2022Nov27 @ Nookie Woods

After a relaxing cruise across the Georgia Strait on the Queen of Oak Bay and a leisurely drive to Duncan, we arrived at Piggie Park, ready to play. Unfortunately, the youth rugby league was having their play-offs and our game could not start until 12:30 p.m. Even though JR and Deryck (Unfortunate) could not make the game we still had 23 Twits ready to go at the kickoff. We were ready or so we thought. The Nookie Woods had 21 of their own. The referee was a knowledgeable chap, although he had difficulty seeing because of the brilliant sunshine.

The Nookie Woods kicked off to us and for once we were able to put it together for our first drive. We put six phases together and proceeded down the field. Nookie Woods demonstrated a lot of skill as they pressed and made tackle after tackle. This was a completely different team from the one we played last year. A knock-on eventually ended our possession and Nookie Woods took over. Their backs were very quick and experienced, but timely tackles by Lolly, Preston and the other Twits were able to hold them at bay. The pace of the game changed quite a bit when Nookie Woods began to punt the ball. Despite an impressive 30m run by Dirk, Nookie Wood were able to secure a scrum after a punt to our 15m line. As a result, their towering 8th man picked up the ball and raced into the end zone. Although we were down one, Jackie managed to block their kick, pick up the ball and race into the promised land to tie the score at one. A little while after that we again put several phases together and Dougie rolled into the end zone after a pick and roll to give us the lead. Nookie Woods proved to be a worthy opponent as they continue to follow their game plan. They punted the ball into our end zone and tied the score by out racing our defender and touching the ball down. The score at the end of the quarter was 2-2.

Coach Peewee decided to slow the pace down in the second quarter by sending in the red shorts. They played on the front line and wing. It was during this quarter that things got even more competitive. It began when the referee had a disagreement with Preston. He thought he saw Preston step on a Nookie when he was down. The conversation must have lasted 3 minutes and there was some doubt as to whether Preston would be able to finish the game. Preston, being the gentleman that he is, patched things up and convinced the referee to let the play continue. Both sides played exceptionally well, there were strong runs by Jackie and Irish and the Twits managed to get the ball near the Nookie goal line, only to fumble the ball away. The Twits continued to stymie the speedy Nookie backs but one of them eventually broke through our line and scored from 40m out. Moose made the hit of the game; he tackled their 280 lb forward and stopped him cold. Because of the titanic tackle, Moose went down with a stinger. (He did recover and returned in the 3rd quarter.) The score at the half was: Nookies 3 and Twits 2.

The Twits’ starting line up returned at the beginning of the third quarter. The boys (and girls) from Burnaby played very well. There was good forward and back play and we were rewarded with our third try of the game. After a quick tap in their end, the ball was flipped out to Jackie who evaded several tacklers at the 22 m and touched the ball down in the end zone. It was also during the third quarter that things heated up between Lolly and their captain. After receiving a forearm to the face and a few punches in the back, Lolly jumped on her antagonist in the scrum. He threw her to the ground and was ready to continue the fracas, but peacemaker Irish was able to separate the two. Just before Irish’s intervention, Lolly was gently massaging her opponent’s vocal cords. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and both players were allowed to continue the game. Score at the end of the third quarter: Nookies 3 and Twits 3

With the scored tied at the beginning of the final quarter, both teams made their final push. The Twits did lose a few players due to injuries but the support they game was tremendous. There were some very good defensive plays on both sides. The Nookie continued to punt the ball, but Dale, covering for the fullback, was able to make some steady catches. The outcome of the game came down to the last five minutes. At that time, Jacque notice Jackie leaving his mark when the Nookies were running a play. To Jacque and everyone else’s surprise, Jackie stole the ball from their fullback and raced the remaining 30m into the endzone. Somehow, Jackie knew it was going to be an inside ball back to the fullback. He took a chance and outfought their fullback for the ball. The Twits managed to hold on for the final few minutes to preserve their one try lead.

It was a great day for rugby and both teams deserved to win. (This is why we play) The Nookie’s were a very strong, speedy and experienced team and should be congratulated for a great game. Jackie received the team belt for the Twits’ M.O.M. and Preston was selected M.O.M. by the Nookie’s. Other players that had strong games were Moose, Lolly, Doug, Jacque, Rick, and Tim. After the game comments:

Coach Peewee: It was a good game; it was a hard game. Everybody had everyone’s back. Everyone cared.

Captain Twilighter (TJ): I am super happy and proud of everyone that came over. We stayed with it and never quit.

The only excitement that was left was whether we would all get on the 6:00 p.m. ferry without reservations. (The next ferry would leave at 9:00 p.m.) We did.

What do you do when your vehicle is under-height for the “over-height” ferry reservation?  You tie your bags on top to make it taller and qualify.