Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
September 27, 2014 Victoria, BC (ISN) – It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for rugby, if you are a Castaway Wanderer fan, as both divisions handed the JBAA sides losses, and Wanderers fans some great rugby action at Windsor Park Saturday afternoon.
The Wanderers prevailed in a physical match up that saw the Oak bay side win 29- 14 at Windsor Park Saturday afternoon. JBAA’s Spencer Dalziel finds little room to run. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Castaway Wanderers rugby Prems defeated the James Bay Bays 29-14 in a cross town rivalry to deny the league leaders a perfect regular season record and set the stage for the Barnard Cup playoffs, while the Ones Times Cup division put down James Bay 43-12.
Scrum Half Riley MacPherson distributes the ball out of the scrum to push up field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Premier Division Wanderers, after an ugly 62-17 defeat last weekend at the hands of the University of Victoria, looked for a push back game against a tough James Bay Squad that many feel would take Vancouver Island’s 2014 Barnard Cup. The Oak Bay side, with the return of some key players, looked for the added support of BC Bears returnees Gord Keogh, Jon Morris and Keenan Horton.
Wanderers Sam Rocher takes off up field past the JBBA defense – Erich Eichhorn image (ww.allsportmedia.ca)
For the Wanderers it was about jumping onto the board early and keeping sustained pressure on the talented James Bay side. The Wanderers would do just that. Sam Rocher would kick a penalty kick at about the five minute mark of the first half to put the team up 3-0, and give them the first lead in the game. A lead they would not relinquish.
Sam Rocher proved dangerous for the Wanderers, picking up necessary field position and stealing away the ball in a pivotal play to seal his teams win – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Wanderers would jump out to a 17-0 lead on tries by Gord Keogh and Jon Morris, who would strip the ball away from James Bay and run it in for the score. James Bay would answer late in the half on a try by Taylor Dalziel after a huge effort by James Bay to break down a Wanderer rock wall to cross the line. James Bay would start to crawl back into the game. James Bay would make a final push in the first half, sitting about three metres out, looking to put the ball down in the end zone. The Wanderers would turn aside the threat with an impressive defensive stand that would see time and James Bay’s chance to score expire. Teams would go into the locker room with a 17-7 Castaway lead.
Wanderers defensive committment kocks the ball loose from JBBA – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Tyler Dalziel crosses the line for his JBBA’s first try of the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
James Bay would continue push the Wanderers early in the second half on a try by prop Noah Barker to make the game interesting at 17-14. James Bay, in a pivotable possession, would squander a chance to go ahead against a depleted fourteen man Wanderers team. After a physical, hard-working effort by JBBA to get within 8 metres of a try, Wanderers Sam Rocher would steal away the ball from a JBAA forward sending the Wanderers on a field-length run, virtually unprotected, for a try that would deflate the Bays chances to push ahead. Wanderers would go up 24-14. The Wanderers, adding salt, one more time, to James Bays wounds, would score after on a beautiful cross kick that would be picked up on the bounce by Stephen Moser and run in for the try and the 29-14 victory.
The Castaway Wanderers were all high fives after a team effort to beat a tough James Bay team Saturday at Windsor Park – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Asked about the defensive performance and the importance of the win, Wanderers Captain John Braddock would comment, “ Our defense did it for us in the end. Just working for each other. We have some special players in Keenan Horton and Jon Morris. The guys just did their jobs. I said to the team in the huddle that this is where our season starts. We got our butts kicked last weekend by UVic. We were in a similar situation in that game. That game could have gone either way too. This time we were really able finish the game.”
Joel Bratton (#2) and company latch on to a JBBA player. A strong defensive performance was key to sucess – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Division One Wanderers would also take away an impressive win that set the stage for the latter Premier game. The Ones would put down seven tries for a decisive 43-12 win over the Times Cup Division leading James Bay. James Bay came into the game undefeated in two previous matches. With the win and a game in hand, the Wanderers now share first place and undefeated records with Cowichan.