Capilano head to Burnaby in search of first Premier League win

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October 31, 2013, BURNABY, BC (ISN) – Capilano RFC will head to Burnaby Lake this weekend looking for their first win of the 2013-14 season against the only undefeated team in the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League, Burnaby Lake Rugby Club.

Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. November 2nd:

UVic Vikes at Vancouver Rowing Club (Brockton Oval) 2:45pm

Capilano RFC at Burnaby Lake (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 2:45pm

Meraloma Rugby Club at James Bay AA (MacDonald Park) 2:45pm

UBCOB Ravens at Castaway Wanderers RFC (Windsor Park) 2:45p

Capilano are 0-3 in Premier League play but have dropped two of their matches by three points, including last week’s 25-22 loss against Vancouver Rowing Club. The Rowers scored a pivotal try in the dying minutes and Capilano couldn’t convert their pressure into points with a game-deciding penalty that they knocked on inches from the try line.

“We’ve had some tough losses but at the same time we could be 3-0 right now,” said Capilano head coach Tom Larisch. “We just need to be more organized on defence and take care of the ball. We’ve had too many turnovers and if you don’t have the ball, it’s pretty tough to win.”

This Saturday’s clash will see the two most successful Lower Mainland programs in recent years square off at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

“For various reasons we’ve developed a strong rivalry and our guys are always excited for the Burnaby matches,” Larisch added. “[Burnaby] play hard, organized rugby and if you don’t show up ready to compete it’s going to be a long day. They have serious game breakers that can score with one touch of the ball.”

The two sides squared off in the Miller Cup Final in late September for the Vancouver Rugby Union regional title and it was Burnaby who fought off Capilano’s late come back to secure a 24-22 win at Klahanie Park.

Burnaby Lake head coach Kris de Scossa is wary of Capilano heading into Saturday’s clash and knows their winless record will see them hungrier than usual in an already heated rivalry.

“Capilano always come out firing and they’ve got competitive players of the highest caliber,” de Scossa said. “They’ve had some very close games that could have gone either way.”

Burnaby advanced to the Rounsefell Cup provincial final last May and with a current undefeated record matching their consistent play of 2012-13, de Scossa says his team are able to handle the pressure of the big games this season.

“We have been building a great team culture over the last three years and we have players that have bought into a structure and what we’re trying to achieve,” de Scossa added. “Every week we go into games knowing that everyone wants to play us and that they want to beat us that much more.”

Both sides have benefitted from recent additions to their lineups as they strengthened their player pools in the offseason. Former Bayside scrum half Cody Rockson and loose forward Gurinder Kalar have fit seamlessly into the Burnaby roster and have been key pieces to their success early on. The squad is also captained by veteran Anthony Luca who has a number of BC Bears experienced front rowers alongside him in Micha Govorchin, Andrew Lackner and Scott MacKay. Burnaby’s back line has a number of threats including Canada-A speedster Joe Dolesau.

While Capilano have been dealing with a number of injury set backs, they have benefitted from the leadership of returning players no.8 Glen McKinnon and fly half/centre Charlie Jones. New additions to the roster include Clayton Hunter-James and Hamish Johnstone. Hunter-James is undersized according to Larisch, but he makes up for it with a huge heart and physicality.

“We’re quite athletic this year and not necessarily a big and powerful side,” Larish added. “But almost anybody on the field can step in and fill certain positions and we are able to play an exciting brand of rugby.”

The two sides will scrum down at 2:45pm at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

Around the league

Across town at Vancouver’s Brockton Oval, the Vancouver Rowing Club (2-1) will look to continue their steady return to the top flight Premier League when they face off against the second-ranked UVic Vikes (2-1). Third place UBCOB Ravens (2-1) are on the road to Castaway Wanderers (1-2) in Oak Bay. Meraloma (0-3) will also head to the Island in search of their first win when they face off against reigning Rounsefell Cup champions James Bay (2-1).

Premier League Scoring Leaders

  • 37 pts – Fergus Hall (UVic Vikes)
  • 31 pts – Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake)
  • 25 pts – Clayton Meeres (James Bay)
  • 22 pts – Shane O’Connor (UBCOB Ravens)
  • 20 pts – Taylor Dalziel (Capilano RFC)
  • 20 pts – Brian Murphy (Burnaby Lake)
  • 16 pts – Mike Hall (Meraloma)
  • 16 pts – Matt Sims (Capilano RFC)
  • 15 pts – Dan Hrycyk (UVic Vikes)
  • 15 pts – Shea O’Hallahan (UBCOB Ravens)
  • 15 pts – James Reekie (Burnaby Lake)