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Friday, April 05, 2013

Rowers hand Caps loss at Brockton

Thirds come from behind to sink cross-bridge rivals

By Braden Maccke
Photos: Malin Jordan
"Gentleman Jim" Corbit stretches for a try in the Rowers' 24-22 win over
the Capilanos March 30.

After suffering a road defeat March 16, the green, green grass of home has since been kind to the Rowing Club’s third division squad. The side has now notched two victories in a row on the Brockton paddock after defeating their arch-rivals, the Capilanos, March 30 by a score of 24-22.

MARCH 30

It was brilliantly sunny day in Stanley Park as the Lions Gate rivals kicked off their match.

The Thirsty Thirds had trouble getting their hands on the ball early, and the Caps took advantage, running hard at the VRC, attempting to wear down the defensive line with heavy centre-crashes.

Scyler Dumas and Rob McDonnell bring down a Caps' player in second
half action.

The strategy seemed to work, as the squad from the other side of the bridge were able to penetrate the D, jumping out to an early 12-0 lead. Undaunted, the thirds fought back, contesting well at the breakdowns, fixing some early turnover problems, and showing more game control. The Rowers’ backs also managed to plug the gaps in the centres, effectively retiring the Capilanos' crash strategy for the rest of the game.

Liam “Golden Pony” Carter, representing the VRC youth movement, used quick feet to produce several good long breaks from mid-field. On one elongated jaunt, the Golden Pony offloaded to “Gentleman Jim” Corbit inside the Caps’ 22-metre line. After brushing aside several Caps’ D-men, Gentleman Jim offloaded to √úbermensch Patty O’Gorman for paydirt and the Rowers were on the board. 

Si D'Agrosa almost loses his head as three Caps finally bring
him to the turf at Brockton Oval March 30.
Le Rouge et Blanc struck for one more unconverted try before the half and the first frame ended 12-10 to the side from the North Shore.

The Rowing Club started the second frame wtih solid tackling and rucking, which prevented the Caps from getting out of their half for a full 10 minutes. During this onslaught, wily forward Malin Jordan forced a turnover in a tackle by manhandling the Caps’ helmeted 8-man and turning him toward his own teammates for a crucial turnover. The VRC then swung the ball wide and DJ James scored to take a 17-10 lead.

After some back and forth play, the Caps notched two quick, unconverted tries to take a 22-17 lead. For the next 20 minutes, the game was a seesaw battle of bone-crushing tackles, superb rucking, and controlled kicking.

With two minutes left, the Capilanos again knocked on the door at the Rowers’ goal line with their hard-crashing forwards, but super-sub James timed a defensive charge perfectly, as he intercepted a ball, running it back about 75 metres. A quick offload to Jorelle Alameda around the 15-metre line kept the drive alive. Alameda then evaded the Caps’ fullback and juked for eight metres until the fullback managed to finally stop him. Alameda then popped to a streaking Gentleman Jim, who smashed through two Caps as the young lock revealed his goal line hunger writ large. Finally corralled at the five by the Caps’ fullback, Gentleman Jim walked with the lanky 15 on his back, falling short at the one-metre line. But just when all hope was lost, Gentleman Jim stretched his six-foot-plus wingspan out and placed the ball over the tryline to tie the match at 22.
Rob McDonnell adds two points after the Rowers' final try
versus Caps March 30, giving his team the win.

Rob McDonnell then gave the Rowers the lead for good after slotting the two-point convert from 10 metres. The Rower’s held on and the match ended 24-22.

Tries: O’Gorman, Corbit, James, and Scylar Dumas.
Conversions:  McDonnell (2).

MARCH 23

It was a rough day at the Oval March 23 as the Rowing club dropped two out of three games to Abbotsford RFC. The thirds saved the day by overcoming Abby in the second half to grab the only victory.

3RDS

The Thirsty Thirds didn’t burst out of the gate in their match and found themselves behind after the first frame. But with some grit and determination, the lads stormed back in the second half to take the victory 22-10.

Second row Andy Donn said the battle was significant. “A great win coming from behind at the half, with heart, and great play from one to fifteen.” He added the come-from-behind double-u was a real crowd pleaser.

Travis Sheppard scored his first try in Red and White and shot the boot afterward in punishment.

DJ evades tacklers at Brockton Oval.

Scoring

Tries: Travis Sheppard, Simon Taylor II, Donn, O’Gorman,
Convert: Conor Walshe.

 2NDS

It was a bad day for the Rowers Second division, who appeared unprepared for a tough, speedy, organized Abbotsford club, ending up on the wrong side of a lopsided 60-15 decision.

The Rowers started well, recovering the ball off their own kickoff and moving through several strong phases to set up flanker Jeff Craine with his first Rowers try in his first Rowers appearance. A failed conversion kept the score at 5-0. Shortly thereafter, the home squad gifted Abby three when they took a penalty on their own 22-metre line. Following a successful penalty attempt, the score was 5-3.

The second div’s tackling and defense was anemic at times and Abbotsford’s backline pounced on every opportunity on the Brockton pitch, finding the in-goal area more often than the Brockton faithful would have liked.

Captain Gareth Brown and centre back Nik Samija both scored unconverted tries in a losing effort. Final score: 60-15.

1STS

The Rowers top team didn’t fare much better than their understudies in their match versus Abbotsford's top side.

During the match both teams traded hard runs from forward pods early before the visitors finally put in an unconverted try to go ahead five-nil. Another try in the first half made it 12-nil, as the Rowers clearly missed the size and experience up front of second-row forward Phil Hosie.

Speedy fullback Kevin Gurniak added a tally in the second half, but the conversion failed, inching the final score line up to an underwhelming 28-5.

The loss bumps the Rowers’ first division team down to third in the Okanagan Spring Brewery League One behind Abbotsford RFC and the first place UBC Thunderbirds. The Rowers 2nds are also third behind UBC and Abbotsford, with Abbotsford in the top spot.

APRIL 6

All three squads face UBC at Wolfson Fields tomorrow. The first match kicks off at 11:30 a.m.
Jorelle Alameda carries the ball into contact at Brockton Oval.

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