The Bayside Sharks’ premier league rugby hopes took a hit on the weekend, after a 27-15 loss to Burnaby Lake in elite men’s action erased their chance of finishing high enough in the standings to secure one of two automatic premier league berths.
“It’s very disappointing, for sure,” said Bayside coach Pat Kearney.
“It was not our best game of rugby, by any means. We just made too many mental mistakes.”
The Sharks now sit fourth in the BC Rugby Union standings, and will have to advance through a qualification process if they hope to be able to play in the BCRU premier circuit when it begins in the New Year. If they are not successful, they’ll play in the first division.
Saturday in Burnaby, the Sharks fell behind early, trailing 10-3 at halftime, but in the second half, the Sharks made it 10-8 on a try from Cass Conkin. Burnaby’s Cole McQueen scored the home team’s third try soon after, however, to extend the lead again,
Bayside closed the gap on a try from Bruce Roque – which was converted by league-leading scorer Peter Clifford – but the Sharks would get no closer before the final whistle.
“It was a close game and Bayside showed that they are a quality outfit,” said Burnaby Lake head coach Kris de Scossa in a release.
“But I think we were a little bit sharper and we showed improvement in our discipline and kept our penalty count down. All the teams trying to qualify for the Premier League are top sides and the games continue to be very close.”
Bayside (4-2) is five points back of first-place Capilano, and will host Vancouver Rowing Club (1-5) Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park.
Though their path to the premier league is a challenging one, Kearney said his team has not given up hope of qualifying.
“Our goal has not changed – we aren’t writing off the season,” he said.
“We’re just going to bounce back here against Rowing Club to finish off the (regular season) strong, then prepare to go to war in the qualification round.”