October 10, 2012, VANCOUVER – One of the Lower Mainland’s most heated club rivalries will take centre stage this Saturday when Burnaby Lake Rugby Club head to the North Shore to face reigning Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League champions Capilano RFC.
Recent events have seen the rivalry kicked up a notch with their on-field battles proving to be highly physical and entertaining spectacles. During 2012 Premier League play, the two sides split the series, each recording wins on the road. Burnaby hammered Capilano 25-0 in late January, and the Caps returned the favour three weeks later, downing Burnaby 28-8 at the Lake. Both sides advanced to the postseason where Burnaby bowed out in the semifinal rounds and Capilano went on to lift the Rounsefell Cup in a championship thriller over James Bay.
“We have been pretty big rivals over the last couple years and I know it will be a dog fight again this weekend,” said Capilano captain Charlie Jones. “I don’t think either side really likes each other that much.”
Burnaby have played just one game this season due to rescheduled matches and will be looking to pick up where they left off last May. Saturday will feature four matches between the two clubs with their Premier, Firsts, Thirds and Women’s Tier One sides competing.
“We don’t have a historic rival but in recent years you could definitely say it has been Capilano,” said Burnaby’s Director of Rugby Simon Smoldon. “We look forward to games against a proven side which allow us to see where we stand. They have a knack for winning tight games and it will be a test in each of the four divisions against them.”
Burnaby’s roster features a number of last year’s veteran core including the battle tested front rowers Anthony Luca, Andrew Lackner, Scott Mackay and Micha Govorchin. Excelling at flanker is Scott Plummer, a former SFU football standout and member of BC’s senior men’s roster who defeated Russia in 2009. A new addition to the lineup is Benoit Piffero, a Clermont and Perpignan Academies graduate who played for The Rock in this past summer’s Canadian Rugby Championship.
Capilano will also be looking to limit the amount of space Burnaby centres Joe Dolesau and Jeke Gotegote are given on Saturday. The dynamic duo can turn a game on its head and Dolesau has been watched closely since being named co-Canadian Rugby Player of the Year in 2011. Burnaby’s centres will look to outmuscle Capilano’s pairing consisting of Nate Rees and Canada U20 graduate Taylor Dalziel. Rees tallied four tries in their recent win over the UBCOB Ravens and Dalziel has returned to his home club after graduating from UBC.
“We have a completely different team after four or five of our guys retired and we are a much younger side,” added Jones, who captained Capilano to last year’s regional and provincial titles. “We are working it through with some of the new people and we still haven’t played to our potential yet.”
Key players who returned with Jones for the title defence include no. 8 Glen McKinnon and Canada U20 grad and second row Adam Zaruba. Scrum half Matt Yanagiya is also back in action having missed the postseason in last year’s title run.
“Glen is one of our best players and is always consistent,” added Jones. “Nate [Rees] is a big part of our team and Zaruba is really playing well and stepping up.”
The two Premier sides kick off at 2:45pm with their First Division sides underway at 1:00pm. Both clubs will be sporting pink socks on Saturday with gate admission ($10.00) proceeds going towards breast cancer awareness and research. That evening will also feature the ‘Pink Out Party’ at the Klahanie Park club house with all proceeds also going towards breast cancer awareness.