May 11, 2013, Vancouver, BC (ISN) – A full slate of rugby provincial finals wrapped up on Saturday at Klahanie Park with Vancouver Rowing Club edging Abbotsford RFC 31-27 in a championship thriller for the men’s Okanagan Spring Brewery League One title.
Abbotsford downed the Surrey Beavers for the Okanagan League Two title while both Third Division Tier A and B finals went to Capilano RFC.
Okanagan Spring Brewery Men’s League 1 Final
Vancouver Rowing Club 31 – 27 Abbotsford RFC
Reigning champs Vancouver Rowing Club successfully defending their provincial title on Saturday, downing Abbotsford 31-27 in a championship thriller that changed leads four times. The Rowers found themselves down 12-10 at the half but jumped out to a 24-15 lead in the second frame and managed to hold off a resilient young Abbotsford lineup for the win.
“We came out with a game plan to take them on up front, a change from our usual expansive game and I think that really surprised [Abbotsford],” said Rowers head coach Jeremy Sabell. “Before the game I told our players to go out and give it everything they had and they did. They play for each other and it shows in how they play that they are such a tight group.”
A key player in the Rowers win was youngster Henry Recinos who only recently has moved into the fly half role and taken over kicking responsibilities for his injured teammate. Recinos was smooth from the tee, converting Duncan James’ early try and then hitting a long range penalty that landed on the cross bar and went through for the Rowers’ opening 10 points. Abby led at the half through tries from Brent Bradbury and Pat Shiels with a convert from kicking hooker Some Mosegau.
Mosegau opened the second half with another penalty for Abby who were up 15-10.
The Rowers responded with 14 points as Sean Dignan and Caleb Hansen each went over for tries and Recinos providing a pair of converts.
Abbotsford’s Dan Helm would answer back with a try and Mosegau converted to see Abby trailing 21-24.
Up next for the Rowers was Phil Hose who barrelled through for a try and with Recinos going 5-for-5 through the uprights led 31-22. Lucas de Beer would pull back a late try for Abbotsford but the comeback fell short with the final score 31-27.
“That match could have gone either way but credit to the Rowers for their play,” said Abbotsford head coach Jason Young. “I couldn’t be more proud of our players though as we had a great season. It was great for our club to make it to three provincial finals.”
Okanagan Spring Brewery Men’s League 2 Final
Surrey Beavers Athletic Association 26 – 36 Abbotsford RFC
After jumping out to a 26-0 lead, Abbotsford seemed to take their foot off the gas in the Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two Final, allowing Surrey back into the game but still led 26-14 at the half. The second frame saw both sides competing in a track meet as Surrey closed the gap to 26-33 but a late Abby penalty secured the win. Abbotsford tries were recorded by Brian Chin, Tanner Saliken, Gareth Bartlett, Iqbal Sidhu and Tyler Adams with four conversions added by full back Jordan Tait. Bryce Hewko provided the insurance marker with the late penalty. Surrey lock Bob Brown recorded a trio of tries and Trevor Sear also crossed over to score for the Beavers. Nathan Silva kicked three conversions.
Division III – Tier A Final
Brit Lions 7 – 30 Capilano(A) RFC
Capilano were convincing winners in the opening match of the day, leading from start to finish with a convincing 22-0 half time lead. Brit Lions would pull back a try from Steve Lenahan and conversion through Dale Minimata but were unable to match the fire power of their opponents. Caps ran in five tries through Andrew Crandell, Graham Buckler, Tristan Barnett and a brace from Santiago Luna. Greg Thorburn added two converts and a penalty with Tim Adair also adding a penalty to round out the scoring. The Capilano-A side were undefeated in 2013, going 8-0 in Tier A competition and had beaten Kats RFC 15-10 in the semifinals.
Division III – Tier B Final
Capilano(B) RFC 27 – 12 Abbotsford RFC
Third-seeded Capilano-B downed the top-ranked Abbotsford RFC in the provincial final on Saturday, notching four tries to see the club lift its second provincial title on the day. Caps had been level 7-7 with Abby at the break, but unleashed their runners for three tries to put the game out of reach in the second half. Caps tries came courtesy of Colton Webster, Dante Samiarelli, Matt Lee and Daniel Hickey. Chad Carlsen provided two conversions and penalty for the win. Abby’s points came courtesy of Lane Tennant and Brian Cuthbertson tries as well as a conversion from Khaene Hirschman.