Match report from Tuesday 1st July
North Vancouver Island 'Tsunami' 33 Salisbury U16 21Salisbury U16's opening game of their tour of British Columbia was against a District side, the Tsunami, who were warming up for the BC Championships.Predictably the tourists, still feeling the effects of the 22 hour journey,were a little slow out of the blocks and only some determined tackling by Tom Guild, Skipper Tom Heathcote and David Tonge, kept them in touch, however the Tsunami still crossed for scores to lead 14-0 at the interval.It would not have been surprising to see the visitors succumb to thesustained physical approach of their older opponents, but Salisbury were made of sterner stuff and fought their way back into the game notably through the close quarter strength of lock Tom Ranaboldo. But despite having the better of the second quarter a confidence boosting score remained frustratingly out of reach.With the fresh legs of Tim Fisher, Ollie Reeves and Sonny Fisher introduced to the pack,Salisbury increased the tempo of the game and wrested control of the game, with due rewarded coming from a Heathcote try which he converted.A slack re-start enabled Tsunami to restore their lead immediately, but Salisbury were gradually gaining an advantage with openside Mikey Daniels beginning to dominate the breakdown with Jake McConnell and the forwards able to drive their opponents back. Good approach work allowed Ben Taylor to cross for a score, Heathcote adding the conversionpoints.It looked as though Taylor crossed again minutes later but the referee spotted a forward pass and called him back allowing Tsunami possession which they used to great effect, scoring for a fourth time and seemingly sealing victory. But the resilience of the team, which greatly impressed all onlookers, sawSalisbury steam forward led by the tight five, of Reeves, Fisher, Ryan Cobb, Pack Leader Nathan Francis and Jon Hall, and after a period of pressure Heathcote scored again and then converted from the touchline.Salisbury could sense blood and tore into their opponents but despite searing line breaks from James Starkey, Taylor and Joe Alward, and a punishing run by prop Dan Chapple, were unable to deliver the final strike and cross the line. With only minutes remaining and Salisbury straining for the vital score, a lightning breakout by Tsunami found the cover stretched and despite the best efforts of Will Wilford and Tonge they crossed in the corner giving a comfortable look to the scoreline.A very courageous performance from the tourists against a side who were, on average, a year older and preparing for a major tournament.After the game the boys celebrated with their hosts at the delightful Cowichan Rugby Club, represented by tour Captain Steven Hewkin.