Bayside Sharks ball-carrier Spencer Thorpe tries to hold onto the ball while fending off a Vancouver Rowing Club tackler during Saturday's men's Div. 1 rugby game at South Surrey Athletic Park. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Tough loss for Bayside Sharks rugby squad

Men's teams, plus undefeated women's side are back on pitch this weekend

The Bayside Sharks’ top men’s rugby side opened the second half of the season with a tough loss Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park, falling 24-22 to the visiting Vancouver Rowing Club.

Playing through torrential rain, the home side staked itself to a lead in the early stages of the contest – and outscored the Rowers three tries to two overall – only to see a 22-11 slip away in the final quarter of the game.

The Rowers “took (advantage of) their opportunities” to score in the second half, said Sharks’ director of rugby Andy Blackburn, and won the game on a successful penalty kick in the dying minutes of regulation time.

Blackburn – who called it a “highly entertaining game” despite the loss – said a lack of discipline hurt his group.

“Another high penalty count… gifted the opposition several kickable penalties,” he told Peace Arch News. “Our focus now is on how to stop conceding cheap penalties, especially in the wrong parts of the field.

“That’s the rest test – can we improve our discipline and stick to the game plan, because we are the better rugby team every week.”

The good news for the Peninsula squad is they’ll get two more chances to avenge the loss – the Sharks and Rowers are scheduled to play each other again on March 17 and on April 14 in the final game of the regular season.

Women’s Div. 1

After rolling through the first half of the Women’s Div. 1 season unscathed – they posted a perfect 7-0 win-loss record before Christmas – and opening 2018 with a victory last weekend, Bayside’s top women’s rugby team is also set to get back on the field.

The Sharks – who handily defeated visiting Nanaimo Hornets 59-0 last Saturday – are scheduled to face off against Kamloops this Saturday, 11:15 a.m. at South Surrey Athletic Park.

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