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Beavers Crest

Surrey's schedule held yet another big road trip, but this time it would be the Firsts to Vancouver Island to face Cowichan Piggies RFC. The travel was complicated by use of the BC Navy and simplified using a bus on the Island side. So, all we had to do was to get everyone to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. A smattering of Alumni would support our side and make the trip to visit former adversaries and former teammates who now reside on the rock.

SBAA 1st Div Men vs Cowichan RFC – Win 43-22

Surrey began on the front foot right away and drove into a familiar position around the Cowichan 22 meter line, forcing yet another opponent into taking a penalty. Brandon "The Cat" Gatto stepped up to another early shot at goal and nailed it, 3-0 for Surrey. The Piggies drove back into Beaver territory and turned the tables on Surrey, forcing them into taking an ill-advised penalty. The Cowichan kicker slotted his kick and tied the match, 3-3. No one looked worried in the Surrey camp. It took a few minutes, but the Beavers came back and put together a run of play converting several rucking phases into a try for John Eadie, who finished it off. The convert was missed, and Surrey led, 8-3. The next time the Piggies worked back down field winger Brandon Craig was cited for an obstructive hip check that took down a Cowichan player, this would cost him 10 minutes in the "Sin Bin" with a yellow card. The Piggies weren't going away and would factor the next points when a series of ruck & runs were capped with a try for their winger. The convert was shy and the score again knotted at 8-8. Just before the halftime whistle Surrey lost discipline and were found to have committed a foul. The Cowichan penalty kick was missed and at the half the score stood tied. On one hand it was a well played game on both sides, but clearly the Beavs should have been able to score more. Full credit to the Piggies for keeping it tight. The visitors were having an increasingly difficult time with the referee.

The second half put to rest any Surrey concerns when in the early going Brandon Gatto scored a try when he supported good ground gainers by Paul Kelly and Riley Johnson. Gatto converted his own score and the Beavers gained some breathing space, at 15-8 for Surrey. The Beavers followed up with another try this time from Joe Murphy who put down his effort after a hard bit of forward play that continued advancing. The good Gatto convert made the work expended to be for full value. 22-8 for Surrey. The Piggies were full on the back foot as the Beavers kept coming when Eighth-Man John Eadie scored from forward play, from a scrum, adding to their total. The good convert by Brandon Gatto piled on another two points making the matter 29-8 for Surrey. The Beavs triple tries, made for a huge momentum tilt. Cowichan wasn't quite dead yet and took advantage of some undisciplined Surrey play that was coupled with a momentary lack of structure that saw the Beavers give up a try against the flow of play. The Piggies made their convert, bringing things to 29-15 for Surrey still. The lack of discipline continued from the Beavers, when frustration with the referee resulted in a yellow card for Captain Paul Kelly for not releasing the player with the ball in a collapsed maul and Andrew "Lippy " McIntyre a few minutes later for a dangerous tackle. While short handed with Andrew still in the bin James Bailey would break off a run that weaved the Cowichan tacklers and scored a surprising try that Brandon Gatto would convert. 36-15 for Surrey with time ticking on the yellow cards. The Piggies battled back and worked the ball up the pitch inside the 22 meter of the Surrey goal and following a penalty tap on the 15-meter Cam McMurchy received the last yellow-card of the day for being offside. A penalty try to Cowichan was also graciously awarded by the referee. 36-22 for Surrey with the Piggies coming back. The game clock was winding down and the sin bin finally cleared out of Beavers, Surrey would battle back (while leading convincingly) and put together a flow of forward play that rucked and rambled in a final statement making try. Brandon Gatto extended his convert streak with the good kick. This made the score 43-22 for Surrey in a drama filled win as the full-time whistle would blow a few minutes later.

With the score tied at halftime Surrey let Cowichan remain in the game much longer than they should have. The clear and obvious distraction caused by the level of refereeing in this match took the Beavers off their edge mentally. This lack of focus became a self-inflicted wound that thankfully wasn't fatal. This game was too much in control, on the scoreboard, for the Beavers to let it get out of hand mentally. The lesson from this episode is; we can't control the referee and his/her calls, we can control our level of reaction. At a certain point, especially when winning the focus should be on the game, the ball - and not on the referee. When players lose focus in this way they invariably lose proper focus on the game. In this situation the attitude should be to let it go, laugh it off, and focus on playing harder. We need to be able to stop ourselves from going down that rabbit hole. The situation in this game was rather absurd and likely a one off, but if in a close game against a better team, any distraction caused by a bad call or a missed call, could lead to a mental let down that could be the difference in a playoff game down the road. Our own frustrations can't be allowed to impair our judgment, even in the heat of battle.

Byron Ramsay
Just trying to capture the spirit of the thing......

Home Field Address

Sullivan Heights Park
144th Street & 64th Avenue
beside the Sullivan Heights Secondary

Practice Field

Cloverdale Athletic Park
64th Avenue & 168th Street
Surrey BC Canada

Clubhouse Location

The Beaverlodge
17395 57th Avenue,
Surrey BC Canada