Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
April 26,2014 Victoria,BC (ISN) – It was the match most expected, and it certainly didn’t disappoint the fans as the James Bay Bays punched their ticket to Burnaby with a 16-13 win over a strong Castaway Wanderer side at MacDonald Park Saturday afternoon.
James Bay would advance to the Rounsefell Cup with a 16-13 win over the Castaway Wanderers. Bays Spencer Dalziel is tackled by Matt Buckley – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
James Bay would take to the board quickly, putting the ball through the uprights on a penalty kick by Dan Mathie. Both teams, penalized frequently in the opening half, couldn’t take advantage of extra points on the free kicks or conversion with kicks failing to find the middle of the uprights. James Bay would cross the CW line twice for trys, the last by Taylor Dalziel on second effort push to make it 13-0. The Wanderers would finally take penalty points from the Bays on a kick from Ander Munro to make it 13-3 at the half.
Castaway Matt Buckley hands off the ball before he is taken to the ground by Jim de Goede – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Spencer Dalziel misses the straightarm as he get wrapped up in a textbook tackle – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Castaways would seemingly wear down the Bays side, backing up the home team almost at will from the scrum to dominate the second half. CW would score their first of two trys on the efforts of Jordan Henderson to pull even at 13-13 with about 8 minutes remaining. The Oak Bay team, with a chance to pull ahead, would kick wide on the conversion to keep the score tied. James Bay would jump at the open door, being offered yet another penalty kick, and make good on the kick to go up one last time 16-13.
Castaway Wanderers front line would make it tough on James Bay in the second half with thier scrum work – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
There was no easy tackles in this semifinal match as this Wanderer will atest to – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
James Bay would hang on late by the narrowest of margins, as the Castaways, with one last push, would pin the Bays in their own corner of the field. Unable to retake ball possession, James Bay come away with he winning result and advance to the Rounsefell Cup against the regular season, league winning Burnaby Lakers.
Ray Barkwell carries the ball for yards untouched – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
James Bay and National Team player Jordan Wilson-Ross would comment after the game on the margin of victory, “ We can never misjudge our opponents. We knew they would come back and give us a tough one (game). We were a little shaky. but we did it. Now we have to go defend our championship. That will be another tough game.”
When asked about the Bays performance, Head Coach Rushton would comment, “ It’s what we expected in terms of a battle. I felt the first thirty minutes of the game was just outstanding. They guys just did exactly what we described on the board. Not a lot of points, but that’s playoff rugby.”
Game MVP Nick Blevins breaks tackle for extra field yardage – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
There wasn’t much running room during Saturday’s matchup as both teams kept tight defensive pressure on each other all game – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )