Firsts down UBC; seconds and thirds lose playoff matches--
By Braden Maccke
|The 2012-2013 Thirsty Thirds.|
|Second half play.|
Behind 12-0 mere minutes in, the Thirsty Thirds started to play. Tough goal-line tackles by Jamie Overgaard, Travis Sheppard, Spencer Latu, Dave Steer, Robin Mallinder, and Andy Donn kept the Abby side out of the end zone on four different dips inside the Rowers’ five in the first half.
Late in the first, eighth-man Malin Jordan scrambled for a lose ball that bounced off a ruck near the Abbotsford goal line. Jordan picked up the ball and lunged five metres to score under the posts, narrowing the gap to 12-7. But Abbotsford stormed right back with another try to go up 19-7 at the half.
|Chris Gaydon kicks off after an Abbotsford try.|
2NDSWanting to match up the seconds up with their first division side, the Super Twos game was switched from Brockton to UBC and the Rowers took advantage of the speedy pitch. The squad jumped out of the gate with a characteristically strong start against the Surrey Beavers – a squad they dominated a few weeks earlier 52-22.
|Brett Russell races into contact mere seconds before spraining |
his ankle on the play.
Down a man from a yellow card, and ending up on the wrong side of several penalties, the Rowers allowed the Beavers to pound away at their goal line for the better part of 10 minutes. Finally, the Beavers punched through an equalizer.
The Rowers’ scrums were over-matched technically and underweight to the man, as the Beavers pushed them off the ball several times. Repeated handling errors brought up numerous set pieces, further tiring the VRC pack, as Surrey tenaciously pressed.
Two microphoned TJs patrolled the sidelines, tripling the average number of penalties called. Most of them did not go the Rowers’ way. Playing on the back foot for the better part of 80 minutes, a once-exciting season for the Super Twos ended in a super-disappointing 23-12 loss.
|Gayden passes from a ruck.|
1STSThe Rowers top squad came to UBC ready for another tough match. The squad’s previous tilt at Wolfson Fields saw them beating the Thunderbirds in the final seconds of a 20-17 nail-biter.
This semifinal matchup provided for less drama, but no shortage of excitement as the Rowers proved early they were the better team. George Richmond earned the coveted Hammer Award for uncompromising tackles as the Rowing Club left no doubts about their birth in the league championship game. Final score: 50-10.
The Rowers face off against Abbotsford RFC for the Okanagan Spring Brewery League One championship final at Klahanie Park at 4 p.m., May 11.