Heat Rugby gets 2017 Campaign Underway
October 5th, 2017
Rugby season got going for the Heat as the men took on United and women faced off against Kamloops
On September 16 the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s rugby team faced off against United, a team from the lower mainland. The scoring was opened with an early try by United which was answered within minutes by a Heat try, registered by outside center Trevor Yip. A UBCO offside resulted in United registering three points on a penalty kick, giving them a lead of 8-5 early in the first half.
Both teams played with structure on defence and during set pieces, allowing United to maintain their lead until Daniel Merenyi touched down a try for the Heat, which was then converted by Dom Haynes. UBCO then closed out the first half with a lead of 12-8.
The play remained even and contested into the second half, with UBCO having a small edge in possession and in set pieces. The Heat recorded the first score of the second half with Kai Duchnycz scoring a highlight-reel try after blocking a United kick from deep within their own zone. UBCO’s lead was extended by Trevor Yip registering his second try of the match on an impressive run.
United answered quickly with a try of their own, which was then converted, narrowing the Heat’s lead to just seven points. The Heat’s defense held strong despite numerous substitutions and managed to close out the game with a lead of 22-15.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of the baseline we have established for this club”
The Heat women’s side also played their first match of the BC Rugby Division One season on September 16, as they played host to Kamloops RFC. The final result was 64-19 for the visitors, despite impressive performances from throughout the Heat roster.
On top of being the first match of the season, it was the first competitive rugby match ever played by Heat additions Nicole Kramer, who converted a try in the opening half, and Gina Oostlander, whose work in preseason training won her a spot on the starting line.
The score was 31-14 at the end of the first half, but the Heat couldn’t quite find that same stride in the second, while Kamloops ramped it up.
Joining Kramer and Oostlander as a newcomer to the Heat program was, whose speed and ability to pick lanes earned her a pair of tries and UBCO’s player of the match honours. The Heat’s third try on the day was scored by Lauren Klassen, who touched down in the second half after a collective push from her team near the line.
“Although we did not ultimately receive the result we wanted to achieve, I couldn’t have been more proud of the baseline we have established for this club,” said one Heat coach after the match against Kamloops. “Having only been together for two weeks, with many new faces not only to the club, but to the sport of rugby itself, I think we have an outstanding platform to build from.”
Other noteworthy performances in the women’s match came from Charlotte Hall, whose aggressive play up front earned her forward of the match, and fifth-year Heat veteran Hayley Fiebelkorn, whose success at moving the ball and finding open pockets had her named back of the match.