Another Saturday in the books had the Surrey Beavers host their first full rugby day at Sullivan Heights Park this fall season. Although the women’s Div 2 game was postponed the men still had a great day hosting the Kats Rugby Club and Langley Rugby Club with a fantastic crowd out at the field. With the sideline tents setup for the wet weather and Surrey club member Boots with the BBQ fired up it was bound to be a great day of rugby in Surrey.
SBAA 3rd Division Men – Loss 27–10
Another tough weekend matchup for the Beaver 3rd Div side and the game had the Thirst Thirds out muscled by another great Div 3 club. The Kats had a fantastic Div 3 team that fielded big strong forwards, and fast backs. There was some great experience on their side of the ball and good leadership from the Kats' 9 and 10 who both helped keep their team organized. The Beavers on this day again had a mixed bag of veteran players and fresh young men who don’t hold a whole lot of experience playing men’s rugby just yet. The biggest issue for the club’s Div 3 side at the moment is defense and specifically missed tackles which added up pretty quickly in the game. Although there was still a ton of great play out on the field by the Beavers the Kats were definitely the better side from start to finish of the game. There was some excellent play from back rowers Jon Eadie, Darian Archer, and Clayton Andrews. Great to see new to the club player Matthaus Smith touch one down for the home team in the match too. Like Matthaus there are plenty of new additions to the rugby club who are making their debut in 3rd Div this fall, and it is great to see lots of new blood within the ranks. New to the Beavers is also 6’2 lock Brian Fish who had tons of experience playing rugby in the past but wants to get his fitness back up to snuff before he commits to a higher division. There was still tons of positive out on the field on Saturday and the Thirsty Thirds had a never give up attitude out on the pitch. At the Div 3 level mistakes are bound to happen more often than not especially with so many new additions to the team. The more these new players get the opportunity to play with each other the better the results will become. The men will get back to it at practice and keep working on improving their skillset and fitness as it is a very long season and there is still plenty of rugby left to play this season. Thanks for a great match Kats, who are always a great club to play at Div 3.
Special thanks to Boots and Brian Fish for helping fed the visitors at the field as it is always challenging to host the 3rd div team back at the clubhouse when there are 2 more matches happening at the home field that day.
Tries: Riley Robinson (1) Matthaus Smith (1)
SBAA 2nd Division Men – Win 39–14
The Div 2 men looked to get back on the right track against Langley Rugby Club after suffering their first loss of the season 2 weekends ago. Langley’s 2nd Div side definitely appeared stronger than last season and it’s great to see a club like Langley have a resurgence and get some of their veteran players back. The game itself was a see-saw battle that had the score line tight almost through the entirety of the match. The Beavers were struggling to contain the big boys on Langley's roster, and keeping control of the ball around the breakdown was an issue. The ball was ending up everywhere on the deck and bodies laid all over the rucks, which made an absolute mess to the flow of the game. However Div 2 stalwarts’ skipper Iain Small, Andrew McIntyre, Cam McMurchy and Dylan Vermette kept things in control for the pack. Making crushing hits and big runs the boys led by example on Saturday. It was also worth noting back rower Steve Friesen made his game day debut after recovering from a blown Achilles from last October’s match against Langley. Friesen is now in better shape than ever and played a fantastic first game back; the man had worked tremendously hard to get back to playing rugby. Brandon Gatto started at standoff and was able to serve up great ball to his backline including inside center Jeff Bergunder and outside center Riley Nagy who were both stand outs in the match. Speedsters Jareed Samuel and Marcus Tam did a fantastic job out wide to take advantage of any opportunities that came their way.
The 2nd half had the Beavers mostly pinned in their own 22 meter but the home side was very resilient on defense. Smothering Langley in the tackle the Beavs took advantage of every turned over ball they could get. Langley forced the Beavers to make tackle after tackle as their players came crashing at the line one after another. The turned over ball by the Beavers would be quickly created into scoring opportunities for the home team. Jareed Samuel gobbled up 2 tries of his own, while opposite winger Wes Lyons scored a try and fullback Marcus Tam got one too. Almost every try in the 2nd half was earned because of great work by the Beavers on defense, and unlike the game against the Rowers the men kept playing hard throughout the entirety of the match. The team’s overall fitness proved to be much better on this weekend too. A much better result than a few weeks ago now has the Beavers encouraged they are back on the right track to have a successful Div 2 season.
Tries: Andrew McIntyre (2) Iain Small (1) Jareed Samuel (2) Marcus Tam (1) Wes Lyons (1)
Converts: Brandon Gatto (2)
SBAA 1st Division Men – Win 34-24
As the Div 1 men took to the field the players knew exactly the type of game they were going to get with Langley. It was going to be a hard physical battle in the scrums and like always it was going to be a dog fight around the breakdowns. It’s never an easy game against Langley and the players usually feel the aches and pains of the match for the next week or so.
Off the kickoff the home side was in complete control and worked to push the pace of play against Langley. Spending the first 10 minutes in Langley's half opportunities were plenty. As opportunities came and went early on the Beavs came close on several occasions of breaking through for a score but failed to do so because of either knocked on ball or pushing erred passes. The scrums were well contested by both sides, but the lineouts belonged to the Beavers and were being well managed by the Beavs as they used it as a stable platform to play off from. Finally near the 15 minute mark of the half from a lineout maul skipper James Kelly sheared off and punched in the first points of the game. Following this score the Beavers were wanting to keep pushing Langley but the visitors resisted the Beavs attack. Smothering possession of the ball Langley forced the Beavers to defend one countless attack after another from their forwards. Langley doesn’t play the most expansive style of rugby but there players run very strong, low and hard. Ther Langley centers ran hardlines and were always heading in the direction of where the Langley players were able to support. Although it was a repetitious attack Langley’s hard running was complimented by their throw anything necessary at the breakdowns to keep possession of the ball. The Beavers needed to be lightning quick if they wanted to poach ball and opportunities were scarce. Stubbornly Langley worked their way into Beaver territory and after some miscues by the Beavers' defense the visitors took advantage and got a well-earned score in the corner. With the score now 10-7 just over midway through the half for the home side the game got slogged down into a battle for possession that had both teams fighting for momentum. It was noticeable however that Langley's sideline was happy to see that their team's stubborn defense was not allowing the Beavers to score with ease like they had in their previous matches this season. After countless possession changes from either penalties, poached balls, or turn overs with under a minute until half the Beavers had the opportunity to get the ball into touch but failed to. Langley’s fullback who had some outstanding running throughout the entirety of the game with no time left in the half took the ball deep into Beaver territory. Again after some hard crashes from the Langley players one of the backrowers from Langley ran in the 2nd score of the game for the visitors. For the first time this season the Beavers went into halftime down on the score board and although it was only a slim 12-10 lead for Langley the visitors believed they could grind out a win.
The Beavers knew that it was just a matter of time until they broke through Langley's defense. The word from the coaches was patience, with patience will come opportunity. There were plenty of opportunities in the first half that just weren’t finished by the Beavers and ball luck was not favoring the home side. The 2nd half would see more of the same on the defensive side of the ball, and both teams were working very hard to make their hits count on defense. Finally after some arm wrestling for territory, the boys punched in another score. But not to be out done Langley did the same by working the ball into Surrey territory and then finally crashing through the line for a try. This made it seem like it was going to be a war of attrition on who would score last would win this match. With Langley now bringing on some fresh legs in the forward pack the Beavs knew all too well that Langley was going to be hard to beat throughout the entirety of the match. The referee had his hands full with some colourful moments of play that had both teams trying to settle their differences in creative ways. Langley was doing the best they could to bully themselves to a win, and tried to out muscle the Beavs in tight. After another score by Langley the Beavers bounced back when Aaron Martin picked a pass out wide from Langley’s eighth man to his winger and ran it in for a try making the score 29-24 for the home side. With no more than 5 minutes left in the game some quick hands got the ball out wide to Clay Ross who scored putting the Beavs up by 10 points with little time left. The men fought Langley off for the last few minutes of the match and were happy to hear the final whistle blow and congratulated Langley in an outstanding match. The fans are always in for a treat when these two Div 1 sides come together and play hard Fraser Valley rugby. Full credit to Langley who played a great game as expected and made it a game full of colourful moments. Good to see skipper James Kelly lead by example and score 3 tries and Aaron Martin consistently scoring out on the wing. Also shout out to Iain Small who played a full game at 2nd Div and then had to come in early in the 1st half for open side flanker Jack Wallace after he suffered a head injury. Jamie Beaton also had an outstanding game for someone who was sick as a dog and played like a champ through his illness.
Beavers 1st Division go 4-0 to start the season and look to try and stay on top of the competition after the bye week by working hard on and off the field in the next few weeks.
Tries: James Kelly (3) Aaron Martin (2) Clay Ross (1)
Converts: Jamie Beaton (2)
Thank you to Mr. Lyons for making the food back at the clubhouse rumor has it his delicious food will be served up after Beaver home games more often this season. Cheers to Langley who as always showed up in large numbers back at the Beaverlodge on Saturday and truly made it a great club rugby day.
With the club going into the bye week the Beavs will be looking forward to a break in the schedule. With October 14th circled on everyone’s calendar for the 6th Annual Ruck for the Cure for the Surrey rugby club. This fundraising event has been a huge success in the past 5 years and the 14th should be no different. The club will be excited to host 3 different clubs at Sullivan Heights Park for 3 senior men’s and 1 senior women’s rugby game. Following the games at the field the 1st Division cancer awareness jerseys will be auctioned off back at the clubhouse where there will be an entire fundraiser event dedicated to raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. The club has gone to great lengths to get community businesses involved and look forward to another successful event this year. The club will be looking at getting 4 big wins at home on the 14th but the club already feels they have won the day by putting on such a great event.
Click here for more information about the 6th Annual Ruck for the Cure and to donate funds to the cause.