The battle for first place in the B.C. Rugby Union’s men’s first division was a tale of two halves for the Bayside Sharks, who started strong before fading in the game’s final 40 minutes.
Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park, the Sharks lost 37-35 to the Vancouver Rowing Club in a game Bayside led 28-19 at halftime.
The Rowers took a late lead on a penalty kick with six minutes left in the game, which was enough to secure the win. Peter Clifford, Bayside’s leading scorer, attempted a long, desperation drop-kick in the game’s waning moments, but it missed.
“It was a good game – a real track meet – so we can’t complain too much,” Kearney said. “But it’s just disappointing because it’s not very often you score that many tries and still lose.
“We had some possessions, some scoring chances, in the second half, but we just couldn’t bury them like we did in the first, and they really rallied (after halftime).”
Sharks’ captain Jay Blaak led the offence with two tries, while Corey Wood, Trevor Giesbrechy and Cody Rockson each had one. Clifford finished the game with five conversions.
Kearney hoped the game would serve as something of a wake-up call for his troops, so they “know they can’t just show up on Saturdays and expect to just win and go home.
“You can’t do that against teams that are coming to get you,” he added.
The Sharks travel to Cowichan this weekend, and in two weeks have a rematch against the Rowers.
“We’ll still be licking our wounds then, so we’ll want to come back at them hard,” Kearney said.