What follows a Second Division bye? A crazy road trip to Kamloops to face a tough Kamloops RFC and a First Division bye. One could have been optimistic about being able to field a competitive team against a formidable opponent, but when the injured list and the unavailable for selection lists were compiled the pickings were tight. With a couple of last-minute additional bodies and a few walking wounded the line up didn't look too bad, on paper anyway.
SBAA 2nd Division Men vs Kamloops RC – Loss 61-26
The pregame message was easy, simple rugby with a defence first work ethic, and everything should work out fine. Especially coming off a win against United, though on this day the referee and assistant referees weren't going to allow us to take advantage of the new substitution laws, putting our 20 man roster at a disadvantage.
Kamloops was a big beefy side right through the line up and Surrey didn't have the size to match and was going to have to be selfless in dedication and teamwork. That lasted about three minutes when a well drilled Kamloops squad poached a Beaver ball and ran it back for the opening try. The convert was easy and 7-0 for Kamloops was an indication of how the day might yet go. A deep kickoff to the Kamloops 8th man gave them a running start at Surrey's defence, which was eventually overlapped when the Beavers failed to react to the shift, and the hosts would score another try with no convert, 12-0 Kamloops. When again back in the Surrey half of the field the Beavs would be assessed a penalty for a scrum wheel and the Kamloops kicker would make them pay with 3 points. 15-0 for Kamloops. Surrey were down 15 points without really having any substantial ball possession of their own. Kamloops was moving forward in their 22-metre line when a pass from their standoff was picked off by Andrew "Lip" McIntyre and scored a try essentially unopposed. The good convert by Nate Hutchinson made things a respectable 15-7 for Kamloops, but Surrey had hope. Kamloops would reply after a series of off loads and score another try, which wasn't converted. 20-7 for Kamloops. The Beavers were going to show some fortitude when Shane Ram made a piercing run, he was brought down short of the try line, but with a great second effort managed to score his try. The Hutchinson convert was again good, 20-14, Surrey clawed its way back within 6 points. Kamloops would again secure possession and began rucking and running big three man pods and offloading, this was the moment the pressure looked to break the Beavers as they appeared indifferent to tackling. Kamloops would score a try on this possession and convert at 27-14 for Kamloops, the score didn't feel THAT close. (The referee informed me later that at some point around this part of the game Kamloops had scored a mystery try that your writer apparently missed, 34-14 for Kamloops) That was when Surrey made a bit of a comeback and had a very good series of rucking phases that John Eadie capped off with a try, Hutchinson hit the convert and halftime stood at 34-21 (Your writer believed it was 27-21, until advised at the start of the second half by the referee, much to my surprise. Hmmmm).
The second half started with several minutes of back & forth play until Kamloops would begin to crank off a series of good rucks and gain breaking runs. This effort saw them score another try that went unconverted, 39-21 for Kamloops. The air was leaving the Beaver balloon. Kamloops would keep coming and pounded in a try that was similar looking to the one before, including the failed convert. 44-21 for Kamloops. Just to make things interesting Kamloops would take another yellow card, the challenge before Surrey changed possibly using the man advantage to launch a comeback. Nope. Surrey proceeded to get run on and started taking undisciplined penalties that led to a Kamloops try and missed convert. 49-21 for Kamloops. More of the same led to yet another Kamloops try with another missed convert. Surrey had some injuries and used up the bench strength quickly, with not being able to platoon players put Surrey in tough and they were beginning to look uninterested when the process continued, and Kamloops rolled up another converted try. A painful 61-21 for Kamloops was posted on their scoreboard. It could be heard in the touch line that 3 or 4 leaders on the pitch were summoning up the effort from the squad to attempt to finish with some pride, and they did just that the forwards began banging the ball, like Kamloops, and battled up the park when Robbie Sisson took the ball off of a tap & go and went right to the in goal area and scored the final Beavers' points and gave the Seconds a weak moral victory, that wasn't converted. If Surrey would have played the entire game the way they played the last 5 minutes they would have won 61-26 instead of losing by that score. Full time found the boys some rest, a shower, a lovely meal, and beer. The day was disappointing, Kamloops is a long way to go to get beat that badly. Tough day at the office.
Just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.......