The Priest Valley Vicars opened the season on the weekend at home against the Victoria Ebb Tide. The pitch was perfect from the recent rain but the weather held up nicely as the local O40's secured a 6 - 1 victory.
It was a very special day for the Vicars as Kasper Walraven and Peter 'Rocky' Rochfort received their Gold shorts (70+ years old) and Stan 'Buck' Klassen received his Red (60+ years). The starting line up included those three, plus Gold short Jim Norris, Red shorts Ron Pelechaty, Richard Ingram, Jim Wright, Ken 'Fuji' Fujioka, Chris Ward, and Clare Cassan. A total of three Gold Shorts and seven Red shorts, a proud day for Vicars rugby. It was great to see all of these Vicars take the pitch at once!
The opening ceremony, presided over by our fearless leader Ryan Holly, was well received and covered by Castanet and Kelowna Now. After some wise words from Ryan and a little taste of the Vicars port it was time to get to it. Kasper had the last words before kick off, providing the sage advice, "Try to avoid knocking it on" This theme would haunt the Vicars many times during the match.
Despite some early penalties from the Ebb Tide's Man of the Match Young Jim, the Ebb Tide had all of the ball and momentum at the beginning of the game. The day's first knock-on led to an Ebb Tide scrum. They fed the ball cleanly and eventually worked it over the line for a try. There were a few more knock-ons and the Vicars had a hard time getting traction or the ball. Phil went for a great little run only to... knock it on. Randy wore fingerless gloves. So many nominees for Dick of the Day.
Dave decided it was time for a rumble and rumble he did! He broke though the line dragging defenders with him looking for an offload. Jason Fritz was flying up in support, nothing but 30 meters of grass and the try line in front of him. There was even support on the outside from Travis. Dave popped up a perfect pass and Jason dreamed of opening day glory. Clouded by visions of an applauding crowd, the ball bounced off his chest, biggest knock-on ever!!
The second quarter started differently as the Vicars tightened up the defence and started to attack. Long runs from Daryl and Blair resulted in tries and a softening of their defence. Mix in a bunch forward runs from just about everyone and the tone was set for the rest of the match.
A nice mix of white, black, red and gold shorts littered the field for the Vicars and we took advantage of our fast runners and our strong runners. Cash had a try disallowed as he smashed through a red short... potential Dick of The Day. Of course he made up for it by dragging half the Ebb Tide pack over the line for a try!
The second half was more of the same, as the Vicars came together on defence and supported each other better on offence. Kudos to the front row who gave us a stable platform to move the ball out of the scrum. More big runs from Blair and Daryl resulted in two more tries and every Vicar on the field stepped up to shut down any chance of a comeback.
Big shout out to the guys that travelled - Ryan, Cash, Brian and Buck. First time Vicars Roger and Tristan looked great out there, here's to many more runs together! The man of the Match for the Vicars was Jason Richards, who won his line outs, defended well, and had a number of great runs from the back of the pack.
The hosting was a lively and well attended affair and a good time was had by all. Jason Fritz took home the first-ever Dick of the Day award. You don't get away with knocking on a clear try and ignoring the advice of Kasper.