Rowers gearing up for semifinal showdown with Seattle RFC

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Tier Two Okanagan Spring Brewery League playoffs start Saturday

VANCOUVER (ISN) – The Vancouver Rowing Club will battle Seattle RFC at Brockton Oval on Saturday for a berth to the 2012 provincial final of the Tier Two Okanagan Spring Brewery League One competition.

The two sides are looking to secure the second seed and advance to the May 5th final against the top-seeded Bayside Sharks of White Rock, BC.

TIER 2: Okanagan Spring Brewery League One – Sat. April 28th:

SEMIFINALS: 1st Team Bye weekend – Bayside Athletic Association

SEMIFINALS: Seattle RFC at Vancouver Rowing Club (Brockton Oval) 2:30pm

NOTE: Provincial final scheduled for May 5th

Rowers vs Seattle Preview

After missing out on qualification to the 2012 Premier League, the Vancouver Rowing Club turned their focus to developing a young squad and regrouped with an impressive season in the Tier Two Okanagan Spring Brewery League competition. The Rowers wrapped up the season in second place with a 9-1 record, averaging a second-best 30.4 points per game in offence and led the league defensively allowing just 16.7 ppg.

“After missing out on the [Premier] league, our plan was to make this season about development and getting better in every game,” said Rowers head coach Jeremy Sabell. “We have got a lot of young guys coming through our academy system we founded in 2008 and we have a mix of some very good veteran players. About half of our top two teams have come through the system. In my mind we have exceeded expectations a little bit this year.”

The Rowers have seen a number of blue chips rise to the challenge including loose head prop Noah Barker and Gradyn Bowd, two players called up to the Canadian Under-20 national team for their exhibition series against Romania this past March.

Excelling in the back line, Matt James finished second overall in league scoring (65 pts) with three tries, six penalties and 16 conversions to his credit. The Rowers have also benefited from some strong leadership through the play of scrum half Duncan James.

“We like to think of ourselves as a very balanced team and we are able to attack from anywhere on the field,” Sabell added. “We play a very up-tempo style of play and we have done well because at the foundation we are very organized on defence.”

This weekend the Rowers will play host to Seattle RFC (6-4), a team that won three games at home, but struggled on the road during 2012 competition. The Rowers defeated Seattle in both their meetings coming away with a 36-7 win on March 31st, and a 56-10 decision on March 3rd.

“Seattle are very unpredictable and they have the ability to draw on players from Super League side Old Puget Sound Beach,” Sabell added of this weekend’s opponents. “They have certainly improved throughout the season and we aren’t taking them lightly.”

Key offensive contributors for Seattle include Nate Olsen and centre Casey Cronk. Saturday’s match is scheduled for 2:30pm at Brockton Oval.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE – April 28, 2012

Playoffs kick off in four BC Rugby Union leagues this weekend. In the Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two competition, Bayside Athletic Association are home to Richmond RFC. Playoff venues are subject to change – check back to www.bcrugby.com for updates schedules and field locations.

TIER 2: Okanagan Spring Brewery League One – Sat. April 28th:

SEMIFINALS: 1st Team Bye weekend – Bayside Athletic Association

SEMIFINALS: Seattle RFC at Vancouver Rowing Club (Brockton Oval) 2:30pm

NOTE: Provincial final scheduled for May 5th

 

TIER 2: Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two – Sat. April 28th:

SEMIFINALS: 1st Team Bye weekend – Vancouver Rowing Club

SEMIFINALS: Richmond RFC at Bayside Athletic Association (South Surrey Athl. Complex) 1:00pm

NOTE: Provincial final scheduled for May 5th

 

Province Wide Third Division – Sat. April 28th:

QUARTERFINAL 1: Cowichan Rugby Club at Kamloops RFC (Kamloops Exhibition) 11:30am

QUARTERFINAL 2: Capilano-A at Velox Valhallians (Velox RFC) 1:00pm

QUARTERFINAL 3: Brit Lions at Burnaby-A (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 11:30am

QUARTERFINAL 4: Bayside at Kats (Jericho Park) 1:00pm

 

Big Kahuna Division One – Sat. April 28th:

SEMIFINAL 1: Abbotsford RFC at Cowichan Rugby Club (Cowichan/ Herd Rd) 11:30am

SEMIFINAL 2: Nanaimo at Kamloops (Kamloops Exhibition) 11:30am

 

Langara Fishing Adventures Division Two – Sat. April 28th:

SEMIFINAL 1: Burnaby Lake at Brit Lions (John Oliver Park) 10:00am

SEMIFINAL 2: Meraloma Rugby Club at Ridge Meadows (Maple Ridge Secondary) 10:00am

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