From bcrugby.com. A full slate of rugby provincial finals wrapped up on Saturday at Klahanie Park with Vancouver Rowing Club edging Abbotsford RFC 31-27 in a championship thriller for the men’s Okanagan Spring Brewery League One title. Abbotsford downed the Surrey Beavers for the Okanagan League Two title while both Third Division Tier A and B finals went to Capilano RFC.
Vancouver Rowing Club 31 – 27 Abbotsford RFC
Reigning champs Vancouver Rowing Club successfully defending their provincial title on Saturday, downing Abbotsford 31-27 in a championship thriller that changed leads four times. The Rowers found themselves down 12-10 at the half but jumped out to a 24-15 lead in the second frame and managed to hold off a resilient young Abbotsford lineup for the win.
“We came out with a game plan to take them on up front, a change from our usual expansive game and I think that really surprised [Abbotsford],” said Rowers head coach Jeremy Sabell. “Before the game I told our players to go out and give it everything they had and they did. They play for each other and it shows in how they play that they are such a tight group.”
A key player in the Rowers win was youngster Henry Recinos who only recently has moved into the fly half role and taken over kicking responsibilities for his injured teammate. Recinos was smooth from the tee, converting Duncan James’ early try and then hitting a long range penalty that landed on the cross bar and went through for the Rowers’ opening 10 points. Abby led at the half through tries from Brent Bradbury and Pat Shiels with a convert from kicking hooker Some Mosegau.
Mosegau opened the second half with another penalty for Abby who were up 15-10.
The Rowers responded with 14 points as Sean Dignan and Caleb Hansen each went over for tries and Recinos providing a pair of converts.
Abbotsford’s Dan Helm would answer back with a try and Mosegau converted to see Abby trailing 21-24.
Up next for the Rowers was Phil Hose who barrelled through for a try and with Recinos going 5-for-5 through the uprights led 31-22. Lucas de Beer would pull back a late try for Abbotsford but the comeback fell short with the final score 31-27.
“That match could have gone either way but credit to the Rowers for their play,” said Abbotsford head coach Jason Young. “I couldn’t be more proud of our players though as we had a great season. It was great for our club to make it to the three provincial finals.”