The Rowing Club “Super 2s” first division side gutted out a well-earned 21-15 win Saturday against UBC behind a standout performance by center back Adriaan Meiring and a solid effort from all players and substitutes. Meiring scored the first 3 of the Rowers’ 21 points on the day, converting an offside penalty from just inside the 22 around the 23’ mark.
|Adriaan Meiring missed 1 of his conversions on Saturday.|
UBC pressed shortly afterwards, but hard defense turned the ball over and gave the Rowers a chance to kick it clear. Mounting a strong attack shortly afterwards, Meiring took advantage of a penalty about 15 meters out, carrying a quick tap across the line to score in the corner and make it 8-0. A well-drilled UBC team was able to put one in at the 29’ mark, finding rhythm in a quick attack slowed down by a wet pitch. They slotted the conversion to make it 8-7. Relentless, the Rowers forwards were able to turn it over cleanly in a ruck and get the ball back to Meiring (again), who crossed the line in the corner, but put it down under the posts to make the kick a gimmie and the score 15-7.
The huddle at the half featured Captain Brendan Fagan and coaches Mergui and Crowe reminding the squad of the previous week’s game against the Ravens, and the early lead squandered to penalties and lapsed defense.
The young UBC side brought on fresh substitutes, including several summertime rugby league standouts, and were able to renew their high paced attack to put in another try and make it 15-12. Undaunted, the Rowers were able to defend well and tackle hard. The red and white turned a loose ball over cleanly around midfield at the 30, frustrating UBC into coming into the ensuing breakdown from the side and earning Meiring yet another shot at a penalty, which he converted. 18-12. UBC answered with a penalty of their own, making it 18-15, before Meiring slotted his final contribution on the day, making it 21-15.
The well-conditioned Thunderbirds put on a strong attack with ball in hand and no time on the clock, but strong defense including several punishing tackles by 8th man Alex Nichols kept them out of the end-goal until they eventually knocked it on to end the game.
Having scored three penalties, two tries and one conversion for all of the Rowers’ 21 points, Adriaan Meiring is no doubt wondering how he managed to miss that one conversion.
The Rowers Premier side fared poorly against UBC, scoring only 2 penalty kicks to put up against a 34 point performance by the hosts.
This one was all UBC, with the Birds scoring from phase play, then from a maul, then by taking advantage of an overlap on the wing, and finally from an 8th man pick off of a scrum.
The Prems were still trying to shake off a last minute loss to the Ravens the previous week, coming as the Ravens ran in a try in a half that ran conspicuously long, on a try scored by a player that the entire sideline saw go in to touch, with the exception of the touch judge. The Ravens game represented a disappointing end to a well-fought and entertaining performance that featured a 70 yard try from an interception by scrum half Duncan James, and a strategic kick into touch by notable back row forward Michael Jordan, who looked surprisingly comfortable booting it a good distance to the near sideline and chasing his teammates into onside positions as it bounced out in good field position.
Returning fullback Caleb Hansen kept the Ravens off the board with a fantastic cover tackle in what linear chronological time showed was the final minute, only to have the Ravens eventually punch through, miss the conversion to keep it 15-14 VRC, and lose 19-15 on the aforementioned tightrope job as the timekeeper’s watch expired.
Overall, despite two disappointing results, morale remains strong. The feeling in the clubhouse is that this Rowers club has what it takes to contend in the CDI Premiership. All three divisions will be away at Klahanie against arch rival Capilanos next week.