by Andrew Smith
March 1, 2014, VICTORIA, BC (ISN) – Led by Canadian international Ciaran Hearn’s 24-point haul on Saturday afternoon, the no.5 Castaway Wanderers (5-4) won their third straight Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League match in a 44-5 defeat of no.7 Vancouver Rowing Club (4-5) at Windsor Park.
The win launched the Oak Bay-based club from seventh to fifth in the league standings and they now sit just one point shy of a playoff position with five rounds to go in the regular season.
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. March 1st:
Vancouver Rowing Club 5 – 44(+1) Castaway Wanderes RFC
UVic Vikes 26(+2) – 27(+1) Burnaby Lake
James Bay AA 33(+1) – 19 UBCOB Ravens
Meraloma 0 – 22(+1) Capilano RFC
Hearn led all scorers with four tries and a pair of conversions. Tries were also recorded by Canadian international prop Jake Ilnicki, as well as no.8 Gord Kehoe, winger Keenan Horton and outside centre Jordan Henderson.
“Our forward pack is pretty formidable right now. There are at least four to five national team guys available for selection and the other guys in our pack aren’t exactly slouches,” said CW head coach Ian Hyde-Lay. “Our player resources are so much better than they were before Christmas when we were struggling a little bit.
“Today we played in cold, wet conditions and [Rowers] really had us under pressure at the start,” Hyde-Lay added. “We took about 15 minutes to stabilize but were on the front foot for most of the match. I would not have predicted that score and really we were pretty fortunate with a couple of our tries. We also capitalized on one of their mistakes and ran the ball back the full 90 to score.”
CW will put their win streak on the line when they face no.1 Burnaby Lake (8-1) on March 8th at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. The clash will be a rematch of last year’s semifinal which saw Burnaby down CW 26-10 on May 4th, 2013.
Burnaby held on for their fifth straight win on Saturday, defeating a relentless no.4 UVic Vikes (4-5) by a score of 27-26. The Vikes rallied back from 27-5 down and secured two crucial bonus points on the road.
Across town no.3 Capilano RFC (5-4) were made to work in a 22-0 win over no.8 Meraloma (0-9). The match was a defensive stalemate until just before the half when Capilano drew first blood. A missed penalty attempt from the touch line was recovered by Capilano who then mauled their way towards the try line before Evan Marshall eventually regathered the ball and dotted down.
“The Lomas were very good defensively and made us work for everything,” said Capilano head coach Tom Larisch. “We were very fortunate to convert a missed penalty and turn it into a try. Full credit to the Lomas as they were very well organized but I think the work we did in the first half tired them out.”
The fourth match of the weekend saw reigning Rounsefell Cup champions no.2 James Bay (6-3) bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to CW by downing no.6 UBCOB Ravens (4-5) by a score of 33-19.
Additional fixtures for March 8 will see Capilano RFC head to Brockton Oval for a clash with Vancouver Rowing Club. A Vancouver west side derby will see the UBCOB Ravens at Meraloma and a Victoria derby will see James Bay away to UVic.