Capilano RFC at UBC Old Boys Ravens
Contributed by John Langley
The Caps rebounded this weekend after a bleak record last week that has been nicknamed “Black Saturday”: that day saw all of the Capilano teams except the U-19s lose. On Saturday the U-19s won, the 3Bs won 67-5 over Abbotsford, while the 3As lost a close one 17 – 15 to the SFU Mountain Old Boys. The 1st Div. and the Premiers both defeated the Old Boy Ravens, while the Capilano Premier Women lost.
Caps U-19s at Ravens:
The U-19 Caps started the day off with a spirited 31-10 win over the previously undefeated Ravens. Both teams scored tries early on but the Caps kicker Tom Kay made the conversion. Both sides are grooming some excellent young players and the rugby is well worth watching. The Caps were led by No. 8 Marshall Fuller, who really gets around the field and is hard to stop. Fuller scored four tries, finishing off several excellent team efforts. The Ravens worked hard also and put on a lot of pressure, at one point narrowing the score to 24-15, but Ryan Lan scored the last Capilano try to salt the game away. Brad Rigney, a well-built front row player from Manitoba, has arrived in the Capilano camp and looks like a promising find. No word yet on whether he is related to former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Frank Rigney, who was a star in the ’60s. Keenan Broad, son of Snowcap Nick Broad, also had a strong game and looked good in support.
Caps 1st Division at Ravens:
The Caps were out to prove that last weeks thrashing by UVic was an aberration. Nick Belmar, a solid performer who started at number 10, scored a try and left the game at the half to allow some of the younger players to take the field. The Capilanos also welcomed the Woodward twins back to the black and yellow, after both put in solid careers playing for UBC. The twins — fondly referred to as Daniel and Henrik by Cap fans — will certainly help the Capilano depth, as both can play several back positions. Rob Bowman contributed to the Caps victory with some power running and hard tackling. Caps led 24-0 at the half and the result appeared to never be in doubt. The Ravens looked very young and tried hard but were no match for this Cap side. Other Capilano scorers were Arash Solaimani, Sharkey Anderson — a fun-loving player from the Castaways — who scored twice before leaving with a muscle strain, Levi Broadland, and Sam Franklin. Franklin also contributed several conversions. The final score was 48-0.
Caps Premiers at Ravens:
The Caps did not look good in the warm-up and some of the alumni were concerned that the team was not taking the Ravens seriously enough. The UBC players came out with fire in their eyes and included in their starting line up was the ageless John Graf and unretired star Jay Harvey. Both clubs are replacing several ex-Canada players and younger players are stepping up.
The Ravens scored early and it was obvious that the game was not going to be a cakewalk by any means. The score did, however, appear to get the attention of the Caps, and they began to up the pace. Ben Jones charged down a Raven clearance kick and that led to the first Capilano score by Nate Rees. The conversion was wide, and the score in the early-going was now 5-7 in favour of the home side. The Ravens put in an excellent chip kick deep into Caps’ territory but Tom Brody soccer-kicked it out of danger. Adam Zaruba made a big run for the Caps and the ball went to Rees, who scored his second of the day. Chris Robinson converted and the visitors took a 12-7 lead. The next try came off a nice chip kick by Charlie Jones that was well fielded by Taylor Dalziel, who then threw a long pass to Rees, and Rees finished off the movement for his third try. Brady Carpenter then scored on a long run down the wing that saw him outpace several Ravens defenders. The Birds were not finished, though, and began to pound away at the Capilano defence. At one point it looked as if the Ravens had scored but the ball carrier was held up. The got into the end zone shortly afterwards, however, and brought the score to 26-14. John Graf tried a chip kick that showed promise, and Ravens tried a long drop goal that was wide before the halftime whistle blew.
The second half began with the Ravens putting on more pressure. The Raven scrum played hard, but at times their backs seemed in disarray. The Capilano tackling was stellar, led by Glen McKinnon, Mike MacDonald and New Zealand hooker Todd Bavins, brother of flanker Hayden Bavins, who is currently out with a wrist injury. The Ravens’ pressure was alleviated several times by long clearance kicks to touch by Charlie Jones. However, the host team’s hard work did get them back in the game and they scored another try after being held up. The conversion made it 26-21. Whoever got the next score would likely win the game. Robinson chased down a long kick ahead but was narrowly beaten to the ball by a Raven. After Charlie Jones took control and found a gap, however, he made a huge run and passed out to Rees for the score. The conversion brought the score to 31-21 and another try by Bavins and successful conversion brought it to 38-21. The final Capilano score was tallied by hardworking Robinson, who finished off a run by reserve Gareth Dyer. The final score was 43-21. For the Caps it was a much-needed victory, after last weekend’s disappointment. At times they looked terrific but at other times very ordinary. More consistency will be needed. It is a long season and coach Tom Larisch is blooding a lot of new players so the Capilano nation will have to be patient. Excellent officiating in all three games, which were similarly clean, hard-fought and well-controlled. Thanks to the Ravens for the post game hospitality as well.