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Richmond Sweeps Beavers
Richmond Sweeps Beavers

On Saturday September 26th, the RRFC battled the Surrey Beavers at Sullivan Heights Park. This is a match-up that in years past has seen many evenly matched, physical and entertaining contestsand this Saturday's tilts would deliver yet again.

Richmond’s 2nd XV took to the field at 1PM and from the kickoff looked to be in grave peril. Richmond’s head coach, Ben Hickey, warned the men that Surrey would be ready to go and the Beavers proved him right. The whistle blew and the first 40 minutes was all Beavers who scored and earned two tries in the opening 15 minutes by sheer force and willpower. This determination coupled with Richmond’s inability to find any form saw the Beavers out to a halftime lead of 20-5.

It would prove to be a tale of two halves however as Richmond would find their stride during the final 40 minutes. It would appear that Surrey had “punched themselves out” as Richmond’s speed and handling would start to take over. Stand-off Graham Haigh would utilize his back line effectively, sending Les Paukov to do damage rumbling in the centers and then allowing the speedy Richmond wingers to run free on the outsides. Scrum half Arnold Lam would exploit the tired Surrey forwards around the rucks for big gains, which lead to hard-earned team tries touched down in the corners. High workrates from the likes of forwards Doug Embury, Anton Metalnikov and rookie Brian Plenert would see Richmond score repeatedly and often in the second half, with tries from: Plenert, Rolfe, Ross and Metalnikov as well as a pair from Andrew McIntyre. As the final whistle sounded, the score line stood 34-20 for Richmond.

With the tone set, the first XV would take the field at 2:30, coming off their season opening win at Bayside, the Blacks were looking to extend their record to 2-0. Missing some key players like hooker Lucas Paczek (travelling) and Aaron Avram (Injury) the club was bolstered from the return of back rower Paul Gaudreault and winger Josh PIlsbury.  Richmond was first on the board with a beautiful kick to the corner by stand-off Cameron Knowles which was charged down and fielded for a try by winger  Pilsbury. Surrey would strike back with a couple of tries of their own as Richmond was adjusting to the referee's whistle while taking numerous penalties giving the Beavers multiple opportunities. Another try would be added by Richmond’s number 8 Pen Drikabu, his first of two on the day, with the convert kicked by Cameron Knowles. This game was much more even throughout the contest and halftime would see a 12-10 advantage in favour of the RRFC.

The second half was characterized by a very determined Surrey side trying to push over the try line but Richmond’s defense held fast led by the physical play of Brandon Sims, Brian Williams, Ryan Steele and Jon Findlay. Richmond’s ability to hold Surrey away from the try line (although they were able to score a penalty try) and create turnovers gave Richmond’s backs who had been quiet for the first stanza, a chance to run and gun. Led by captain Mike Marquardt, Richmond’s backs continuously punctured the line in counter attacks. This sudden turn in field position would lead Surrey to become disorganized on defense and Richmond was able to strike with Marquardt, Drikabu and Paul Gaudreault dotting the ball down to put the game away. A late try by the Beavers would bring the final score to 33-22 in favour of the RRFC.

Richmond now looks to Saturday October 3rd when they battle their rivals from the Valley, the Abbotsford RFC. For the 2nd XV it is a rematch of the 2015 Provincial Championship, won by Abby. For the 1st XV, both teams will put their perfect 2-0 records on the line in the quest o see who will top the Province Wide First Division at the October break.

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)