Contributed by John Langley
It was quite a change in the weather Oct. 13 as the Capilano Rugby Football Club hosted its cross-town rivals Burnaby Lake for four matches and also welcomed the Rowers and Brit-Lions in U-19 and 3B action, respectively. The result was five out of seven wins for the home side.
The action commenced with the Capilano U-19 men continuing their winning ways in a torrential downpour on the upper pitch. It rained so hard it was extremely difficult trying to put wet pen to soggy paper. The Caps won the contest 12-8 in a game that ended up closer than it likely should have been. The home team was on the wrong end of a large penalty count and one that saw them lose a sure try on a long kick to the wing that the referee blew down for being ahead of the kicker. At the time the score was 12-3 and this might have put the game out of reach but it was not to be. Credit has to be given to the Rowers though, as they kept trying to claw their way back into the game and were rewarded with a late try to add to their earlier penalty kick. Capilano scorers were Arli Castenetto, and Adrian Heiess with a try each and a conversion by Tom Kanwischer. It was difficult to play entertaining rugby under these weather conditions but both teams tried hard.
The Men’s Third-Division “A” game — also played on the upper field — saw Capilano prevail 31-6 over Burnaby Lake. The Capilanos were good value for this win and put on quite a display of good rugby, by far their best effort this season. The Caps were led by scrum half Ian Smortchevsky, standoff Craig Yates and prop Chris Lumsden. These three veterans of top-division rugby really helped the 3As get their game back on track. The Caps were up 19-0 at the half and didn’t look back. Burnaby could only manage two penalty kicks. In the Men’s Third-Division “B” game the Capilanos lost to the Brit-Lions 20-17 courtesy of a late try by the visiting side.
In Premier Women’s Team action, the Capilanos were up against a very good Burnaby side. Capilano played their best rugby in some time and held the visitors to a 25-5 win. The Caps did manage to score a try — something that they haven’t been able to do for a while — and are showing signs of improvement under head coach Heather Jaques.
The Men’s First-Division game against Burnaby Lake was a hard-fought defensive contest on a flooded field. The footing appeared to be sound but there was plenty of water coming up on kicked balls and from tackled players. Burnaby opened the scoring with a try and was the best side in the early going, but Capilano Chris Robinson tied the score with a sparkling run up the middle. He kicked ahead and chased his own kick. The ball stopped on the Burnaby five-metre line and their fullback, Angus Fisher, tried to kick the ball out of the in-goal area. Unfortunately for him and his side the ball stopped in the puddles near the back line. Robinson sprinted onto it and managed to ground it for a try. The conversion was unsuccessful but later Robinson added a penalty kick and that was it for the scoring. Both sides showed promise of tallying more points but handling errors and penalties ended those chances. Burnaby, however, collected a hard-earned bonus point in the loss.
In the marquee Men’s Premier League game, Burnaby has some firepower in their backline and showed signs of breaking through on several occasions. Burnaby’s Joe Dolesau looked like he was going for a romp but was tackled by Capilano Matt Yanagiya. Shortly after, Burnaby got a penalty chance and Admir Cejvanovic put the Lakers on the board 3-0. There were crunching tackles by both sides, and Burnaby looked like they would score a try when Dolesau found a gap, but he was caught by Nate Rees with a desperation tackle that saved the score. Dolesau must have been very close to the line but wasn’t able to get over it. Burnaby took a penalty and Capilano Charlie Jones was able to clear the ball into touch. After Burnaby was given a yellow card and Mike Gough was binned, Yanagiya slotted the kick to even the score. This was the first of three binnings on the day in the premier-league matchup — two to Burnaby and one to Capilano. Burnaby took the lead with a penalty kick late in the first half and took a three-point advantage into the break. Shortly after the second half began, Burnaby was penalized for an offside and Yanagiya evened the score once again. Earlier in the game, Capilano Adam Zaruba was given the ball for several runs and stopped by stiff tackling. This time, however, was different: Zaruba broke free and left several would-be tacklers on the ground as he crashed over for a well-taken try to make the score 11-6. The conversion added another two. A late tackle by Glen McKinnon gave Burnaby another shot at goal and Cejvanovic stroked it through. Burnaby gave the Caps a chance to get the points back, however, and Yanagiya put another three-spot up on the board. With the score 13-9, only a try separated the two sides. The Caps seemed to put on the pressure and were rewarded with a mauling try touched down by veteran Rob McCall. This put the score at 21-9 and therefore denied Burnaby a bonus point in the loss. In fairness there wasn’t much between the two sides and if Burnaby had finished off one or two of their chances it could have been a different result. Burnaby has a strong squad and will likely see better days.
Off the field, both clubs — and their many fans — are to be commended for their support of breast cancer fundraising efforts held throughout the day at Klahanie Park. Thanks also to head chef Jim Leith (and kitchen lieutenant Mike Pakulak) for preparing a hearty meal for all players following the games in the club’s brand-new kitchen facility. More than $1,300 was raised at the gate for this worthy cause. Next Saturday, Oct. 20 the Capilanos travel to Connaught Park to face Westside rivals Meralomas in four games, so get out and support your club!