BC Rugby_Logo_small

Story by Phil Meyer – Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

May 5, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Saturday at historic MacDonald Park, two of BC Rugby’s best teams – Bays and Caps – both missing players to injury and foreign wars, collided to provide a game judged among “the best” that followers of both sides could remember.

While participants in rugby too often try to trick the system, Pete Rushton (Bays) and Tom Larish (Caps) have built their teams around close knit tactical play, respect for teammates, opponents, and the integrity of the game. Results were clearly on display yesterday.

James Bays’ Jordan WilsonRoss launches himself into the end zone for the try against Capilano in semi-final Premier Rugby action Saturday afternoon. James Bay won, but it took overtime to decide their fate – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

A total of 61 points were scored by the teams. But it was defence and stamina that finally determined the outcome. For the first ten minutes, Caps led by their front row of, Dan Fiss, Evan Mallory, Jesse Ryan, and Glen McKinnon at the back – secure much of the ball – and Matt Sims puts a penalty kick through the uprights to stake the North Shore men to a 3-0 lead. But the Bays were tackling all over the field, led by their Blue Crush; Peter Gillespie, Franni Yoon, Russ Ward, Nolan Miles and Jimmy de Goede, take back ground, and momentum begins to turn.

 J9Y6396 - Copy
Spence Dalziel would score the winning try for James Bay with about 1 1/2 minutes left in overtime to defeat Capilano – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Capilano would storm back in the second half after a 22-3 deficit to tie the game at the end of regulation – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Thirteen minutes in, Mitch Bancroft breaks up-field – pass to Jordon Wilson-Ross – finish for the score by Morgan Williams. Brother Jeff kicks the convert. JBAA 7 – Caps 3.

Three more minutes – Dave Moonlight on a brilliant solo effort – blocks a Capilano kick – gathers it himself – races 35 meters to score. Jeff Williams converts. Bays 14 – Caps 3.

Jeff Williams adds a penalty goal at 21 minutes. Then, four minutes to half, a backfield score from a ruck. Dalziel to Morgan W. to Moonlight – a final pass springs Jordan Wilson-Ross, who rambles down the sideline, goes airborne, and scores in the left corner. Jeff Williams’ convert attempt hits the upright and stays out. At the half, JBAA 22 and in control – Capilanos 3.

James Bay’s Dave Moonlight would run through 3 Capilano defenders before be hauled down here – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Linesman and referee get a closer look at a try that never was as Wilson-Ross was down before crossing the line – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

In the second half, momentum turns anew. Caps, now facing down-slope – a slight favouring wind at their backs – play shutout D – and pour back three trys: Adam Zaruba at 53 minutes; Matt Sims with 65 minutes gone; and Steven Jones with 10 minutes left. Sims converts two of these, and the 80 minute mark sees a 22-22 tie – Caps coming on – Bays, with rookies Rain Slavica and Monty Tichkowski now in the game, playing dogged D.

Morgan Williams of James bay makes sure that the Capilano runner takes a rest on the pitch with a hard hit – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Ball carrier Dalziel tries to split the Caps defensive line instead of passing the ball out – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The BCRU playoff format calls for two 10-minute halves in such circumstances. Capilanos win the toss – and elect to force JBAA to continue to play up-field and up-wind for the ensuing ten minutes. Then, another momentum turner – as the Blue Crush pick tired bodies off the turf – and surge to and over the Capilano goal – Nolan Miles touches down in the corner. Convert missed, at 83 minutes the reslults – Bays 27 and again coming on – Caps 22.

Morgan Williams takes a clearing elbow from Caps Brady Carpenter – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Morgan Williams takes a clearing elbow from Caps Brady Carpenter – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

At 90 minutes the teams turn round – wind and slope now favouring Bays. Cappilano, battered yet unbowed, come back again – and in a decidedly un-brotherly act, Caps center Taylor Dalziel (brother of JBAA Captain Spence Dalziel) touches down in the corner. It is now Sims’ turn to bounce his (unsuccessful) convert off the goal posts. Caps 27 – Bays 27.

Morgan Williams takes a clearing elbow from Caps Brady Carpenter– Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Bays Brandon Harrison keeps the ball advancing with a pass before he his pull to the deck – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

With five minutes left in this overtime session, a “discussion” on the south sideline as to whether to substitute kicking ace Dan Kilpatrick in for the Bays – “just in case” JBAA gets a last-ditch penalty shot at goal. At 98 minutes, Spenny Dalziel renders this discussion moot. In a decidedly fratricidal act against his brother, Spenser finds the seam he has been looking for all day – and slithers and twists 12 meters through to the Capilano goal line for the winning score! Jeff W. with a final conversion. JBAA 34 – Capilanos 27!

Difficult to pick “outstanders” on a day when EVERYONE on both teams came to play! For the Bays: special mention to Jeff Williams, dusting himself off to “do enough”; Spence, Morgan, Meech, JR, Baby Ruth and the Blue Crushers. Pat Fraser – “Most Inspiring” player season long – and likely on this day as well! I’ll leave Caps Coach Larish to mention his guys.

Congratulations all around between two great TEAMS. Bays on to a final challenge against Burnaby Lake at Wallace Field next Saturday.

In the words of one olde refugee from the Ebb Tide vs. Snow Caps early game – and referring to his donation at the gate: “This is the best ten bucks of entertainment I’ve had in many years!”