Richmond Splits With Sharks

Richmond headed to White Rock on Saturday looking to open their season with a pair of wins against the Bayside Sharks. Despite the damp conditions, Richmond's sideline was filled with fans who made the short trek to South Surrey eager to watch the RRFC's season opener after three months of summer, swimsuits and seven-a-side rugby.

Richmond (and Bayside) was a bit short handed for the weekend as work commitments, players travelling to watch the Rugby World Cup and lingering injuries kept a number of players from partcipating. An agreement between the two clubs to play both fixtures was the right one, as players on both sides got full games (and then some!). But because of the weather and the patchwork rosters, the early game was a bit sloppy for both sides.

Bayside took the lead on a flubbed Richmond kick in the centres which resulted in a Sharks score under the posts. A penalty by Bayside increased the score to 10-0 before Andrew "Tats" McIntyre got Richmond on the board in the second half with his first points of the year: a wonderful individual effort resulting in a try scored in the corner. The convert was missed, and Bayside was able to tally another penalty and unconverted try to stretch their lead to 18-5 with twenty minutes to play. Mike Marquardt, on in relief of starting #13 Blair Knowles, took a crash ball from Graham Haigh and tallied under the posts. "Tats" converted, to bring the game within six, but that was as close as the men in red and black would come. Bayside scored with a minute left to stretch the scoreline to a 25-12 final. Rookie Brian Plenert was selected man of the match in the forwards for his "grinding" style of play, while Arnold "Micro Machine" Lam was the deserved man of the match in the backs.

As the whistle sounded to end the 1PM game, some of the RRFCers came off the pitch, peeled their wet jerseys from their bodies and put on dry ones to either sub or start for the firsts (as did many of the Sharks on their sideline!). However, fatigue from the second division game did not seem to be an issue for Bayside in the early going, as they were able to score first (a converted try) after a miscue in the RRFC backline. Prior to the Bayside score, Richmond's Riley Moynahan had been in-goal, but was pushed out of bounds by an astute Bayside defender, so Richmond was unlucky to be trailing.

The 7-0 scoreline would hold until half-time, so it was up to Richmond's new head coach Ben Hickey to rally the troops for a Richmond come-back. His calm re-iteration of the game plan, and slight suggestions for improvement were heeded by the first division lads, as the flood gates opened in the second half for the Richmond attack.

Brian Williams was first on the board for Richmond, scoring on a neat inside ball after some bruising pick-and-gos. Next to tally was Geoff Girling, on a chip and chase that had the Richmond sideline in euphoria! Not to be outdone by the back rows and second rows, the Richmond front row began to assert themselves in a game marked by attrition for Bayside, who suffered a number of injuries to their starting fifteen. Ryan Steele, a man not known for his point totals, but nevertheless a deceptively skilled front-rower, scored his first of two in the corner. The prop-tally was followed by a 70 metre scamper by hooker Lucas "The Polish Projectile" Paczek who dotted down under the posts recording a bonus point for Richmond in the provess; Cam Knowles had the two-point follow up. Steele's second of the day sealed the victory for Richmond (a 29 -12 final) and sealed his selection as Forward of the match for the First XV! Blair Knowles was back of the match, but in a game where all five tries were scored by the forwards - the selectors should have chosen another member of Richmond's pack!

A rousing start to the season for the RRFC! Two games of ironman rugby! Congratulations to Ben Hickey for his first official win as head coach of the Richmond Rugby Football Club! Thanks to former RRFCer Scotty Mayer and the lads at Bayside for the great post-game spread and hospitality! Next week sees both sides travelling to Sullivan Heights to take on the Surrey Beavers.

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)