If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought this game was taking place in the early spring and not in late September. Blue skies and 18C.
The Snowcaps trickled in and just before game time were able to field 17 bodies including only one red short. Your Twilighters fielded a team of 22 Twits, which included 4 red shorts. At one point we thought Jeke was a no show but he made in the nick of time! Rick B, Moose, Mark, Newf were on the injury list. A few regulars were on the sidelines to cheer on the home team. For once we were able to keep Dave Irving on our team as the Snowcaps declined our offer of players to help them.
Dustin “DUKES” stepped in to ref the game and we were set.
Jamie kicked off but the ball didn’t travel the requisite 10 metres resulting in the first scrummage of the match. The Snowcaps had a strong pack and had good pressure in the contested scrummage. Last minute changes in positions affected both teams with countless errors on both sides. This stymied the flow of the game. Finally, Cory picked up the ball off a ruck and passed it to Preston who gained significant metres. As the Snowcaps were closing in on him, he flipped it to the Prince of Rugby, Steve Bal. Steve, who is making his comeback in RED shorts, sprinted into the end-zone for our first try.
Both teams had solid defence. Gord and President Al had some great tackles. Rob Cust made a great tackle as well, taking at head butt in the mouth forcing a blood-sub. (He won’t be kissing any one soon)
The Snowcaps regained the ball off a scrum and their 280 lb. back rumbled down the field for 25 metres before passing it off to his teammate who waltzed into our end-zone tying the score.
With both teams warmed up, play began to settle in. We began to put several phases together. Irish had a great 20 metre run, but despite his unique fending style, the Snowcaps were able to steal the ball. They chipped the ball at the most opportune time and their wing was able break through to chase, luckily our guest player Daren H. and Lauren L. were able to beat him to the ball.
We eventually regained our composure and once again put several phases together. It ended with Preston making a difficult pass to Gord, who used his Spiderman like hands to gather the ball at his toes. Gord flipped it to our Roadrunner, Fizzle, who outran their defenders to score our second try.
Snowcaps -1 : Twilighters – 2
We picked up where we left off in the first quarter. Settling in and becoming more patient with the ball we fixed our passing errors. The ball moved seamlessly from Jeke, to Jaime, to Irving, to Irish and eventually ended up in Al’s hands, who shovelled it to Preston. Preston finished the play by sprinting end-zone. But Preston wasn’t done there, after the restart he scored again from 40 metres out when he received a pass from Jeke. This made the score 4-1 for the Twits. A deficit of 3 seemed to make the Snowcaps even more determined. They used their size and weight advantage to control the scrum and were quite successful.
The North Shore boys pushed down on our 22 metre line and were pressing hard to score. Despite putting several phases together, the Twit defence held. We were finally rewarded when Lolly forced a penalty against the Snowcaps. Using that opportunity, Fizzle took the ball exploded down the sideline and was forced into touch 60 metres later. Lolly stole the ball in their lineout allowing the Twits to put together several phases setting up Daren, from Colorado, to score his first try. (he owes us a boot-shooting next itme he comes north) The half ended with us in a solid lead.
Snowcaps -1 : Twilighters -5
The second half started a bit more controlled. Both teams composed themselves and were now more tactical in play. The Snowcaps once again kicked the ball deep into our territory and had a great opportunity to recover the ball. Steve Bal and Fizz were alert enough to recover it and work the ball back up field. The Snowcaps short bench should have been more of a factor in our favour, but they hung in there and were always a threat to score. They kept on pressing, but timely stops by Lolly kept them at bay. Finally, the line of Preston, Jeke, Teddy and Fizzle struck again. Fizzle received the ball at the sideline and motored into the Try-zone from 50 metres out to close out the 3rd quarter.
Snowcaps -1 : Twilighters -6
Some timely advice from Jamie, “Let the ball do the work” during the 3rd quarter break paid off. Both team’s passing improved dramatically and very few errors were made. Preston almost scored from the 50 metre line when he broke free and went the distance. Unfortunately, the Try was called off as play was stopped due to an injury. When questioned by Coach PeeWee why the Try was disallowed, the Ref replied “Because I said so!” No argument there. Undeterred, Preston picked up the ball from the back of the scrum and hit the jets for a 50 metre run into score. (Sort of reminds me of Heisman winner, LSU player, Billy Cannon. You would have to look that one up) Despite being down 7-1, the Snowcaps never gave up, they continued their game plan and pounded the ball into our end of the field for at least five minutes. They were finally rewarded when they scored their second try. Play ended short with both sides agreeing they had had enough fun.
Snowcaps – 2 : Twilighters – 7
It was a great day for rugby and the score doesn’t really indicate how competitive the game was. Hats off to both teams for their fine effort. Halfway through the game, Steve Bal switched back to Black Shorts deciding to continue to as a contact player as there wasn’t enough hitting if you were wearing reds. (go figure) Welcome back, Steve!!
The Twit Man of the Match Belt was presented to Colorado Daren, who drove a short 6 hours from Portland to join us. Preston was chosen man of the match by the Snowcaps but his early depart earned Jeke the default. The Twilighters gave the nod to Panda from the Snowcaps.
After our win over the Snowcaps both sides came together for some cheers and food. In our home opener, we were treated to an Oktoberfest meal of bratwurst, potato salad, BIG pretzel and strudel as well as hot mustard and sauerkraut. Lunch was accompanied by a mix of traditional & modern Austrian music and a tune sung by Deutschland’s adopted son David Hasselhoff.
Thanks to food captain David “Handball” Lee and his crew of Lolly, Irish, Fernando and Dirk.