Bayside stays in premier league

Rugby side avoids relegation with win over Burnaby

They didn’t play their best rugby – offensively speaking, at least – until halfway through the second half, but the Bayside Sharks’ premier men’s team played well enough to edge Burnaby 15-5 Saturday.

The win catapulted the Sharks into the premier division for the final month of the season; a loss would’ve dropped them to the first division.

“It moved us along, so we really needed that one,” said a relieved David Benoit, head coach of the Sharks. “We played good defence – we held ‘em to five points – but really, it wasn’t until there was about 20 minutes left in game that we really ignited and got fired up, but it was enough this time.”

With their premier hopes on the line, the Sharks opened the game – played in sloppy, rainy conditions – out of sync on offence, and failed to put much pressure on Burnaby in the opening minutes.

Burnaby got on the board first, when they scored a try by moving the ball out wide, and though Bayside reversed the momentum after that, they had nothing to show for it, and trailed 5-0 at halftime.

“We started to really dominate after that try, but just couldn’t do anything with (the momentum),” Benoit said. “We’d do something good, then we’d do something bad.”

After the break, the Sharks got tries from Cass Conklin and Isimeli Sigarua, and Peter Clifford rounded out the scoring with a convert and a drop kick.

The Sharks prep for the season’s final month, which is to begin Saturday, although on Monday Benoit still did not have a schedule.

He does know, however, that his Sharks will face the four squads they haven’t yet played – James Bay, University of Victoria, Abbotsford and the UBC Old Boys Ravens.

The top six teams in the eight-team premier league advance to playoffs.

“It’s a short season, and now it’s just a sprint to the finish,” Benoit said.