Langley Lays Out Richmond

On the road for the third time in this abbreviated first round of games, Richmond made the trek out to Langley Rugby Club at Crush Crescent for two games. Not any easy place to play by an stretch of the imagination, but the lads seemed prepared and ready for it.

Richmond’s 2nd Div Blacks took the field with their patented combo of age, beauty and experience. The knowledge that LRC had a strong seconds contingent had made for a sharp, focused preparation in the hour prior. Although it was immediately evident that their opponents had undergone the same preparation, as the LRC came out ready to rock and roll. Unfortunately for both sides, the lingering morning dew was wreaking havoc on the game, making for a slick ball that seemingly could not be caught or passed to any degree of effectiveness. The first several minutes saw a relentless attack from the LRC inside Richmond’s 22-meter line and very sloppy handling on the part of Richmond. Phase after phase and set piece after set piece they spent knocking on the door, but Richmond’s stifling defense would not allow them through for points.

After stemming the green tsunami, the tide looked to turn for Richmond, as a few well placed kicks from #10 Graham Haigh, and turnovers saw a drastic switch in field position. A few phases strung together by Richmond’s offense in Langley’s end saw them awarded a penalty from 22-meters out in front of the posts. Unfortunately, kicker Andrew McIntyre was unable to put it through the uprights, although he was able to bounce it directly off one, right back into the field of play! The score would remain 0-0.

This first 20 minutes was replicated throughout the match, with both sides sustaining pressure, yet unable to break the deadlock. Richmond’s Tim Ross had looked to be over the line in the dying minutes but as his eyes widened at the sight of the try line, his hamstring tightened in the same moment. The captain gave his best effort but was unfortunately unable to ground the ball and was held up in goal. A resulting 5-meter scrum, probably the 15th of the day for either side, would fail to yield any points and the ball was cleared. The game ended shortly after for a nil-nil draw! Strong games from Tyler Sangha, Lindsey Kerr and Doug Embury – worth mentioning!

After the Blacks had cleared the pitch, the Reds took the field a did their counterparts against their Langley counterparts, with both sporting identical 3-1 records. After watching the curtain raiser, (which I think we can undoubtedly agree was a rare score line in the modern game) both sides were eager to get their legs under them and run up some points.

Langley once again came out fired up in the first 15 minutes, bolstered by their packed side-line. Richmond could stand to learn a few things from how the LRC utilize their home field adrenaline, as both their sides were revved up and ready to go. However the Reds, following the example set by the mighty Blacks, were able to stem the onslaught of Langley forwards and backs trying to crash over the line in the early going. Some counter rucking and pilfering gave Richmond the ball and they were able to clear the line.

The momentum would swing in favour of the red and black soon thereafter. Some nice field management would see captain Mike Maquardt exploit a hole in between two Langley forwards and he wouldn’t look back, dotting down under the posts. The score-line should have been 7-0, but it wasn’t to be as interim kicker Geoff Girling lost his focus and missed it to the left. 5-0 Richmond. Richmond would strike again, right away, from the kickoff. The ball was taken well by big Jon “The Bear” Findlay, who created a platform for Richmond’s backs. The play worked its way out towards centre Josh Pillsbury who decided he wanted to zig and then zag between the Langley defensive line which created chaos for green-shirted defenders. A quick recycle and a very naughty spin move by veteran player Alex Brown resulted in an offload that saw Ben Drikibau over the line for Richmond’s second try. Girling converted and the score was 12-0.

Not to be outdone on their home field, Langley came storming right back and put one of their own in the corner. The kick was good and Richmond’s lead was cut to 5. Seven minutes later Richmond would take a succesful shot at goal to widen their advantage, though Langley would cut the lead to three points with an unconverted try late in the half: 15-12 after 40 minutes.

The break saw Richmond’s coach give a stark warning about how the first ten minutes of the second half would be crucial – and he wasn’t wrong! Langley came out determined and ready to take control of the game, which they promptly did scoring three unanswered, well worked tries that had the Red and Black in frightful disarray. The rolling green storm was finally stopped when Girling was able to block a clearing attempt and recover the ball across the line for Richmond’s third try. Though valiant, it could not fully shift the game’s momentum as Langley scored two more tries before the day was done. A last minute quick tap and pass to Marquardt from Girling would see the captain score his second (and the bonus point securing) try in the corner. The kick was wide and Richmond would go down swinging 36-25.

Thanks to Langley for the gracious hosting duties (all of the boys enjoyed the mac and cheese) and for the always fantastic shirtless boat races. While it was a battle in both divisions, the better side won the day. Richmond now waits for direction from the BC Rugby Union as to whom they will play on November 7th when Okanagan Spring play resumes.

Senior Mens Rugby

Days: Tuesday & Thursday (Rain Or Shine)

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: King George Park (Field 2) at 12360 Cambie Rd, Richmond

Contact: Kevin Nielsen (Head Coach - 604.240.6877)

Junior Boys Rugby

Days: Wednesday & Friday

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: South Arm Park (Field 3) at 8880 Williams Rd, Richmond

Contact: Al Smith (Head Coach - 604.928.4037)