Caps Women’s Alumni Day – 50th Celebration;
Today the Capilano Club celebrated the success of Women’s rugby on the North Shore. Both Women’s sides were honoured by playing on the Bob Spray Field in front of a large crowd and a large contingent of former Capilano Women’s players who had led the Club to Four Provincial Championships. The Capilano Women have provided many BC and Canada international players, including three players, Andrea Burk, Mandy Marchak and Hilary Leith won silver medals for a second place Canada World Cup finish.
The first game was a lopsided win over Vancouver Rowing Club by a score of 64-0. A young but enthusiastic Rowers side was no match for the up and coming young Capilano squad. Caps were led by number 12 Soph Zubrycky who looks like she has real potential to be a solid back. Soph also made a reserve appearance in the Premier game and did not look at all out of place. She is one to watch in the future. She is not the only player with a lot of promise as teammates, Rachel Linton, Mia Hill and Kelsey Bisaro also stood out. I asked for but did not receive a list of the Capilano scorers. I believe Rachel Linton, Sam Westhaver, Soph Zubrycky, Mia Hill and Kelsey Bisaro scored and some of them more than once. Congratulations to the Caps Second team and thanks to Rowing Club for the game. Also thanks to the referee for his stewardship.
The Premier Match was an exciting contest won 34-20 by Caps over UBC Thunderbirds. Caps overwhelmed the T-Birds last time the two met at UBC but credit to UBC on a much improved performance today. UBC started fast and perhaps surprised the home team and scored first with an excellent run by number 15 who I think is Nichole Mallow according to the UBC Roster. The UBC fullback number 15 is an excellent player and a constant threat. It took Caps a while to settle down and play their steady power game. Today Caps were led by Lindsay Nicholson who played with most of the retired players on the championship teams of years gone by. Lindsay continues to play at a high level and was outstanding today.
Lindsay was assisted by Mikiela Nelson, Demi Stamitakis and the rest of the pack. Caps have had to shuffle the players up front as prop Natalie Beliveau is out with a concussion and Melissa Robinson is away with the Carson Girls Rugby Program. The sets were not as steady today and UBC managed to push Caps back on several set scrums. UBC have obviously worked on this aspect of the game as Caps had pushed them hard in the previous game at UBC. Despite going back Caps were able to get their own scrums and Lindsay did a lot of running from number 8. Lindsay led her team with two tries. Lock Karina Christiansen scored the first Cap try to get the home side going in the right direction. UBC regained the lead with a interception by number 10, Briana Aikens who scored under the posts. The score was 5-10 for the visitors but Caps were attacking hard and Mikiela Nelson came close. Demi Stamatakis finished it off with a hard run, and touched down. Shannon Craig missed the conversion from out wide but is giving the ball a good ride and will improve with practice. The score was now even at 10 each. Lindsay charged down an attempted clearance from near the in goal and touched down for a well deserved try.
The Cap backs were distributing the ball well and forwards were also joining in on the attack. Mikiela Nelson scored on a hard run and Caps were taking control of the game. Following the half time rest Caps brought on Soph Zubrycky who had run extremely well in the Second Division game. She scored on a great run and the try was converted by Shannon Craig. The score was now 27-10 and Caps were on the hunt. Lindsay Nicholson picked up at the back of the scrum and charged in for the score. The conversion was good and it was now 34-10. Scrum half Christina Burnham dummied and went through a gap and nearly went all the way but was caught just short of the line and Caps took a penalty for not releasing quick enough. Caps brought on several reserve players to give them experience at the higher level. UBC continued to battle and their number 13 made a long run. There number 12 made an excellent run and scored to make it 34-15. UBC struck again following another big run by their fullback who scored to make the final 34-20. Number 16 reserve player, Shelby Slay, put in a big hit on a UBC lock who was looking dangerous. UBC was fighting back but time ran out and the game was over. Both teams received a big ovation, from the appreciative fans, for what had been a fine rugby contest. Congratulations to both sides and thanks to the game officials.
Women’s Reports – John Langley
3rd Div. Rowers 26 Caps 19
The Rowers were up 20-0 at half time and things were looking grim. Some inspired play by veterans like Brad Wightman and Chris Lumsden had the ship righted in the second half. A nice sprint by # 13 Ryan Hanley, a huge effort from the forwards to drive over and then a solo dash by Wightman had the Caps down by one at 20-19 for Rowers. A couple of penalties late in the game against the Caps gave the Rowers the opportunity for six points and they capitalized on them. Final 26-19 Rowers
Thank you to the game official.
Reserve Game Rowers 31 Caps 13
Again, like the premier game, Caps started strong but lost their way in the second half to lose by a score that probably wasn’t indicative of the play. The first try came to the Caps as their pack walked the ball over the line with # 8 Gary Cartwright putting the pressure on the ball. With extras 7-0 Caps. Red and whites came back with a try of their own as a Cap clearance kick didn’t find touch and the result was seven for Rowers. Just after the Rowers scored, Caps # 2 was shown red which definitely hindered the Caps, as one of their wingers had to leave to allow for the front row replacement. The half ended 7-7.
Caps opened the second half with two penalty kicks awarded and turned them into a 13-7 lead. That was all for the Caps as Rowers got stronger and pumped in four tries with extras on two of them to run away at the end. Final 31 – 13 for the Rowers. Even though the score got away from them at the end, Caps had some noticeable performances from # 4 Buckler, # 5 Latchford, and # 7 Roberts.
Thank you to the game official.
Premier Game Rowers 35 Caps 27
A hotly contested game with a lot of emotion was won narrowly by the Rowing Club. The Caps started strong and had the lead at half time but the Rowers came on in the second half and converted two penalty kicks in the last few minutes to squelch any hope of a Cap victory.
The Caps started brightly with # 9 Chris Robinson crossing the line after a wonderful pass from the wing. With extras, 7-0 Caps. Shortly after Caps # 10 Jeremy Simon put a penalty through to make it 10-0 Caps. Rowers answered back with a three spot to close the gap. 10-3 Caps. Several phases and a nice 20 metre finishing run into the end zone by # 12 Johnny Franklin propelled the Cap lead to 17-3 with the convert good. The Rowers mustered up and found another gear to get back in the game. Two tries near the end of the half with one convert had the red and whites down 17-15 at the half.
The second half had both teams battling it out between the 22’s with no noticeable advantage until Caps popped a penalty kick at 55 min. to go up 20-15. The Rowers then took advantage by recovering a quick throw in by the Caps and turning it into seven points. This put the Rowers ahead 22-20.The teams then traded converted tries and with ten minutes left it was 29-27 for the Rowers. Caps threw everything into getting the next points but a couple of converted penalties by the Rowers put the game out of reach with the final 35 -27 Rowers.
A close game that had the fans on their feet with lots to cheer about for both teams. A tough game to officiate as their was a lot of behind the play action. Thank you to the officials of all three games.
Men’s reports – Steve Feenstra