CORE Team Teambook
U19's Battle Into Provincial Final
Date: November 20, 2012
Last Saturday saw the Crows U19's take to the road to do battle with Burnaby Lake in the U19 Tier 2 semi-final. In rain soaked conditions, Kelowna battled past a resilient Burnaby Lake side (15-7) to move on to the provincial final this Saturday where they will face United.
As the No.1 seed going into the playoffs, the Crows were scheduled for a home game and certainly the parents and supporters were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to watch their boys play at home. In a late twist to preparations, Burnaby Lake informed the Crows that they would be unable to make the trip to Kelowna due to their support staff not being able to travel. In the spirit of "If Mohammad won't come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammad", the Crows quickly made arrangements to join the senior men down in Burnaby for the day.
Against a much-changed Burnaby side from the regular season meeting, it was clear that the weather would dictate a close-quarter battle of epic proportions. Both sides were very physical in defence but the work rate and cohesion of the Kelowna team on attack proved to be the difference.
Jed Anderson opened the scoring after 5 minutes with a well struck penalty but Burnaby soon hit back with an opportunistic interception try to take a 7-3 lead. Despite narrowly missing a second penalty, Kelowna dug deep with some tough forward play to drive deep into Burnaby territory. From there the backs found some rare time and space in which Andrew Kennedy created a try for centre Cole Mosychuk. With a 10-7 half time lead, Kelowna knew that if they kept their composure and played a little more territorially that they could have the better of the second half.
Unfortunately as the conditions deteriorated in the second half, so did the ability of both sides to hold onto the ball. For most of the half it was a back and forth contest to determine who could knock on the ball the most. Despite the scoreboard not ticking over and despite Burnaby having an equal amount of territory, it was clear that Kelowna were going to score again. The fitness and organization of Kelowna didn't allow Burnaby to go more than 3 phases and after Joey Wallick had scored Kelowna's second try to make it 15-7, the result was beyond doubt.
Commenting after coach Doyle remarked "credit to Burnaby Lake, they made it very difficult for us today and their defence was very physical. Tactically I thought we were a bit naive and tried to play too much rugby from deep in poor conditions. We put a wee bit too much pressure on ourselves out there today. That being said, Chuck and I are very proud of how the boys stuck at. It was a dog fight out there and our forwards especially really fronted up. Ultimately I think we needed to feel that pressure and have that sort of a test before heading into a final."
Kelowna now move on to play United in the provincial final on Saturday 24th November. The location for the game is still to be decided - the Crows have the right to the host the final as the No.1 seed but are waiting to hear on with the City of Kelowna will grant them permission to use a field outside of their normal window of operation.