After another tough loss last weekend, the Bayside Sharks are still looking for their first win of the BC Premier Rugby League season.
But after picking up a pair of bonus points in their 37-32 loss to Capilano Saturday, a glimmer of hope still exists for a team aiming to avoid relegation into a lower division next spring.
The Sharks, winless in four games, sit eighth out of eight teams – last place gets bumped – but are just one point shy of the seventh-place UBC Old Boys.
And last weekend’s strong effort against a very good Capilano team, coupled with the the fact that the Sharks still have three home games left on the calendar, gives head coach Pat Kearney hope that they can pull themselves out of the league basement by season’s end.
“Obviously, it’s tough to lose again, but there were some positives to take from the game, for sure,” he said.
“And right now, we’ll take points any way we can get ’em.”
On Saturday, the bonus points – one for scoring at least four tries, and another for losing by seven or less – came as a result of a late Bayside surge. The Sharks scored three tries in the game’s final 12 minutes.
Brandon LeMoignan led the Sharks’ offensive attack with two tries in the game, while Spencer Thorpe, Gurvinder Kalar and Gavri Grossman each had one. Eric Sugawara added one penalty kick and two conversions.
“The game started out pretty good for us, pretty even, but we had a couple things that didn’t go our way and we got behind a little bit,” Kearney explained.
“But at halftime, some of our leaders spoke up and we came out better in the second half, and decided just to go north-south and get it done.”
Had the young Sharks squad played earlier in the season the way they did Saturday against the second-place Caps, Kearney figures they may well have a notch in the win column by now, but stressed that his club was looking forward, not back.
“You can reflect back and think about all the what-ifs, but it doesn’t matter,” he said.
“We have a good team, but they’re young, so it’s about learning to play 80 minutes instead of 40. But after a performance like this one, the guys should be motivated now to see what they can do against some really good teams.
“We’ve seen every team now once, and we might not have a win, but we aren’t intimidated by anyone.”
Bayside’s men’s teams hit the road this weekend for a three-game set with Meralomas in Vancouver. The second-division clubs will square off Saturday at 11:30 a.m., the first-division sides play at 1 p.m., and the premier teams hit the pitch at 2:45 p.m. The following weekend, all teams are on a bye for Easter, and Bayside returns after that for three straight games on home turf at South Surrey Athletic Park.