Home field advantage was all it took for the Surrey Beavers to eke out revenge on the Port Alberni Black Sheep in a pair of rugby games last weekend.
The Beavers beat the Div. 1 Black Sheep 32-15 and the Div. 2 squad 41-27.
It was a different story three weeks ago, when both of Port Alberni’s teams dominated Surrey at the Black Sheep Rugby Club.
“Surrey’s forwards were able to take it to us the whole first half,” Black Sheep head coach Jas Purewal said. “We seemed to lack the spark we’ve had the last few weeks.”
Surrey scored an early try to go up 5-0, but a penalty goal by Port Alberni’s Todd Daradics put them on the board 5-3. Then Surrey scored and converted two more tries to go up 17-3 by halftime.
In the second half, Surrey pulled ahead 27-3 with two unconverted tries before the Black Sheep found their groove. Ryan Turner scored (and Daradics converted), then Matt McDougall scored to bring the score to 27-15.
But Surrey kept up the pressure and scored one final try to put the game out of reach for Port Alberni.
“We weren’t nearly as cohesive as we have been,” Purewal said. A couple of players were playing out of position to fill holes left by players unable to make the road trip, and that made a difference, he added.
“Full credit to Surrey, they were a completely different team than the one that was over here a couple of weeks ago.”
In the Div. 2 game, Surrey pulled ahead 34-10 in the first half with three quick tries. In the second half the Black Sheep had a big run and pulled to within 34-27 with less than five minutes left, but there was little gas left in the tank and they gave up another try to Surrey before the final whistle.
Tries for Div. 2 came from Ryan Waldriff, Ty Shannon, Daradics, Troy Dhillon and Shean Terepocki. Joz Kurucz kicked the conversion.
“The second half was really exciting,” Purewal said. “The first half was one-way traffic for quite awhile.”
A short bench meant eight Black Sheep were forced to play in both games.
“That was a lot of rugby,” he said.
SCRUM LINES…The Black Sheep are back on the mainland this Saturday, April 9 for a pair of games in Langley. Both teams are 1-1 in the second half of the season.