Bayside Shark Corey Wood tries to cut through United Rugby Club tacklers during Saturday’s Div. 1 men’s rugby semifinal, which the Sharks won 54-0. (Don Wright photo)

Bayside Sharks set to battle Abbotsford for men’s rugby title

South Surrey team earns spot in Div. 1 championship with win over United

The Bayside Sharks are headed to the BC Rugby Union finals.

On Saturday, the South Surrey-based Div. 1 men’s side cruised to a 54-0 victory over Coquitlam’s United Rugby Club, thus securing for themselves a berth in this weekend’s final, where they’ll face Abbotsford.

Abbotsford defeated the Surrey Beavers 32-28 in last weekend’s other semifinal match.

“It was a slow start… a bit of a jittery start – we were lacking some precision and accuracy,” said Bayside rugby director Andy Blackburn, who added that the Sharks led 21-0 at halftime before pouring on the offence in the second half.

“We wore them down to the point whereby in the last 20 minutes the floodgates opened and we were able to put up several tries in the last 20 minutes.

“So it was good, but it was far from a perfect performance.”

Unfortunately for Bayside, this Saturday’s lineup of championship games – all scheduled for Burnaby Lake – won’t include a second Sharks team. The club’s second-division men’s side lost 38-5 to Kamloops.

“It was just a bridge too far for them,” Blackburn noted, adding that the Kamloops team is good enough to play in the BCRU’s first division.

Speaking of the first-division Sharks – who will be making their second straight appearance in the Div. 1 finals, after losing to Vancouver Rowing Club last year – Blackburn said he’s optimistic that the team is on an upward trajectory, and will be playing at its best come Saturday afternoon.

“We’re still hoping to peak in time for the final,” he said. “We had this long, extended break through February and March due to the weather, so the second half of our season was interrupted… So we’re just finally getting into our stride.

“I think last year, we peaked too soon and dipped going into the finals and got beat. You could see that coming, because we’d had a severe loss of form. Even though we’d kept winning and got to the final, we were on the downturn. This year, these last five games, we’ve been slowly getting better each week.”

Abby and Bayside met earlier this year, in the last game of the regular season, with the Sharks winning 34-9 to secure top spot in the standings.

Blackburn was quick to point out, however, that the Fraser Valley club was dealing with injuries in that game.

“They were missing two or three key players, who’ve returned to them now. And unfortunately for us, now we’ve picked up a few injuries… We have a few guys in key positions who are 50/50 (to play Saturday),” he said.

Looking on the bright side, Blackburn said this year’s team is better equipped to handle injuries than in past seasons.

“The thing about Bayside this year, that we haven’t had in many, many years, is we’ve got incredible depth, so we can slot in guys seamlessly and not worry,” he said. “I’ll feel bad if any guys miss out, but i don’t think it will affect us because we have such depth.”

That depth has provided the team with a big advantage over the course of the last month and a half, Blackburn noted, as its allowed the coaching staff to substitute fresh players for tired ones in the second half without seeing a downturn in talent on the field.

“We don’t even call them our bench – we call them our finishers,” he said. “We have seven players we can bring on – especially three in our front row – who are as good as our starters, and they’re very impactful. They’re the guys who’ve been tearing up the opposition in the final 30 minutes (of games).

“Our opponents, they’ve got guys who are tired, and we’re bringing on these strong, power runners and it’s having a huge impact.”



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey groups receive funding for training support for people 55-plus

PICS getting $728K to help 120 people over two years

White Rock financial plan discussions reveal divide

Mayor Darryl Walker favours tax increase, some councillors don’t

Surrey man accused of sex offences against child released on bail, warn Delta police

Gurchetan Singh Samra, 69, must stay away from — and not communicate with — anyone under 16 years old

‘No updates’ on five-year anniversary of South Surrey teen’s violent death

15-year-old Dario Bartoli died early Dec. 13, 2014 after being attacked in park

VIDEO: Feds give update on flying clearance for Santa’s sled

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has this message for the country’s children

Investigators confirm three died in B.C. plane crash

Transport Canada provides information bulletin

Prime Minister sets 2025 timeline for plan to remove fish farms from B.C. waters

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Planning price tag for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford revealed

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

Canada’s Attorney General looking to larger reforms on doctor-assisted death

The Quebec Superior Court gave Ottawa just six months — until March 2020 — to amend the law

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

1,300-signature petition for free menstrual products turned over to UFV president

‘Go with the flow’ campaign calls for all University of the Fraser Valley bathrooms to be stocked

Wagon wheels can now be any size: B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Most Read

l -->