Andrew Smith

Vancouver, BC: Battling a resilient Meraloma side and heavy rains, Capilano RFC returned to the top tier with a narrow 15-10 victory in Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League play. The downpour wreaked havoc on both side’s offences, but a 10-point contribution from Capilano scrum half Matt Yanagiya proved to be the difference.

The scoring opened with Capilano full back Gordie Sawers finishing off a series of strong phases, diving over in the far corner for the try. Yanagiya was next up, slotting a penalty for the 8-0 lead. The Meraloma defence held strong and despite going down to 14 men when Mark Farrally was sin-binned, held off any further points before the break.

With Capilano dominating the scrums and lineouts, the Lomas took the points when they were available. Meraloma fly half Bryan Tyrer missed his first attempt, but then kicked a 40-metre penalty to bring the score 8-3 in the second frame.

The Lomas defence were caught sleeping in the final 20 minutes, however, when Capilano took a quick tap-penalty on the five-metre line and spun the ball wide to Yanagiya who sliced through for a try. The scrum half converted his own score to give Capilano a 15-3 lead.

Meraloma pressed on during the final minutes and scrum half Derek Towsend eventually barrelled through to score. Tyrer stepped up to kick the difficult conversion, making it 15-10. Any hopes of a comeback ran out with the clock, however, as Caps fly half Charlie Jones kicked the ball out on the ensuing kickoff to finish the game.

“We were a bit complacent at times and [Meralomas] came out hard just like we thought they would,” said Capilano head coach Tom Larisch. “I think we went for the bonus point before we went for the win. We left several points on the field when we opted for lineouts on our penalties and we will certainly have to go back and reassess our game plan for next week.”

Capilano will head to Jericho Park next Saturday to face off against the UBC Old Boys Ravens in Premier League play. November 19th will also feature two Premier games on Vancouver Island with the reigning Rounsefell Cup champions Castaway Wanderers away to James Bay, and Abbotsford RFC away to the UVic Vikes.

In the Ceili’s Cup League competition on Saturday, featuring First Division sides, Capilano blanked Meralomas 56-0 for a bonus point victory.

Premier League Qualification

Competing for the final berth to the 2011-2012 Premier League, Burnaby Lake Ruby Club and the Bayside Sharks both posted victories on Saturday afternoon. Bayside downed Velox 19-9, but were unable to come away with a bonus point.

Burnaby were convincing winners at Brockton Oval, as six different try scorers crossed over to down Vancouver Rowing Club 41-10. Burnaby’s tries were recorded by Mike Gough, Ryan McHollister, Admir Cejvanovic, Giuseppe Laudisio, Jeke Gotegote and Adam Martin. Geoff Ryan added four converts to round out the scoring.

The round-robin qualifier will conclude with Burnaby and Bayside going head-to-head on November 19th. Kickoff is set for 2:30pm at South Surrey Athletic Park.

Nov. 5th: Bayside Sharks [78 – 21] Vancouver Rowing Club

Nov. 5th: Burnaby Lake [44 – 6] Velox Valhallians

Nov. 12th: Bayside Sharks [19 – 9] Velox Valhallians

Nov. 12th: Burnaby Lake [41 -10] Vancouver Rowing Club

Nov. 19th: Burnaby Lake at Bayside Sharks (South Surrey Athl. Park) 2:30pm

Nov. 19th: Vancouver Rowing Club at Velox Valhallians (Velox RFC) 2:30pm