div side on Saturday and many of the tries came from either break out plays by individual players or well set-up plays off set pieces. The game was well managed by the forwards with the pack successfully working their way around the field and pounding the ball up just enough times to drag in multiple Rowers in tight. This gave the backs multiple 1-1 matchups out wide and those situations leaned heavily in the Beavers favor as the Beaver backs were physically the aggressors for most the game. Following a breakout try by Alex Martin, Jamie Beaton added two more with a well-played ball off a scrum and one off a picked pass. The Rowers took advantage on one of the few Beaver errors in the 1st half and cut the lead 28-7. The half time whistle blew and the score reflected a dominant 1st half performance by the Beavers who not only scored points but forced around 2 Rower forwards to be subbed out of the game.
Although the Rowers were first to score again in the early goings of the 2nd half, the visitors were quick to respond to ensure the home side didn’t believe a comeback was once again doable. The level of pace in the game was increased in the 2nd half and not that things got testy on the field as both sides were well disciplined but the level of play got more frantic. Both teams were clearly gassed and at any stoppage of play multiple players were either down with ‘injuries’ while other players were gasping for a breath. Not sure if players are still struggling to get in game shape this early on in the season or if it was the humidity because both teams had exhausted players on the field. Still both sides took full advantage of all the subs they had and this kept the pace of play up. The Beavers constantly looked to kick the ball away and control the counter attack to keep the Rowers far away from their goal line. With two more tries coming from star center Clay Ross and all converts good by Beaton the men did a good job to hold off a resilient Rowers side.
It was an exciting game to watch with the Rowers scoring four tries of their own, and between the two games played at Brockton almost 20 tries were scored. Following the match the Rowers hosted back at the Rowing Club and the Beavers enjoyed hanging around the historic club, buying some rounds, and chatting everything rugby in scenic Stanley Park. Thanks again for two great matches and the Beavs look forward to another big test against the VRC later in the season.
Tries: Dylan Tatomir (1) Jamie Beaton (2) Alex Martin (1) Chris Atkinson (1) Clay Ross (2)
Converts: Jamie Beaton (7)
The Beaver men have a split this upcoming weekend with Div 2 on a bye week, Div 3 hosting the Bruins at home and the Div 1 boys heading out to Abby. It’ll be all hands on deck as the Beavs take on two strong sides in their respected leagues.