The annual Remembrance Day game was played yesterday on the Bob Spray Field at Klahanie Park. The game is in the honour of Gerard Hanlon a young Capilano that peppered his hair with coffee mate powder when he saw that the snowcaps were a manshort in 1985. Unfortunately Gerard was killed in a MVA later that summer. The game is also in remembrance of our veterans who fought in the Wars and many who gave their lives for our country. Also we remember Capilano and Snowcap club members that are no longer with us.
The game was played under ideal game conditions and was well attended. It is not often the sun shines on Nov 11 but yesterday was a welcome exception. Both sides were piped onto the pitch by Alan Brown followed by a few words by yours truly and a toast of Scotch. Snowcaps always take this game very serious while the 3rd division perhaps not so much. For some Snowcaps it is kind of like a mid life crisis, when I asked big Brent Henley, who was playing for the 3rds, how he was enjoying the game, his answer was, “These old guys, or words to that affect, are dirty! Brent who is in his 30’s will no doubt be on the Snowcaps recruiting list. Over 38 and play as long as you can rugby, is a lot of fun and can keep the body in better shape than watching tv on the couch.
The Snowcaps always recruit some ringers, this year Glen McKinnon and Gary Cartwright, the Captains of Caps two top mens teams played were draft picks along with Canada women’s star and Premier player Andrea Burk. Capilano President Kes Kasha who plays and coaches the 3rd division and Chris Lumpy Lumsden who also is a playing coach helped bolster the Snowcaps.
The 3rd Division was a bit under staffed early on but several players from the upper division came out of the stands to help out the 3rds. Big Bundy, Fish, and Chris Robinson came on for them. Dedric Watson complete with red shorts also put in an appearance for the 3rd Div. The 3rd Div scored first and looked threatening but Snowcaps answered to draw even. Stephen Ng, our young Ottawa hooker scored the first try for the 3rd Division. No kicks at goal or penalty kicks are permitted and the game was played in four twenty minute periods to allow for unlimited substitutions. No quick line outs are allowed as it takes time for the older guys to get to the lineouts.
John Rutherford who referees a lot of Snowcaps home games was the man with the whistle. Snowcaps put on a fine display of ball handling today led by Andrea Burke at number 10. Andrea did a great job of distributing the ball and kicked only when necessary. Snowcaps stretched the lead to 15-5 then 20-5. Big Aussie Alex McDonnell, Bundy as he is called put on a fine display of open field running to pull one back for the youngsters. This made the score 20-10 and Brent Henley made it 20-15. It looked like Caps might come back and win this one but Andrea Burke had other ideas. Andrea spotted a gap and darted through to make it 25-15. Snowcaps then scored a scrum try to make the final score 30-15 for the Snowcaps and Friends.
A group picture was taken and Club Past President Ken Robinson presented the cup to the Snowcaps. The players and many supporters went to the clubhouse for beer and food. Thanks Jim Leith for the delicious steak dinner. The men of the match, for Caps it was Brent Henley who put in a good game and scored and for the caps it was Andrea Burk who was excellent all game for the Snowcaps. A boat race was too close to call so we will call it a draw. It was a fun day of Capilano rugby and the tradition lives on. It is hard to believe that next year it will be 30 years since this game was inaugurated.
Thanks to John Rutherford for his work with the whistle, Alan the fine bagpiper, Tom Kirk for the Scottish lubricant and the field men Tim Bannister and Dennis. I almost forgot Jan who always does a great job behind the Bar. Snowcaps wanted him to play but he was far too busy!
Rugby was again the winner!