Greg Gilding’s Memorial Game Recap
Greg Gilding must have pulled a few strings with the big guy up there to ensure we would have ideal playing conditions for Sunday’s game. The temperature was a balmy 22 degrees and the field was perfectly manicured. The Rogues showed up with 19 players and the Twits and Friends countered with 29 players dressed in white and blue. The Twilighter Nation showed up in full force. There must have been close to 100 fans and well wishers. A bagpiper led the procession of players onto the field and both teams stood at attention while our very own soprano, Lauren, gave her heart-warming rendition of O’Canada. You could not ask for a better lead up to the game.
The Rogues kicked off to us and after putting together several strong phases together we were able to score our first try. Strong running by Luke and Cory led the way when we had possession of the ball and the defense was led by TJ and Anthony. There were long runs and solid tackling by both teams. The Rogues had a great 1-2 attack. Their big back, number 12, displayed amazing speed as he raced up and down the field and off-loaded to their speedy number 15. Try as they might, they were unable to penetrate the Twit’s stifling defence. As the game wore on, it was obvious that the Rogues’ youth and energy could not keep up with the Twilighter’s experience. The boys (and Lolly) in blue and white were up by 6 at the half.
During the second half Tazi made his spectacular return to the rugby pitch after a twenty-year hiatus. Playing at the number 7 position, Tazi was able to make several solid passes. Of note, he displayed some razz ma taz by making a behind the back, no look, off load to Dustin, which led to another score. Despite being down by an insurmountable number of tries, there was no quit in the Rogues. They ran down many of our backs after they made huge runs and insisted on playing the full 80 minutes. The Rogues had no answer to the Twits’ hard-hitting backs. Nevertheless, both teams should be congratulated for their performances and playing in the spirit of the game.
During the post game hosting, hamburgers were sold to raise money for the foodbank and prior to the game, many players/fans brought donations to the foodbank as well. Simone from the Burnaby Food Bank and Greg’s parents were able to witness the presentation of the Greg’s trophy. Sunday’s game took a back seat to the real reason why we were there and that was to keep the spirit of Greg Gilding alive. Many players toasted Greg by tapping their drink to the trophy named in his honour. Greg must be smiling as he watched the day’s events unfold, but he’s probably most happy that everyone made an effort to raise donations for a cause he truly believed. We all know rugby players are tough (well, most of them) but on Sunday, they demonstrated they have big hearts as well.