Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens (ISN) (www.javalon.smugmug.com) with files from Phil Meyer (JBAA)

With top players to-ing and fro-ing between their BC Premier clubs, Canada 7’s, Canada 15’s, and various rugby stopping places abroad, it is easy to forget that rugby is a team game. At Windsor Park on Saturday both players and spectators were reminded of this rugby fact – as James Bay of Victoria rode a smothering defence to a 20-7 victory over Castaway Wanderers of Oak Bay, in the latest battle in their Hundred Years War.

The two teams stood 1 and 2 in BC Premier League standings – and each had their sprinkling of National team players. But it was all the Bays, playing comprehensive D together, gritting out scoring chances where they could find them and building their edge minute by minute.

 MG 2300

A strong team performance lead to the James Bay Athletic Association Bays 20-7 victory over cross town rivals Castaway Wanderers RFC. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The first 20 minutes saw no score, as the two teams boshed and parried through a wicked side winding wind. Then, an attacking kick from standoff Connor Braid enabled Nolan Miles score. JBAA 5 – CW 0.

 MG 2339

Connor Braid’s deft kicking lead to JBAA scoring the first try of the game. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Ten minutes on, the Blue Crush pressured goal-ward and Thyssen de Goede powers over in the left corner to put the Bays up 10-0 at the break.

In the second half, the Bays played either cross or upwind, depending on the minute-to-minute direction of gusts. But the JBAA edge continued. At 56 minutes, a downfield push, seemingly involving everyone on the team, saw Captain Hugo Belanger finish off, again in the left corner. Bays 15 – CW 0.

The half continued apace with CW searching for a score amid ferocious JBAA tackling, led by Sean White.

 MG 2311

JBAA’s Hugo Belanger wraps up CW’s Matt Weingart during Saturday’s Direct Insurance Premiership match at Windsor Park. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

Finally, three minutes from time, a try and convert from Ciaran Hern rekindled Castaway Wanderers hope. But Braid was back two minutes later, driving for the final JBAA bonus point try. JBAA 20 – CW 7. The battle secured. The War to continue.

 MG 2365

CW’s Clayton Daum grabs ball during line out against JBAA Bays. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

 MG 2375

JBAA scrumhalf Spence Dalziel moves the ball out to the backs during Saturday’s battle with the Castaway Wanderers. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

There are few, if any, easy games. Yesterday’s Titanic struggle was between the top two teams in the Premiership, with the Bays now in first and Capilano (winners over Abby) now in second next week’s Bays-Caps game at MacDonald Park will see a 1 versus 2 BCRU encounter for the second week in a row.

1st Division

The CW did come away with a win on the day when the Firsts downed JBAA 15-12 in the early game.

Giving Back

The Castaway Wanderers have made a tradition of donating the gate proceeds from one game a year to a charitable organization. This year’s recipient is the Tessa Beauchamp Bursary Program.

$2200 was raised to support athletic scholarships, burn victims and cancer research in honor of the late Tessa Beauchamp who was an 18 year old basketball star from Surrey who overcame severe burns as a toddler, then battled cancer for 4 years.

Those wanting to contribute can contact the Castaway Wanderers Rugby Club.

To view more images please visit my ISN Gallery.