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Match Report Nov 22nd‏

Richmond's juniors were to play Burnaby in the morning, but the Buffalos were only able to muster up 12 players by Friday night. So it was up to the senior sides to try and end off the year with a positive result. We were up against the lowly Surrey Beavers. With only one win in both divisions this year it would seem on paper that this one would be a cakewalk. The third division had a bye so Richmond would have several players on the sidelines for the 1:00 game.

The pressure was on from the kick off. The Surrey backs fielded the ball poorly and Richmond would take advantage. The ball would remain in the opposition 22 for the next five minutes while Richmond worked out their early handling issues. Eventually a blindside attack would see Eric Woods score in the corner. Richmond would continue to pressure the Beavers and Mike Marquardt would find the end zone for Richmond's second try. With the score at 10-0 in the first 15 minutes Richmond would become a little complacent. The Surrey standoff would take advantage of this attitude and kick the ball downfield to a pressuring beaver backline. The Richmond fullback mishandled the ball and it eventually led to a converted Surrey
try.

It would not be a repeat of last weeks 2nd division debacle however, as Richmond continued it's onslaught. #8 Brandon Sims would, surprisingly, find himself in the backline, in support of Malchy, who would draw two players and feed the ball to Sims, on his outside. Sims would shed a couple of tacklers to put the ball down in goal. Mike Marquardt, who unfortunately will be returning to University of Victoria next term would, score his first of four tries minutes later. Surrey's only response was just before half time when they were awarded a penalty on an offside by the Richmond backline. The second half would continue to see Richmond pressing. Not to be outdone by the youth on the team, the venerable Tim Ross would take advantage of a quick ruck five meters out. After Pat Sherratt crashed the ball in the centre of the field Ross quickly picked the ball up and dove in for the score. Interspersed between Marquardt's other tries, prop Ryan Steele miraculously found himself on the wing as the ball was being swung back from the other side of the field. Unselfishly Eric Woods with a two on nothing overlap popped the ball to Steele for the score. To round off the scoring, recently returned from the land of Kiwis, John Stein, showed his speed by outpacing the Surrey winger and fullback to score under the posts. Richmond converted twice to round of the scoring, 49-10.

Several factors needed to be taken into account this weekend. While Surrey's first division was sharing the cellar with a 1-7 record, last weekend they were coming off of a win against Kamloops at home. Richmond's 1st division, on the other hand was coming off of an embarrassing 32-8 loss to Abbotsford the previous week. Couple these variables with the fact that Richmond only beat Surrey, basically, on the last play of the game last year, it was destined to be a good affair, despite the raucous Surrey sidelines.

The game started off at a quick pace, however that would change
very quickly as the combination of Surrey spoiling tactics and the growing penalty count slowed the game down considerably in the first half. Having only seen much of the second half, the feelings of the management was that too much ball was lost through poor handling and tackling and slow breakdown ball. There were a couple of bright spots however in the first half and they came in the form of tries by John Findlay who broke through at about the 22 meter line, fended off a couple of tackles and put the ball down under the posts for a 7-0 lead. Surrey would come back and answer with 3 points off of 1 of the 14 penalties awarded by the referee. The other bright spot on the day was play by winger Allan Tang. His first of two tries would be the last scoring play of the half for Richmond. After a series of open play breakdowns, Tang would scamper in for the try. Surrey, not to be outdone would come back and score, converted, for a Richmond 12-10 halftime lead.

At half time, the coach gave the squad a "pep talk" to the boys. Their play seemed to get a little more cohesive at this point. The only problem was that Surrey now had a reason to play even harder. The play was back and forth until Richmond was awarded a scrum. The ball went out to the backs, and the ball was sent to Marc Gaudrault who hit a gap and sprinted past a frozen defense. He then outpaced the fullback to score in the corner, unconverted.

Tempers started to flare as hard tackles were made and balls were turned over at the breakdowns, mysteriously. Surrey's veterans, on and off the pitch were vocal in talking about what should be called by the referee, and on whom. A push by the Surrey squad put Richmond on its heels. The ball was swung wide to the corner where a Surrey player barged over the line. A perceived late hit saw a typical Surrey scuffle break out for a period of time. Fortunately, the kicker missed the convert. Richmond 17 Surrey 15.

With only minutes to go Richmond stemmed the Surrey tide and put together it's own offensive push. They found themselves on the 35-meter line. After two quick open side attacks, the ball was swung back blind. The ball eventually found it's way into Allan Tang's hand who touched the ball down in the corner for the much needed five points, as the convert went wide. By this point, the Surrey forwards and backs had just run out of gas. The ensuing kick off saw Richmond maintain possession until Surrey forwards were penalized for coming around offside on their 22. The kick for goal was called accidentally and rather than giving the possibility of a return off of a missed kick. Rob Ponti elected to place kick the ball out of bounds, accidentally. Final score Richmond 22 Surrey 15.

Richmond 1st XV record for the first half 6 wins 3 losses
Richmond 2nd XV record for the first half 8 wins 1 loss

Richmond's 3rd division still has 1 game left next week in Chilliwack at Sardis Secondary at 1:00pm. Richmond juniors are heading into the playoffs seeded #1 in Tier II rugby. Playoffs T.B.A.

Richmond will continue to practice through the winter break, same times, and same place. More focus will be spent of having fun, technical skill, and maintaining cardio.

For those interested the Richmond Rugby Christmas party will be at the River club. (Behind 5road Keg) on December 13th. Starts at 6:00. R.S.V.P. me if you are interested. Tickets are $30

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)