Reigning champion Castaway Wanderers out as James Bay, Caps set for Rounsefell Cup final

Reigning champs Castaway Wanderers ousted in CDI Premier League semifinals to Capilano rugby club, 34-22 at Windsor Park

Castaway Wanderer Kenny Goodland

Castaway Wanderer Kenny Goodland

The James Bay Athletic Association is in, and the Castaway Wanderers are out.

James Bay narrowly edged Burnaby Lake 23-21 in the CDI Premier League semifinal playoff at MacDonald Park on Saturday (May 5). At the same time, Capilano was too much for the Castaway Wanderers in the other semifinal, played at Windsor Park in Oak Bay. The Caps were the hungrier side, defeating CW 34-22.

It sets up a Rounsefell Cup between the Bays and Caps at Klahanie Park in North Vancouver on Saturday (May 12), the first time James Bay has played for the B.C. championship since 2009.

“Capilano looks like they could give the Bays a good run,” said Chris May of CW’s coaching platoon. “We made a lot of mistakes, gave away too much possession and (the Caps) capitalized on them.”

If there was a scapegoat for CW’s troubles it was the lineouts. National team fly half Ander Monro consistently moved CW upfield and away from Capilano pressure throughout the match with solid tactical kicking.

But CW’s inability to retain possession at the lineout stood out. CW was down 24-15 when rookie prop Clayton Thornber scored his first try as a premier forward, and brought CW within two points.

“It felt like it was going to be the momentum-changer for a minute there,” Thornber said. “It’s been a good run. You can’t ask for much more.”

The Oak Bay native was the only CW starter on Saturday who came up through the club’s junior ranks, a promising winger who blossomed in the weight room into a forward. When he got the 10 metres from the Caps’ try line, it was a done deal.

“It’s a great feeling being in this situation, getting a chance to play with the guys I watched as a youth player.”

Monro led CW with a try, two conversions and one penalty for 12 points, with Pita Savea scoring once and Thornber scoring the other tries.

CW does have one team going to the B.C. final as the reserve men’s team won its Ceili’s Cup (Div. 1) semifinal over Burnaby Lake at Windsor Park, 24-10. Sam Powell scored two tries, Mike Dalsin and Sipili Molia scored one each, and Jed Alexander kicked two conversions.

Bays back in final

Historic rugby club James Bay is seeking its 23rd Rounsefell Cup, B.C. championship. It’s the Bays’ first crack at the Rounsefell Cup since making five straight trips from 2005 to 2009, during which the team won in 2006 versus Velox, 2007 versus Bayside and 2008 versus Meraloma. The ’Lomas ended the Bays’ streak in 2009.

The trophy has since lived on the Island, however, with the UVic Vikes winning in 2010 and Castaway Wanderers in 2011.

Bays’ report to come.

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