Premier: Velox 37 - Pride 3
- written by John Lyall
A Tale of Two Halves
The Velox Valhallians welcomed Campbell River, Port Alberni, and the Pacific Pride in triple header action on a beautiful Saturday of rugby in Gordon Head. Velox currently in seventh place, on the bubble of making of the 6 team playoff format, were coming off a bonus point victory over Bayside. The Pride, although winless this Premier season, had been playing their opponents very aggressively. The two teams had split their fall series, with only one point to the Pride in aggregate scoring the difference.
A look at the rosters showed a full strength Velox squad, minus eight-man Murray Smith, sitting out a one game suspension for two yellows against the Sharks. Coach Stanley playing at #10, while captain Mark Lawson started again at open side flank. Lunk found himself in the uncustomary position of starting from the bench, returning late Thursday from one of his many work jaunts. The Pride squad looked talented as per usual were missing Justin Mensah-Coker to sevens duty, and Canadian international Stan McKeen to injury.
The first half was a tentative affair, offenses kicking for field position, defenses holding firm when tested. Pride captain Sean-Michael Stephens found himself yellow carded for repeated infringements at the breakdown. This opened the door for Velox to press repeatedly at the Pride goal line. Pride lock Barry Ward made a big tackle on the goal line, stopping the rampaging Ray Young, yet was unable to continue through a concussion. Continual offense saw Velox take a 6 point lead through two Nikkel penalty kicks.
Ward's replacement, Tim Matthews, made an immediate impact: charging down the field after a pilfered ball, to be just stopped at the 5m line, by the cross covering lock Darryl Hall, and winger Travis Quinn. A Velox infringement saw Charles Baumberg notch a penalty to tighten the score to the halftime tally of Velox 6, Pride 3.
The half time speech by captain Lawson and coach Stanley implored for another forty minutes of effort, 'leave it on the field', 'don't let us lose through lack of effort', 'pull your head out of your....' Our season and playoff push in a very competitive league would not allow for slip ups. Halftime changes saw big Lunk come on for Rod Parker.
The second half started with some more commitment and direction from the Velox forwards. A lineout from the 22m line saw Lunk score the first of his two tries from a set piece wind from the back of the lineout. Big Olly Atkinson has some of the softest hands in the league and his ability to feed the rampaging Lunk is a powerful weapon for the Velox squad. Nikkel missed the convert to leave the score at 11-3.
Continued pressure saw the Velox team opt for the corner from a penalty, where a driven lineout from 5m out saw eight-man Scott Harnden score a well executed try. Nikkel hit the convert and the score climbed to 18-3. The Pride made a push to re-enter the game, mainly though probing runs from their fullback Jake Osborne, but the Velox defense held firm. Another lineout from 10m out, saw Lunk score his second try in 10 minutes. Lunk looked fresh, dancing all over the field, Maori sidestep in fine form. Nikkel hit the convert to widen the score to 25-3.
Two additional tries from Mark Colless and Ray Young (after a fine burst from Evan Machin) sealed the victory and bonus point for the Valhallians. A report titled, A Tale of Two Halves requires some Dickens and it was certainly the 'best of times' for the Velox team, while 'the worst of times' for the young Pride team. The Velox forward pack played well, particularly in the second half scoring 4 of the 5 tallies garnered. Fullback Mark Colless looked solid all day long, scoring a try to show his prowess near the try line.
Men of match honors went to Darryl Hall from Velox, (Lunk winning the www.bcrugbynews man of the match), and Tim Matthews of the Pride. Captain Sean-Michael Stephens had a fine day for the Pride battling extremely tough in the tackle and breakdown.
Velox certainly cannot celebrate for long, as next week; we travel to Vancouver to take on the UBCOB Ravens, themselves coming off a victory against the James Bay at MacDonald Park. We currently sit in fifth place, with just seven points separating 2nd place from 8th spot. With UBCOB away, and UBC at home, we control our own destiny in our march towards the playoffs.
1st Division: Velox 24 - Port Alberni 7
- written by Meic the Welshman
How the Beavers achieved this was a typical old fashioned slog. What Port Alberni do so well is slow the opposition's game down so they end up playing right into their hands with a slow rolling maul, hold-the-ball-up tempo. This was frustrating the younger guys of Velox as the previous two weekends spectators have seen some scintillating rugby.
However this game was not to be the spectacle that the crowd came to watch. The game was broken down for the Beavers, but too many school boy errors and penalties were given to the opposition. Credit given to Port as they have their pattern of play and stick to it very well, disrupting teams in their stride. This was a good lesson for the guys who thought that the game was going to be a whitewash - as before the game we all found out that it was not part of the division 1 league but a mere exhibition. Besides that, we had a pattern and a game to play.
Tries came from the hard working Cam Neish, Sean (also two conversions), Stu, and a spectacle of a try from Barney 'Shane Williams lookalike' Frisbee running some 50 yards in a maze to score. This try would never have come about if it wasn't for Crank - who said at the time, "That's the first ruck that we have won all day and without me winning it Barney wouldn't have scored that try", which I think summed up the Beavers afternoon. The Beavers always went into all rucks with the ball but never came out with it.
This week we play Ravens in Vancouver. Thanks to all supporters, all girls for their delightful cakes, and to all that did the after game food. Hardest worker of the game went to Mark Stevens.
Women: Velox 17 - SFU 7
- written by Alysia
Our Game landed on a beautiful Sunday with a full 21 players in attendance at SFU. Kick off led to strong possession, after immediately startling SFU into dropping the ball forward. Right from the beginning SFU seemed hesitant to make contact either with or without the ball. In the middle of the first half SFU #10 made a break to be beautifully chased down and tackled by KB, but still managed to wrap around and pass to SFU #14 to score a try, which was converted.
Both sides seem to suffer from clubbed hands, constantly knocking the ball forward; but on a positive note, this led to some of the best scrums of our season with the Velox pack gaining significant yards in our push. Word on the touchline was that the stellar scrums were due to improved cadence and new binding through our locks. A penalty was spun wide to our backs who demonstrated our newly refined skills of wrapping around tackles to hand Krista the ball to score between the posts with 5 minutes left in the second half. Try was converted care of Wookie. The kick off following the try went straight to Wookie who showed her speed and agility, dodging though the entire team without being touched to score our second try of the game.
In the second half Jenna stepped up to demonstrate some amazing contact from her position at fullback, making a good 20 yards before passing the ball off. Again in the second half our scrums were crucial to maintaining possession as Jamie, our hooker, stole several from the opposition. A line out brought Lisa Batty out with the ball for a beautiful run for another try. Not to be shown up, Karen Batty caught the ball off the kick off and made a wonderful run through the SFU pack leaving potential tacklers sprawling on the ground grasping only air before she was caught and wrapped around to pass the ball.
Apparently training does pay off because popping off the ground and wrapping around tacklers was a key part of the whole game, keeping the ball moving and giving out backs plenty of room to do their thing. Kim Coyle's strong convictions about injured players being moved quickly off the pitch saw Sarah Levson back on the field to provide Jess with support deep into SFU territory. SFU's #15 made a great run down the touch line, which sped up significantly when she caught sight of Wookie chasing her down and providing a slamming tackle over the touchline. Heard on the sideline "....fear is a perfectly healthy emotion to have with Wookie running you down...." The end of the game saw Velox-17 and SFU-7. Man-of-The-Match honours to Levson and Lisa Batty.
U16 Boys: Velox 5 - CW 24
- written by Mark Pratt
Depending on your viewpoint Sunday March 13 was unlucky 13 for Velox's U 16 boys as the Castaway Wanders Red team seemed to have their number.
The CW visitors were obviously ready for Velox and took advantage of the opportunities the home team gave them. There were moments where the Velox team of recent games appeared with coordinated drives to within tasting distance of the CW goal. Despite some good runs by Velox forwards and backs alike the game came down to key missed tackles and dropped balls.
Castaway trys scored by Iliya Pavlovic, Doug Spence, David Matheson and Danny Kilshaw. Matt Pool converted 2 of the trys for the additional points.
The lone try by Velox was put through by forward Alex Gray.
With the top 4 teams so closely matched and one game left in the regular season the games coming up this weekend should provide some great junior rugby for Vancouver Island fans.
3rd Division: Velox 22 - Campbell River 41
Saturday's opening match was a friendly but spirited game with guests from up Island. CR arrived with only 11 players, so 4 were lent to them to make up a full side (I believe this means that Velox officially gets the win, despite the final score). Despite having two more games that day, the club showed it's depth by having 24 or so guys out to play.
Thanks go to Micha Seaberg for acting as referee.
This Saturday, the A's and B's travel to Vancouver to take on the UBCOB Ravens. I don't know if there are any supporter bus openings, but if you are interested you can talk to Christel. There will be a party at the club when the squads return at 9:30 that night.
The women have a bye this weekend, before a semi-final match the following week. They have finished first in their division, with an impressive 13-1 record, so will have home field advantage.
3rds are at home Saturday once again, with a 2pm kickoff against Powell River.
- With the year end banquet approaching, we will be voting for the George Jones award this Thursday evening after training. This award goes to an active player who shows commitment to the club on and off the field.
- You can get tickets for the banquet (April 9th, $25/person) from team managers and various executive members. MC will be Bruce Jordan.
- The Velox AGM will be on Thursday, March 31st.
- Chad Vath is missing a camera: he left it at the club Saturday before last (home game against Bayside). If you have information let him or me know.
Velox Family Game Day
JUNE 11TH, SATURDAY.
There will try to have as many father and sons play on one team as possible, with the remainder to be made up of mostly old guys (Velox Old Boys and Ebb Tide). There may be room for others that are interested, especially if they are related in ANY way. You can get sign up with Jim Turner.
VELOX VALHALLIANS & RUGBY CLUB
3957 Gordon Head Road, Victoria " Tel: 250-721-3500 " Fax: 250-472-7200