Andrew Smith

Vancouver, BC: Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (4-0) downed the UVic Vikes (1-3) by a convincing 41-12 score line on Saturday afternoon and continued their perfect record in Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League play.

Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. February 4th:

Meraloma Rugby Club 56(+1) – 0 Abbotsford RFC

UBCOB Ravens 19 – 37(+1) Castaway Wanderers RFC

James Bay AA 6 – 23 Capilano RFC

UVic Vikes 12 – 41(+1) Burnaby Lake Rugby Club

Burnaby 41, UVic 12

Burnaby came out firing and capitalized on a number of UVic penalties in the opening minutes. Burnaby’s scrum half Geoff Ryan converted two quick penalties and with the 6-0 lead, had the Vikes on the back foot early.

“Because this was our first game against an Island team and we didn’t know what to expect, we came out strong with the idea they would be our best opposition so far,” said Burnaby’s captain Mike Gough. “Our strong start and too many penalties by them allowed us to have an early lead, which allowed us to calm the game down.”

Burnaby were relentless in the opening half punishing the Vikes for several scrum and breakdown infractions. The league’s top try-scorer Jeke Gotegote crossed over twice. Gough dotted down and combined with three straight conversions by Ryan, Burnaby were up 27-0 at the half.

After the break, the Vikes found their footing and second row Brett Beukeboom punched in a try to make it 27-5. Burnaby responded with some impressive rolling maul work to eventually see Nathan Mantle barrel through for the score.

Fighting for the bonus point in the second half, the Vikes saw Chase Kelliher finish off a series of fluid back plays to cross over. Freshman Pat Kay kicked the conversion to make it 34-12.

Burnaby produced their fifth and final try, grinding down the UVic defence before spinning it wide to Giuseppe Laudisio, who crossed over to make it 39-12. Ryan tacked on his fifth conversion to round out the scoring at 41-12.

The victory marked the first time Burnaby had defeated UVic in Premier League play since April 4th, 2008 when they downed the students 25-22 at Wallace Field.

“Our back line played really well but our forwards had to work hard to keep up with the younger and fitter students,” added Gough. As for the perfect 4-0 record, the Burnaby captain says the season is still very young. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves as two of those wins were against understrength sides from earlier this year. We still aren’t sure how strong the remaining Island sides will be either.”

Around the league

Across town on the North Shore, reigning Lower Mainland champions Capilano RFC (3-1) were at home to Vancouver Island champs James Bay AA (3-1). Fresh off a 25-0 drubbing at the hands of Burnaby last weekend, Capilano were in top form on Saturday, defeating the Bays 23-6. The loss was James Bay’s first of 2012 and marks the first time the Island champs were held without a try this season. Capilano’s tries were recorded by Nate Rees and Glen McKinnon. Caps scrum half Matt Yanagiya led all scorers with 13 points, slotting three penalties and two conversions. James Bay’s two penalties were both converted by Dan Kilpatrick. Next Saturday, James Bay will look to rebound against the UVic Vikes at MacDonald Park, while Capilano are at home to the UBCOB Ravens.

Over on Vancouver Island, reigning provincial champions Castaway Wanderers (3-1) ran in seven tries to down the UBCOB Ravens (1-3) 37-19 at Windsor Park. Brian Mackenzie recorded two tries for CW, with tallies also scored by Mack Poole, Jason Burt, Kenny Goodland, Johnny Morris and Matt Buckley. Pita Savea kicked the conversion to round out the scoring. The Ravens offence was led by kicker Dan Wainright who recorded four penalties and a conversion for 14 points. Ian Manly recorded the Raven’s only try. Next up, the Castaway Wanderers head to the Lower Mainland on February 11th for a rematch of the 2011 Rounsefell Cup final against Meraloma Rugby Club.

The Meralomas (1-3) will be riding high off their 56-0 bonus point victory Abbotsford RFC (0-4) today. Abby, meanwhile, are at home to Burnaby at CFV Exhibition Park.

Results: Ceili’s Cup League (Tier 1 First Division) – Sat. February 4th

Meraloma Rugby Club 52(+1) – 13 Abbotsford RFC

UBCOB Ravens 0 – 55(+1) Castaway Wanderers RFC

James Bay AA 12 – 60(+1) Capilano

UVic Norsemen 13 – 25 Burnaby Lake Rugby Club