SBAA 1st Division Men vs Capilano RFC – Win 44-27
Saturday, September 28, 2019, a date that would live in the history of the Beavers and the BCRU as the Surrey First Division played the Capilano Premier Reserves at Sullivan Heights in the first official inter-divisional match on the Lower Mainland.
It was a perfect day for rugby and not bad for watching rugby. Surrey would elect to receive the opening kickoff, which in a matter that is becoming all to common, said kickoff was allowed to hit the ground and chaos ensued. This chaos resulted in a Beaver penalty which the Capilano kicker knocked in. It was early and again Surrey were in a 3-0 hole. "We had em right where we wanted them." said Director of Rugby, Kevin Taylor. The Beavers would find their way into the match when Paul Kelly answered with a 40-yard run on a centre crash and Sheldon Ram made some audible contact taking the ball to the opposition. Once within sniffing distance of the goal, the Caps would surrender a scrum, Surrey ran the ball off the scrum and took it to a ruck, big and attractive Sean "Bond" Connolly picked the ball from the ruck and barged his way across the line to open the Beaver account. The convert was shy, but just like previous scripts the score was 5-3 for Surrey. The Beavs kept coming and appeared to be heading in for another try when the ball was carelessly dispersed and stolen by the Caps who had plans of their own, but after a turnover and a penalty for a high tackle gave Brandon Gatto a shot at goal, that he popped in, 8-3 for Surrey with Caps on the back foot. The Beavers came back with more pressure in the form of a series of ruck phases, until lanky lock forward Sean Connelly broke off a 20-meter run that exposed the holes in the Caps defence, and after a couple more phases 8th man John Eadie made good with the try. The convert was wanting, and the Surrey lead was padded, at 13-3. Possession was the tipping point for the Beavs when fullback James Bailey jinked his way by a couple of defenders and peeled off a 50-meter ramble that he scored on a stand out individual effort. The Brandon Gatto convert was made, and the point spread was beginning to get lopsided at 20-3 for Surrey. To the Caps credit they turned the momentum and using a series of simple, quality phases they advanced to score a try, putting the Beavers on notice that this game wasn't going to be that easy. The visitors convert was shy and the lead reduced to 12 points at 20-8 for Surrey. The Caps were now within the reach of two tries, an attainable gap. The gap would be stretched again when the Beavers David 'Burger' Jeffries took the glory for a good bit of rucking when Surrey overwhelmed the left side of the Cap "D" line and perpetrated a try. The Gatto convert put the Beavs in control 27-8 at the half. Surrey's halftime chat centred on defending against turnovers and shoring up their own defensive formation. Many waited to see what adjustments the Caps would make as they were NOW also playing for their pride, not wanting to lose to an opponent from an alleged weaker division.
The opening kickoff for the second half was poorly executed by Surrey and Caps took advantage. The first few minutes of the half put the Beavers on defence and the Caps finding the holes in the Surrey line when they found a good one and scored a try once more. With the subsequent convert being also good we were back to a confident, but cautious 12-point lead again at 27-15 for Surrey. Surrey was having a lull and the Caps would make them pay the price by giving up another try off of rucking phases they couldn't seem to stop, with the convert Caps were now 5 points in arrears at 27-22, having scored the last 14 points and on a bit of a roll. Things were concerning, until the Beavers would collect themselves and reply, breaking the Caps cycle. James Bailey took possession again and cut inside off a series of rucks and scored his second major of the match. The convert was pumped in by Gatto and the 12-point lead was a thing again, 34-22 for Surrey. The referee gave the Caps a warning for a high tackle, and when it next occurred, he yellow carded the offender true to his word. The Beavers found their second wind and had better quality of ball possession. They found some luck in the form of an exceptional effort by winger Riley Johnson who gathered a poorly tossed pass from the centres. He slid on his knees to avoid a knock on or a turnover and was athletic enough to find his way to his feet and ran through those who may have tried to stop him, or they may have been watching in stunned silence and were frozen by what they witnessed. The convert was left and 39-22 for Surrey made the home crowd more easy. Surrey had faced down the lull and were now back to firing on all cylinders again, and the proof of which would be when the Caps took a penalty deep in their end. The Caps would turn their backs on the ball Joe Murphy would tap & go costing the them a try for their inattention. They were looking tired, but it was 44-27 for Surrey with time getting short. 44-27 for Surrey would be how it would go in the books and Surrey would serve notice to the BCRU as they weren't intimated by the next level of competition. Beaverland was very happy at this result.
Just trying to capture the spirit of the thing......