September 15, 2012, VANCOUVER – A new era with first year head coach Angel Cividanes at the helm saw Meraloma Rugby Club open their 2012-13 Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League season with a 27-5 bonus point win over the University of Victoria Vikes. Across town at Klahanie Park, the reigning Rounsefell Cup champions Capilano RFC dealt newly promoted Bayside Athletic Association a 32-6 loss.
Meraloma 27, UVic Vikes 5
Meraloma led from start to finish on Saturday as 2009 BC Rugby Player of the Year Eric Wilson recorded a game-high 12 points and set up a late try to secure the bonus point.
Wilson put the Meralomas on the board early with a penalty and minutes later back rower Lynrd Hall pushed the lead to 8-0. UVic’s speedy full back Kane Wyatt responded with a strong solo effort, sprinting down the touch line to go over for the team’s only score to make it 8-5.
In the second half a depleted Vikes’ lineup – who were without several starters seconded to the Pacific Tyee versus Ontario Blues Canadian Rugby Championship fixture – struggled against a physically dominating Meraloma pack. The students lost several of their own scrums and lineouts and a yellow card to their front row saw them down to 14 for a crucial ten minutes of play.
The yellow saw Meralomas awarded a try on the five metre line where their pack push through and their no. 8 fed Wilson who went over untouched for a try. The scrum half converted his own score for the 15-5 lead.
Up next was Meraloma winger Shawn Mercier who went over and with Wilson providing the extras it was 22-5. As the home side continued to pile on the pressure owning much of the possession inside the Vikes’ 22, it was Wilson who picked up a loose ball and caught the UVic defence off-guard by hiking it through his legs to an awaiting Sam Jenkins who went through for the fourth try. Final score Meraloma 27, Uvic Vikes 5.
“To score four tries in your first game of the season I think is a good starting point,” said Cividanes, eager to secure his first win at the helm. “In terms of possession we were very aggressive, strong in the set pieces and we had a solid platform. We stole their lineouts and scrums which we have to be happy about.”
On the opposite touch line, Vikes head coach Doug Tate was pleased with his team’s effort despite missing several of their senior players.
“It’s hard to get things going when you have so many players called up and we haven’t had much continuity,” Tate said. “But I thought for our first game with plenty of new guys that we played well. It gave the opportunity for some of these young guys to play at this level and with the new [year long] season, we are going to be relying on a lot of these players further down the road.”
Ceili’s Cup League (Tier 1 First Division) – Sat. September 15th:
Bayside 28(+1) – 62(+1) Capilano
UVic Norsemen 63(+1) – 17 Meraloma Rugby Club
Castaway Wanderers 32(+1) – 12 James Bay AA