A beautiful setting for rugby was had to wrap up Beavers’ rugby in 2017. As the fog dissipated in the early morning the sky was a clear blue with the temperature being a mild and dry 9 degrees. The day was set with the Beavers closing out 2017 with two men’s games at Division 1 and Division 3.
Eager to finish the year off in good fashion the Beavers looked to claim 2 wins at Sullivan Heights Park on Saturday against the Chilliwack Crusaders and United Rugby Club.
SBAA 3rd Division Men – Win 20-8
The Thirsty Thirds took to the field on Saturday looking to keep things rolling in the right direction from the previous weekend’s win over Richmond. Having played Chilliwack earlier in November the Beavers knew they were in for a tough match. The 3rds being able to bolster their roster up once again with the 2nd Div team not playing meant the 3rds were in good shape on the bench. Brandon Gatto again led the attack at stand-off and did an excellent job swinging the ball out wide and or kicking the ball deep for territory when necessary. Tyler Jonhson the shifty full back was quick to return deep Chilliwack kicks right back into their half of the field. The forwards were all fired up to play for the young Beavers’ hooker David Porowsky who was playing in his final 3rd Div game for the club for at least 2 years as he is headed on his missionary starting in January. With heavy hitters Joey Murphy and Ryan Mitchell solidifying the pack it made for an all-around great starting roster. The Crusaders were no slouches either as Chilliwack had many players on their roster that could arguably fit right in on the field at the 1st and or 2nd Div level. The visitors had a roster full of stand out 3rd Div level players, and always play a very physical game. The Beavers however were well organized on attack and held their own on defense against the hard hitting Crusaders. Gatto went for points and converted two penalty kicks in what was a hotly contested match. There was plenty of niggly stuff in tight around the rucks and although this is the reality of 3rd Div rugby on a few occasions it was getting close to boiling over. Often after the whistle there would be a handful of players pushing and shoving each other trying to get under each other’s skin. The referee not exactly able to get a handle on things still carried on with the game and to no surprise players actions stayed the same. Joey Murphy and Reid Mathews also led the attack throughout the game and both touched down for tries during the match and helped solidify the win for the home side.
It was a solid effort by the Beavers who did an excellent job shutting the Crusaders down in their own half. The Beavers worked hard to get the ball down the field and there were plenty of glimpses of great rugby. Some solid team work in the lineouts and scrums gave the boys a good foundation to set their attack off of. The Beavers took advantage of the beautiful weather on the day and worked to spread the ball out wide after pounding the ball in tight. The effort all in all was rewarded with another win on the season for the Thirsty Thirds. After a very tough start in the 1st half the Beavs are looking much stronger at the 3rd Div side. Great to see the boys take advantage of their last two home games in 2017 and get two much needed wins. Well done to everyone that played and best of luck to David on his missionary!
Tries: Joey Murphy (1) Reid Mathews (1)
Converts: Brandon Gatto (2)
Penalty Kicks: Brandon Gatto (2)
SBAA 1st Division Men – Win 39-5
The 1st Div Beavs took the lead early against United and never looked back in their match. From the get go it was going to be a very tough day for United who requested the Beavs postpone the Div 2 match due to a pile up of injuries and some of their players unavailable for game day. The Beavs accepted the request and were eager to get the game off so they could have a much lighter 2nd half schedule. This being now the 11th game of the Fall half for the Beavs Div 1 side, a first half of the season that has had them play almost 1/3 more games than some of the other teams in the competition.
The boys were feeling like they could take care of the game quickly following the first try of the day in a mere 2 minutes from good support play by scrum half Dylan Tatomir. Beaton following this up about 5 minutes later with a pick play had the home side confident they could end this before it got started. However full credit to United who still fought back having a good few bouts of possession with clearly not the majority of their 1st Div roster out on the pitch. The Beavs did a very good job on defense and were stubbornly not allowing United to get too much going offensively. United’s 8-Man definitely the hardest runner for the visitors was always a challenge to bring down at the gain line. The home team had the advantage back in the scrum with their 1st Div front rowers Chris Atkinson and Nick Bruce back who were both unavailable the previous weekend. The Beaver backs played a sound game not giving up much ball on offense and the home side got some great attack as usual off Clay Ross and Jamie Beaton. Riley Nagy led the scoring race on the day touching done 3 tries and he was always there to finish off some overall great team play. A few of the forwards were sniffing around the goal line a few times too, but Atkinson was the only one from the pack that touched one down. There were some solid performances from James and Paul Kelly, Steve Friesen, Matt Bose, and the speedster Iain Small who all kept the forwards going in the 1st and 2nd half of the game. Beaton getting sent to the bin late in the 1st half didn’t do much to stifle the offense from the Beavs, and the home side kept pushing up the field with every opportunity they got. The home side collected their bonus point before the 1st half ended and the coaches then worked up a plan to get the majority of the starters off the field. It was great to see the boys get up in the game so they could even give 3rd Div player David Porowsky an opportunity to get on the field.
Getting up with a healthy lead in the 1st half allowed the Beavs to play a little looser in the 2nd half. Some missed opportunities with the ball would have given the boys an even larger lead but knock-ons and bad penalties ended most opportunities. The Beavs still controlling most the ball worked to get the ball wide to backline speedsters Marcus Tam and James Bailey. A few more times the Beavs crossed over the goal line putting the game out of reach for United. The visitors finding success finally off a poorly played grubber kick sent the Beavs behind their posts for the first time in the match at about the 55 minute mark. Over all though it was all in all a great day to play a rugby game with the Beavs getting the bad taste of losing to the Rowers out of their mouth. The game was a great way to wrap up the club’s season in 2017.
Following the game everyone from the Beavs headed back to the clubhouse to enjoy Andy Lyon’s infamous feed, and wrapped up the final rugby game day of 2017 in style.
Tries: Dylan Tatomir (1) Chris Atkinson (1) Jamie Beaton (2) Riley Nagy (3)
Converts: Jamie Beaton (2)
The Beavers look to get some much needed rest for their top-side players as they definitely had a grinder of a Fall half of the season. Playing the most games in their competition and keeping pace with the Prems with 11 games played the Div 1 side did an excellent job holding onto the top spot in their competition. Like any other club the Beavers have had to deal with players getting injured, and players not being available week in and week out. However the boys did an excellent job bolstering their roster with 2nd Div players when needed and constantly rotated players in and out of the lineup. The opposition will be gunning for the Beavs knowing they are a top contender going into the 2nd half. The boys plan to get some key starters back for the 2nd half of the season and keep the level of play very high. In a bizarre year for the Div 1 league it was also agreed upon that all 8 Div 1 teams qualify for the Spring playoffs, so the Beavs will be working hard to claim the top seed.
The 2nd Div men were also highly successful this Fall half and like in Div 1 have only lost one match. The Div 2 men will also be much busier in the 2nd half of the season as the team has had three off weeks in the Fall season. However the Div 2 boys are optimistic they can take care of business and stay in the playoff hunt in the hotly contested Division 2 league.
The 3rd Div men are starting to turn things around and are improving weekly with new players joining the ranks and other players getting much needed experience week in and week out. The 2nd half of the season should be another big challenge for the Thirsty Thirds, but the club is confident the boys are up to the challenge. Another successful half of rugby that had the Beavers field a 3rd Div team every weekend they had a game. It wasn’t too long ago the Beavers struggled to field 3 teams on a given Saturday so it’s great to see three rosters every Saturday.
The 2nd Div women look to get back in the swing of things in the 2nd half as they have had somewhat of a lackluster Fall half. Struggling with overall numbers the Div 2 women need a stronger commitment from their players every given week. The women are still very young but they have proven when they show up to play on a game day they can play some great rugby. Here is hoping the women come out in January and get things going in February.
The holiday time is a busy time for the club with plenty of festive activities going on at the Beaverlodge and fundraisers happening for the Surrey Food Bank. 2017 was another fantastic year for Beavers rugby, and here is hoping that the good times keep rolling into 2018!