It was inevitable, really.
At some point the Castaway-Wanderers were due to defeat the James Bay Athletic Association in CDI Premier League men’s rugby.
On Saturday afternoon CW put a 30-7 drubbing on their storied enemies at MacDonald Park.
That it took eight years for CW to beat JBAA in CDI play is a testament of JBAA’s recent prominence as the top team in B.C., winning the provincial championship Rounsfell Cup from 2006-2008 and losing only to the champions the past two years.
But CW are the favourite now.
“To come down here and beat them in their own park is definitely a boost heading into the playoffs,” said CW third rower Chauncey O’Toole.
The win gives CW (6-1) first place, a bye through the Rounsfell Cup playoff quarterfinals and home advantage in the semifinals, April 30. James Bay (5-2) slips to fourth and will host their quarterfinal playoff match against the UVic Vikes (3-4) on April 14, a rematch of last year’s semifinal. The winner will play CW.
St. Michaels University graduates David Spicer and Ed Fairhurst of the UBC Old Boy Ravens will face Burnaby Lake in the other April 14 quarterfinal with the winner playing second-place Meraloma (5-1-1) in the semifinal.
CW, JBAA score line
Three minutes into the game national sevens player and CW winger Ciaran Hearn kicked a 50 yard penalty to put CW up 3-0. A Kenny Goodland try and another Hearn penalty put CW up 11-0 by the half.
Facing downhill for the second half the Bays marched into CW territory and Eric Forsythe punched over the tryline to put JBAA’s on the board. Connor Braid converted but it was the only score for JBAA on the day.
Minutes later CW was on the attack again with Goodland breaking through at JBAA’s 10 metre line. Slick CW passing sent the ball wide left with centre Harold Williams bringing it over the try line to reassert CW’s lead. Hearn converted, 18-7.
From there on the organized, pressing attack of the JBAA offence that’s eaten its way through every defence in B.C. was nowhere to be seen.
CW controlled possession and, in a play that marked a shift in Island powers, elected to scrum rather than tap-and-go within eight metres of JBAA’s tryline.
It was a telling moment for CW against the renowned JBAA forward pack and it paid off. Eightman Goodland broke free of the scrum and Matt Buckley eventually took the pass and crossed for his first try of the game, to make it 25-7.
The try by Buckley silenced the already quiet JBAA crowd of hundreds on hand to see the match.
CW tallied one last time when Hearn handed off to centre Mike Scholz at midfield, who dashed the rest of the way to score it 30-7.
Vikes squeak by Burnaby Lake
UVic clinched the fifth seed defeating Burnaby Lake (1-5-1) in a 39-38 shootout.
SMUS grad Beau Parker scored two of UVic’s tries, one of five Vikes to score a try.