Another Saturday in the books had the Beavers host two games at Sullivan Heights and send two sides to Vancouver respectively at Brockton Oval, and Connaught Park. The last time the club hosted a full club day was way back on October 14th and it doesn’t look like that will happen again this season with all 4 senior teams not scheduled to be at home anytime soon.
Either way the Beavers were all in for Saturday’s matches, fielding four senior teams. With the rain for the most part holding off it was once again another good day for rugby in late November for the Surrey Beavers!
SBAA 2nd Division Women – Loss 54-14
The women headed out to Brockton Oval on Saturday and got a game in with a little help from some Rowers’ support. Short on some numbers the Rowers stepped up and gave a few players to the Beavers so an enjoyable game of 10-a-side rugby could be played. Although the game was a default loss in the books there was still plenty of actions out on the pitch. A high scoring game for the Rowers had them take a lead and never look back. Thanks for the match and it was great to see two clubs with developmental teams get the game off for the betterment and growth of rugby in BC.
Tries: Rachel Storie (1) Danielle Dzus (1)
Converts: Laura Leigh (2)
SBAA 3rd Division Men – Loss 67-0
A very tough outing for the Beavers 3rd Div side as they faced another challenging adversary far away from any support they may get on the day. Once again the Div 3 men were away from the Div 1 and 2 men on Saturday, making some of the Thirsty Thirds contemplate if they should start their very own rugby club as they barely play on the same field as their brothers. It was a tall task taking on the Loma Div 3 side on any other given Saturday let alone on a day that had the Lomas all at home together. The men were outclassed by a very strong 3rd Div team, and were not quite up to challenge that day. With only a few players to spare it was all-in rugby for the 15 players that took the field and the men that played should keep their chin up knowing it was going to be an uphill battle from the get go. Reports had the Beavers more than capable of holding their own in tight and in the scrum but were outclassed out wide where the Lomas found countless opportunities to score. Unfortunately for the Beavers if they had known the 2nd Div game against Bayside was going to be such a bust they certainly would have sent a much more robust 3rd Div roster for this match. However hindsight is 20/20 and the club is still very proud of the Thirsty Thirds battling it out the way they did. Thanks to the Lomas for hosting a feed after the matche, and skipper Shane Ram gave Darian Archer, and Matthaus Smith man of the match honors.
SBAA 2nd Division Men - Win 71-5
This was less of a game played and more of a rout by the Beavs’ Div 2 side on Saturday. Not much to say here except that tries were scored relentlessly by the Beavers for about 70 minutes of play. It took the first 10 minutes of play for the Beavers to finally break through with their first try of the day. Following the first try, the flood gates opened for the Beavs on offense. Like the previous meeting against Bayside at the end of October it seemed that Bayside once again insisted on resting the majority of their 2nd div starters than have them play in the Div 2 game that day. There wasn’t much to say about the opposition but to put it into perspective the majority of them appeared to be still U19 players and a couple of the players would also be found playing ol’ boys rugby on Sundays.
The score really did reflect the product both teams put on the field. The Beavers Div 3 team once again away from the rest of the club resulted with the Beavers having no option but keeping their starting Div 2 side out on the field for the majority of the game as there was only 2 substitutes on the bench. Although if the Beavers knew this they may have swapped the rosters around to give more of a balanced match in the Div 2 and 3 games. Fortunately for the Beavs even though they were short on the bench everyone finished the match rather unscathed and the boys definitely looked well drilled on offense. This game was a great result for the Beavers and they will definitely take all the points they can get in what is going to be a very competitive race to qualify for the playoffs in the Division 2 league. Well done to all the Beavers that took the field and well done to the U19 players that stepped onto the field for the Beavers. Kudos to the two old boys that stepped up for Bayside too, great to see the ol’ boys step in for their respected club like that.
Tries: Aaron Viola (1) Kjell Hope (2) Joey Murphy (1) Ryan Mitchell (1) John Eadie (1) Brandon Craig (1) Aaron Solomonsz (2) Tyler Johnson (1) Nate Filiatrault (1)
Converts: Brandon Gatto (7) Nate Filiatrault (1)
SBAA 1st Div Men – Win 15-10
The Beavers had another tough task on Saturday taking on Bayside for the 2nd time in this fall half for Division 1 men. The first time these two teams faced each other the match ended in a 22-22 draw. This being the only blemish in the Beavers’ Div 1 season so far and everyone knew this game was going to be another tight affair. Bayside with around five or six imports on their Div 1 roster currently are looking more like a starting Prems roster than belonging in the Div 1 league; maybe this is a hint on what their club's intentions are possibly for next season? The Beavers shook up their roster again this Saturday with all the local talent their club is made up with and added back some speed in their outside backs with Marcus Tam and James Bailey back in the starting line-up. A few players back in the roster for the Beaver forwards including tight head Chris Atkinson arguably gave the Beavers an edge in the pack. With the rosters set the two Surrey rivals went at it on Saturday, and it was an all-out war on the field.
The Beavers trying to gauge their opposition saw a few new faces out in Bayside’s backfield who also showed what their true intentions were quickly on the defensive side of the ball. As play went back and forth in the first 10 minutes the first verbal warning and penalty was given to the new Shark center to keep his hits below the head. Following a score from Bayside that saw their player leap over a ruck and touch down the ball un-touched the Beavers got their first break of the game that had a card given to the Bayside 12 for a late hit. Now up a man the Beavers went to work offensively and touched down a try for their first score of the game. The game was physical throughout the entirety of it and both teams looked to run the ball down each other’s throats. The Beavers again getting a call their way with a dangerous tip tackle from a Bayside player that had their blindside flanker given a yellow for dangerous play gave the Beavs little comfort as it seemed foul play was happening on every other phase. With the Beavers now up a couple players for few short minutes with the Shark’s bin holding two players of their own the home side still struggled to finish anything they got going on offense. Not knowing what a close result this game was going to end up being they would have been better off kicking for points any opportunity they had. Two of three shots at points were missed which also kept the game very tight too. The Beavers still wanted to push the tempo of the game any chance they had and quick taps and kicks for touch didn’t always result in long positive play. A few times on the counter attack the Beavers elected for short high kicks rather than pounding the ball down the field or just taking the ball hard up and this resulted in give me ball for the Sharks who were usually in good field position to put pressure on. The Sharks gained most of their yardage on long individual plays from either their 8-man or inside center. The Beavers however did well to work the ball slowly and meticulously down the field. The game was just one of those ones were opportunities presented themselves, but the Beavers just could not finish. With a few Beavers shaken up from some rough plays the home side limped over the try line before halftime again for another score putting them up 12-5. The halftime whistle blew just after the home side resisted some big pressure from Bayside on a scoring drive. Fending off a scrum and defending for a penalty in their favor the Beavs had the lead at half. Both teams had their opportunities in the 1st half, but solid defense from both teams didn’t allow either team to get over the goal line often. The Beavers though still pushed the ball effectively in the 1st half, and did look good with the ball going forward, their biggest mistake seemed the constant kicking away of possession.
For the home side there was good play off the set pieces which was a real positive in the game. It didn’t seem the boys could take advantage of good scrum position on the field however as the ball in a few instances would become a mess at the 8-man’s feet as soon as the scrum elected to move forward. Switching up the 8-man didn’t solve this but the scrums for the most part were getting the job done. Another positive game of lineouts for the Beavs resulted in good hard running and mauling off of them keeping the Shark’s moving on the defensive side of the ball.
With 40 minutes done there was still plent of hard play left to be had in the 2nd half of this match. The Beavers now convinced it was going to be a very tight match elected to take a penalty kick early on in the half to try to stretch the small lead by 2 scores. However again a missed attempt kept the game tight. The remainder of the half saw more big hits and big runs as both teams worked hard with the ball but constantly stalled out on offense as soon as it appeared they had good opportunity to score. The Beavers a few times were right where they wanted to be but just could not get over the line. The Shark's would counter this constant attack with their big boys going on big runs too. The Beavers' and Shark's scramble defense held strong. Both teams throwing everything they had at each other had plenty of players on both sides of the ball take very big hits. At one point it looked as if the Bayside 12 decapitated Beavers’ winger Marcus Tam, waiting for a call that never came the Beavers looked up in frustration as there were players still taking exception to the no call on the field. But to be fair the referee can only call what the referee sees and clearly he didn’t get a look at what happened. Finally a good penalty convert right in front of the posts had the Beavs now up 15-5. Still holding onto a marginal lead with about 12 minutes left in the match inside center Clay Ross, loose forward Paul Kelly limped off the field with starting blind side flanker Giusseppe Lagrutta already waiting for them on the side line. The bench needed to step up and help finish this game off, and thankfully the Div 2 boys had a rather lighter game of contact in their game.
With about 9 minutes left in the match Bayside finally scored on a in tight penalty opportunity out wide making it a 15-10 game with a missed convert. The Beavers knew they would need to be relentless on defense for the remainder of the game if they wanted to come out with the win. The boys worked exceptionally hard as all the momentum seemed to be all but Bayside’s for the final few minutes. Disrupting play, causing knock-ons and getting penalties called in their favor the Beavers became very patient on setting down for a scrum and or getting the ball into touch. After surviving a last minute scare when a Bayside scrum wheeled over 90 allowing the Shark’s 8 man to go on a big run untouched pushed the play deep into the Beavers’ red zone where finally a Bayside player was pushed into touch. This caused one last minute havoc play as the Beavers had to win a lineout on their own 5 meter and then get the ball out. With the lineout barely won and the ball secured it was kicked out but no whistle had blown. After having to fend off one more attack from Bayside a stolen ball from skipper James Kelly was secured in a ruck, and passed back to Beaton to kick out. The final whistle blew with the final score in favor for the home side.
Another tight match against the two city rivals with the Beavers prevailing this time over Bayside and taking another win on the season. Well done to all the Beavers that played in this game it was an all-out effort on Saturday.
Tries: Clay Ross (1) Jamie Beaton (1)
Converts: Jamie Beaton (1)
Penalty Kicks: Jamie Beaton (1)
The Beavers head into December with still 2 weekend’s full of matches. This is the time of the season when the schedule feels relentless as the weather seems to always be cold and wet. Like other clubs, the Beavs' injuries have piled up as the last 3 months of rugby has taken its toll on the players. However, this fall the Beavers have had plenty of players step up in all divisions of play; it has been a herculean effort by the entire club keeping everything going strong this late into the fall season. This weekend coming up has the Beavers’ Div 3 men FINALLY back at home up against Richmond RFC, and the Beavers’ Div 1 men taking on the Vancouver Rowing Club. It promises to be two more big tests for the club as the Beavers look to keep things going in the right direction.