Crucial points at stake this weekend in Premier League schedule

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VANCOUVER (ISN) – With just four rounds to go in the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League regular season, this weekend’s match ups will have crucial ramifications on the playoffs set to kick off on May 5th.

Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. March 31st:

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club at James Bay AA (MacDonald Park) 2:45pm

Castaway Wanderers at Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park) 2:45pm

UBCOB Ravens at Abbotsford RFC (CFV Exhibition) 2:45pm

Meraloma Rugby Club at UVic Vikes (Wallace Field) 2:45pm

 

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club at James Bay AA (MacDonald Park) 2:45pm

This weekend’s rubber match between table leaders James Bay Athletic Association (9-1) and Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (6-3) will provide an entertaining fixture for Island rugby fans. The Bays narrowly escaped Burnaby on March 24th with a 21-15 victory, courtesy of some crucial goal kicking by standout Connor Braid. Braid contributed a conversion, two penalties and an important drop goal to combine with tries from Sands Falk and Thyssen De Goede for the win. Courtesy of their league-leading defence which is averaging just 13.4 points per game against this season, James Bay have won six straight Premier League matches.

After jumping out to a 6-1 start, Burnaby has dropped their last two matches against the league’s top sides. Burnaby fell 24-20 to reigning Rounsefell Cup champions Castaway Wanderers on March 17th, and then dropped last week’s home fixture against James Bay. With a game-in-hand Burnaby is comfortably holding down fourth place and the final playoff berth, boasting a six-point lead over Meraloma Rugby Club in the standings. Burnaby’s key offensive weapons continue to be kicker Geoff Ryan who ranks third in the Premier League with 61 points, and fourth-ranked Jeke Gotegote who has 55. Gotegote is currently the league’s leading try scorer having dotted down 11 times this season, including one try against the Bays last weekend. James Bay are currently undefeated at home, while Burnaby are 4-1 on the road.

 

Castaway Wanderers at Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park) 2:45pm

Klahanie Park will play host to a matchup between the no. 2 Castaway Wanderers (7-2-1) and no. 3 Capilano RFC (7-3). The reigning Rounsefell Cup champions Castaway Wanderers have won three straight, including a 25-20 win over Meraloma Rugby Club. Capilano’s most recent loss came at the hands of Meraloma, when they were dealt a 18-12 defeat at Connaught Park.

Consistently topping the scoring charts this season is Capilano’s Matt Yanagiya who has a whopping 93 points. Yanagiya has crossed over for three tries, kicked 10 penalties and contributed 24 conversions. Capilano’s Gordie Sawers, a former Canadian national team sevens speedster is currently tied for 10th in league scoring with 30 points through six tries. CW have held down a top-four spot in the standings and currently lead the league offensively averaging 31.4 ppg. Key contributors have been Pita Savea (32 pts) and Canadian World Cup standout Ander Monro (29 pts). When these two sides last met back in January of 2011, CW edged Capilano 5-0 at Klahanie Park.

 

UBCOB Ravens at Abbotsford RFC (CFV Exhibition) 2:45pm

After a series of tough losses where the UBCOB Ravens (3-7) dropped three straight matches, the Vancouver-based club came out firing last weekend and downed Abbotsford RFC 67-19. Ravens kicker Ed Fairhurst will look to build on his impressive outing last week where he notched two tries, seven conversions and a penalty. Abbotsford (1-8) are currently fighting to avoid relegation to the Tier Two competition next year and are currently five points shy of the Uvic Vikes in the standings. For Abbotsford, this week is crucial as their next four match ups are against Burnaby, James Bay and Capilano.

 

Meraloma Rugby Club at UVic Vikes (Wallace Field) 2:45pm

Meraloma (4-5-1) are currently six points back of a playoff berth and are struggling to find the form that saw them advance to their fourth straight Rounsefell Cup final in 2011. The Vikes, who made it to the Premier League semifinals last year, are in unfamiliar territory with a 1-9 record and in 7th place. The students will be bolstered by the return of their national team sevens standouts Nathan Hirayama and Sean Duke and will look to their veterans to generate some offence. A bright spot in UVic’s 2012 Premier League campaign has been rookie kicker Pat Kay, who has racked up 51 points this season and ranks fifth in overall league scoring.

Ceili’s Cup League (Tier 1 First Division) – Sat. March 31st:

UBCOB Ravens at Abbotsford RFC (CFV Exhibition) 1:00pm

Castaway Wanderers at Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park) 1:00pm

Meraloma Rugby Club at UVic Norsemen (Wallace Field) 1:00pm

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club at James Bay AA (MacDonald Park) 1:00pm

 

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