United Divides RRFC

Saturday, November 21st - The Richmond Rugby Football Club made the trip to Hume Park in New Westminster to play a pair of games against United Rugby Club. After a few weeks of torrential downpours and rain-outs, it was nice to be playing under sunny skies. The 2nd division looked to stay unbeaten in league play and started the game off against United's seconds with a flurry of scores. Andrew McIntyre scored a pair out wide and club rookie Sean Poon added his first career try - and all three came in the first 25 minutes and were converted. Richmond had little trouble moving the ball wide against United in the first half as many of their opposite numbers were recently promoted U-20 players. While United's physicality and athleticism was on par (or exceeded Richmond's) in the second division game, the guile and grace of veterans like Lance Davison in the centres, "Angry" Joe Dimayuga at # 8, Matt Carmen and Matty Wong-Rose in the engine room allowed for Richmond to build a substantial lead (21-10) at half.

Though the athletic, full of flair 9/10 combo of Graham Haigh and James Tracey (nothing says athletic like two fellows who cannot touch their toes!) had controlled the pace of play in the first stanza, the insertion of a handful of veterans in the second half by United's coaching staff looked to turn the tide. United controlled the ball for phase after phase and was winning the field position battle throughout the first portion of the half. The home side tallied first (converted) to pull within a score - coach Ben Hickey's heart was likely in his mouth watching - but another highlight real try by McIntyre put the game out of reach for United and allowed the men in Red & Black stripes to stay undefeated. Haigh was a perfect 5 for 5 on the day on conversions (0 for 2 on penalties...can't win them all!) to go along with the RRFC's fifth and final try. United added one late, but the final score was 35-22, a bonus point victory for the 2nd XV. The men of the match were Dimayuga (who lead from the back of the scrum) and McIntyre (who ran like his car was about to be towed) and special mentions must go out to the inexperienced, but able back three of Jesse Scott, Poon and Lindsay Kerr.

In the first division game there was not much to talk about - the RRFC has struggled with numbers so far this half (a reality for all clubs in BC I'm sure) but injuries, suspensions, Rugby World Cup tourists and shift workers have taken a toll on the number of eligible players. On Saturday, the double shifting finally caught up to the RRFC as United was able to keep them off the score-sheet entirely (for the first time in recent memory). Josh Pillsbury - surely the smallest centre in the BC Wide First Division - showed well with the ball in hand, as did Doug Embury, Brandon Sims, Dom Cuthbertson and former United player Pen Drikibau in loose play. Half-man, half-bear Jon Findlay had another monster game at prop and club captain Mike Marquardt, playing out of position at stand-off, did his best to rally the troops but United's strong running, sure tackling and well organized attack was too much for Richmond to handle. For interested parties, the BCRU's Brendan Munro was on hand filming and the link to the high-lights can be found here.

Post match, the lads headed back to United's newly re-floored club house and enjoyed burgers, strong libations and cheeky banter with their counterparts from the Tri-Cities. Thank you to the referees for their great work on the field and to all of the RRFC's fans who made the trek to watch their club play! It must be stated here that United is a club on the rise, their strong work at the U-18 and U-20 level will pay off in a few years as some of their younger players mature. Richmond can take solace in the fact that United were themselves hurting for bodies only a few short years ago and they seem to have come out of the darkness with a large roster of capable players. These things are cyclical as we all well know, but there is also lots of work to be done, on and off the field for the boys from Lulu Island!

Next week the club travels to Connaught to take on the Meralomas at the Lomadome. Looking forward to it! Until next time: Onwards and 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)