February 2, 2013, Abbotsford, BC (ISN) – Defending McKechnie Cup champions Fraser Valley put a grinding halt to any hopes of the Vancouver Island Tide prematurely celebrating a provincial title on Saturday, handing their visitors a 25-7 defeat in round two of the 2013 McKechnie Cup.
Just a week after thumping Vancouver by a score of 33-13 in the series opener, the Island Tide found themselves faced with an extremely physical and well drilled Valley side.
Fraser Valley opened the scoring just two minutes in, when scrum half Cody Rockson (Bayside) capped off a series of strong phases to put the hosts up 5-0. The Valley’s attack was direct and constant and their back line, featuring a number of loose forwards, was especially dominant at the contact point.
Valley fly half Alec Douglas (Burnaby Lake) would stretch the lead to 8-0 with a penalty before no. 12 Chris Chalmers (Abbotsford) barrelled through in the far corner to make it 13-0 just before the half.
“We knew the Island were going to bring a very talented group of players,” said Fraser Valley head coach Kris de Scossa. “But our unity was our strength and although we didn’t have many stars or Canada players – Aaron Flagg being one of the only ones – we took the game to them and I think that surprised them.”
The second frame saw Rockson cross over in the 51st minute with Douglas providing the extras to make it 20-0.
The Island began to find their footing in the final 30 minutes and it was Canada U20 standout Pat Kay who eventually grubbered through the relentless defensive pressure and collected his own kick off the bounce and dotted down in the 73rd minute. Kay converted to make it 7-20 but any momentum the Tide began to build was thwarted by loose passes and knock-ons. Fraser Valley would respond with some bruising runs and eventually put Craig McLaughin through in the 80th minute to make it 25-7.
“We did have four loose forwards playing in the backs,” de Scossa added. “I want to quantify that though because the loose forwards have all played in the backs. They knew what they were doing and the physicality of the game was something that we wanted to address and take to the Island. And you know our defensive structures worked very well.”
Vancouver Island (1-1) now have to wait for the outcome of the February 16th clash between Vancouver (0-1) and Fraser Valley (1-0) to determine this year’s McKechnie Cup winner. The two sides will wrap up the 2013 series at Stanley Park’s Brockton Oval.
McKechnie Cup (Senior Men) – Feb 2nd, 2013
Fraser Valley 25, Vancouver Island 7
Valley Tries: ’02 Cody Rockson, ’38 Chris Chalmers, ’51 Cody Rockson, ’80 Craig McLaughlin
Valley Conversions: Alec Douglas
Valley Penalties: Alec Douglas
Island Tries: ’73 Pat Kay
Island Conversions: Pat Kay
McKechnie Cup (Senior Men) – Jan 26, 2013
Vancouver Island 33, Vancouver 13
Island tries: ’09 Pat Kay, ’57 Doug Fraser, ’71 Pat Kay, ’79 Jonny Morris
Island converts: Pat Kay x2
Island penalties: Pat Kay x3
Vancouver tries: ’24 Bryan Tyrer
Vancouver converts: Chris Robinson
Vancouver penalties: Chris Robinson x2