Three games at home were deemed successful from the get go on Saturday, the main reason being that finally after a two week hiatus, the weather was perfect! The Beavs once again welcomed three different clubs to Sullivan Heights Park on Saturday, and it was an action-packed day of rugby. The weather was perfect for the matches, and the field was in outstanding shape.
SBAA 3rd Division Men: Loss 61-12
The Thirsty Thirds game went as scripted, the boys played hard, but were completely out-matched in the game. The men played a very dominant 3rd Div Axemen side, but the club still showed a ton of resilience in the match. Making tackle after tackle the boys played with a lot of guts. Unfortunately when the opportunity came for the boys to play some offense there was nothing left in the tank. The Beavers’ stubborn defense broke occasionally and the Axemen were very quick to take advantage of it. Squamish had a few flyers out wide, and at fullback who took full advantage of the younger, less-experienced Beaver backline. It was a very tough ask for the Beaver players to compete in this game and the result on the scoreboard should have been closer. However, the 3rd Div boys should keep their chins up knowing that they went out and played a very hard game against a very skilled team. Full kudos to Squamish who are a very solid team and should be one of the favorites to take the league title this season!
SBAA 2nd Division Men: Win 72-5
If the Beavers knew the outcome of the 2nd Div match beforehand they may have been best off swapping the rosters up for the 2nd Div and 3rd Div match. The game was an all-out track meet for the Beavers, and it was try-festa game for the boys. After playing some very tight matchups in 2018, the Beavers broke through offensively for the first time in this half of the season. The men were relentless on the defensive side of the ball, and for the most part the Div 2 men took full advantage of any turnover they created. Jeff Bergunder led the charge on defense in the centers shutting down everything coming at him, the salty veteran led by example and the rest of the team followed. For the most part the Beavers dominated the game from the first whistle and the Beavs were able to get all their eager reserves in. Some highlight reel tries were had in the match, but the boys shouldn’t get too excited yet about the win, because the playoff contending teams play a much higher level of rugby. The boys will have a much tougher matchup next week against the always formidable Langley RC Div 2 team. It’s always been a big rivalry for these 2 clubs when they face each other.
SBAA 1st Division Men: Win 46-27
The Div 1 men only played their second match of 2018 and found themselves on some shaky ground, mostly because their players had played so little rugby to date. Two matches in February were cancelled due to poor weather conditions, and it has left the Div 1 side with a very healthy side, which was a pro, but the players had played very little rugby since December, which was a con. As mentioned in previous match reports the Div 1 men had a 1st half fall schedule comparable to almost a game every weekend. So in fact, the Beavers Div 1 men are still on pace to play more games than most clubs at Div 1 after the regular season is over.
With United RC paying another visit to SH Park, Surrey was eager to claim another victory and the regular season series. Although the boys did claim a comfortable win on the score board it wasn’t until deep in the 2nd half of the game the boys could take a sigh of relief. The 1st half was a completely different story, and at halftime the visitors clinged onto a 21-19 lead. To sum it up, the Beavers looked as if they hadn’t played a game in about month, and were simple rugby took the day it had taken the players a good 40 minutes of rugby to shake off the rust. Miscues, and errors that are not usually found in a good playoff team this late into the season had been noticeable once again on the field. United claimed an early lead in the match and held onto it for about 50 minutes of the game, but Surrey did have a response. Being on top of the league does mean something, and the Beaver players did come to play in the 2nd half. The backs led by Tyler Oullette at standoff attacked the line with Clay Ross and Jamie Beaton in the centers. Aaron Martin and James Bailey held off any counters that came their way recovering deep kicks. The forwards stayed focused and hit the rucks, tackled, and took the ball hard up the field. The hooker Nick Bruce, 8-Man James Kelly, and 2nd rower Steve Friesen led by example in tight. The sets were solid and the boys did well pushing United off the ball. The overall team play was what was missing in the first 50 minutes.
The Beavs re-focused in the 2nd half and played much better as a unit, and playing a high-tempo offense finally started to take its toll on United. Full credit to United for battling very hard, and they proved to be a pain for the Beavers the majority of the match. The men will head into the final quarter of the regular season playing top tier teams, Langley, Bayside, and the Rowers. This next stretch of games will be a great test for the Div 1 team who believe their best rugby is still ahead of them.
The club would like to say good bye for now to Giuseppe Lagrutta who had played his final game with the Beavers for the 2017-2018 season as he heads back home to New Zealand. Lagrutta plans on returning before the start of next season in September, and the Beavers will be looking forward to him putting a Beavers' jersey back on. Enjoy your time back home Gizz, and safe travels brother!