Richmond Makes Up With Meralomas

Saturday, January 16th - The Richmond Rugby Football Club opened the 2016 season with a make-up game at Connaught against the Meraloma Rugby Club. The game was a second-division affair, making up an early postponed game in November. Both teams, despite the early start to the season, were able to find enough bodies to get the game off, and the weather co-operated - a balmy 8 Celsius at kick-off!

Richmond struck first, on a set piece rumble from the recently re-instated outside centre Les Paukov. Convert was pushed wide, but Richmond was encouraged by the early goings-on. Some newer faces had high work rates around the pitch in the first half, as #9 Brian McGrath, playing his first meaningful minutes in quite sometime, was all over the park. Lance Davison and Riley Moynahan, both in the back line, also had some probing runs in the first stanza - while the erstwhile presence of 8th-man Joe Dimayuga kept the Meralomas back-row honest with continual picks from the base of the scrum. The Meralomas only mustered a penalty kick in the first 25 minutes, but the game would break wide open shortly thereafter.

Despite slowing the pace of the game down significantly in the first half, the RRFC 2nd Division Blacks knew the youngsters on the Meralomas would try and assert themselves as the game carried on. After a few misplayed balls by Richmond, and some good goal-line defence by the Lomas, the Kitsilano-based club was able to score three tries in quick succession - stalling Richmond's game plan accordingly. The half-time score was 22 - 5.

Richmond made some tactical subs, young Thomas Thiessen on for Alex Hancock, and younger Brandon Howell on for Matt Carmen in the forward pack. But the Meralomas were able to draw first blood in the second half off of a lovely 60-yard scamper and off-load by their outside backs. Richmond answered back from a Joe Dimayuga fend-and-go, to bring the game within 17, but that was as close as the boys would come - Meralomas sealed it late with a converted try, 34 - 10 was your final.

Men of the match were Anton Metalnikov (returning from injury) at prop, and the aforementioned Brian McGrath at scrum half. Other notable performances by fill-in #10 Mike Marquardt, freshly healthy winger Eric "Boo-Boo" Woods and second-row Luke Holton who took home quite a souvenir from an errant boot!

Despite the loss, the players were in good spirits, happy to get the second half started in what will surely be an important three months of rugby for the aspirations of the club. The club would also like to thank our first match-ball game-day sponsor Caffe Barney on Granville, owned by RRFC 3XV full-back Will Yao! The boys retired there post-match to enjoy delicious culinary delights as well as some fantastic local brews - Barney's at 14th is the hippest spot in the South Granville neighborhood!

Next up for the RRFC - two games at home against the United Rugby Club on Saturday, January 23rd. Thanks again to the Meralomas in helping get the game off - many of the RRFC's players and spectators enjoy the short commute to these games - and to referee Gerry Clayton for keeping a lid on things!

Until next time! Onwards, Upwards - The RRFC!

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)