BURNABY, BC - In a rematch of the 2013 Rounsefell Cup Final, Burnaby Lake Rugby Club ran in six tries against defending Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League champions James Bay Athletic Association en route to a 42-17 opening week victory. Burnaby secured the bonus point by half time and weathered the storm as James Bay's offence kicked into gear with three tries in the second frame.
Elsewhere in Premier League competition, the Castaway Wanderers edged Capilano RFC 18-15 in North Vancouver while just across the Lions Gate bridge in Stanley Park, the UBCOB Ravens handed league new-comers Vancouver Rowing Club a 44-15 defeat. The lone match on the Island saw the UVic Vikes produce a dominant performance against Meraloma Rugby Club at Wallace Field, dispatching the visitors with a 43-13 loss.
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League - Sat. October 5th:
James Bay AA 17 - 42(+1) Burnaby Lake
Castaway Wanderers 18 - 15(+1) Capilano RFC
Meraloma Rugby Club 13 - 43(+1) UVic Vikes
UBCOB Ravens 44(+1) - 15 Vancouver Rowing Club
Burnaby Lake 42, James Bay 17
Burnaby came out firing in Saturday's clash, jumping out to a 30-0 half time lead. 20-year-old winger Brian Murphy was first to go over and with a conversion from Geoff Ryan the hosts were up 7-0 just five minutes in.
Winger Evan Thomas went over shortly after and Burnaby newcomer Gurvinder Kalar was next to score in the corner. With Ryan's conversion and two penalties it was 25-0 before Murphy again found space to go over for the pivotal fourth try.
"[Burnaby] are well drilled and are a big physical side," said James Bay head coach Peter Rushton. "I'd say three quarters of their points were scored off of our turnovers. I was pretty disappointed in our inability - especially early on - to string phases together."
The second half saw Burnaby go quiet and it was James Bay whose offence came to life. Rain Slavica was first to go over and then it was winger Mitch Bancroft who dotted down. Ed Adams provided a convert and James Bay began to close the gap at 30-12.
With roughly 15 minutes to play, Burnaby's conditioning was evident as they ran in two quick tries through Preston Petrovitch and Giusseppe Laudisio. Ryan tacked on a convert and it was 42-12.
James Bay full back Adams would respond with a try but the visitors were unable to notch a fourth and missed out on securing a bonus point.
"I think our preseason work on fitness really came through today," said Burnaby Lake captain Anthony Luca. "But we have breaks in our game where we stop focusing and doing the work and our discipline just drops. We end up taking penalty after penalty and it kills us. If we can knock that out we will be the powerhouse [program]."
Both teams will now head into a bye weekend for Thanksgiving before gearing up for Premier League round two action. James Bay will face off against the Castaway Wanderers on October 19th and Burnaby Lake will play host to the UBCOB Ravens. UVic will host Capilano RFC and the Vancouver Rowing Club will head to Kitsilano for a clash with Meraloma Rugby Club.
Ceili's Cup League - Sat. October 5th:
James Bay AA 21 - 52(+1) Burnaby Lake
Castaway Wanderers at Capilano POSTPONED
Meraloma Rugby Club 5 - 56(+1) UVic Norsemen
UBCOB Ravens 14 - 55(+1) Vancouver Rowing Club