The Comox Valley Kickers played Powell River Otago at Village park in Cumberland on September 23rd to open the Vancouver Island third division mens rugby season and jumped straight into a scoring bonanza. Powell River, suffering from an early season low player turnout, found it difficult to find a reply to the onslaught, as Kickers flew through with tries for Steve Hextall, Ben Travena and Anthony McCaffrey. Hat tricks came for Leigh Burley, Brad Hanna, Andy Hextall, and Konrad Nikkel leaving the final score at a blown out 82 – 0.
The second test for the Kickers came in Duncan last Saturday October 30th against the formidable Cowichan Piggies. Commitment to playing through planned phases of basic rugby proved out for the Kickers early in the game, with tries coming for Steve Hextall and Shayne Stuchbery. As the game progressed the Cowichan tradition of old school physicality started to rattle the Kicker forwards so big second rower Ben Travena fired back with his own intimidating brand of tough stuff, keeping the Piggies honest and earning him man of the match. Anthony McCaffrey, stepping in at fly half, put in a remarkable performance with perfectly placed kicks and careful passes creating opportunities galore for the Kickers to score. Including a set of three tries for Leigh Burley, two for Andy Hextall, one more for Shayne Stuchbery and one each for Brandon Huddleston, Brandon Robertson and Anthony McCaffrey. Cowichan did break through for one excellent try and conversion leaving the final score at 53 – 7, another big win for the Kickers.
A key factor in the success for the Kickers is new full time Coach Frank Baulcomb. Baulcomb has made his presence felt with a constructive, tough talking style underpinned by years of playing and coaching top level rugby in New Zealand and the Lower Mainland. By pushing hard for consistency in the basics of rugby and making incisive and innovative decisions, Baulcomb is creating opportunities for players to shine in a whole new way. Perhaps the best demonstration is that of front row hardman and club stalwart, Leigh Burley. Known for strength, speed and urgency in the tight confines of the forward pack Burley has been transformed into a flying winger taking his hard tackle and fast rucking style with him. Book ending this move Baulcomb has pushed out to the
opposite wing the crash tackling explosive flanker Brad Hanna, creating a combination that is bringing on a splitting headache for Kicker opponents. Asked for comment Baulcomb had this invitation, “ Come out to the game against Velox Valhallions at Village Park in Cumberland this Sunday the 14th and the level of play from these men may surprise you – kick off is at 1PM”
The Kickers Rugby Club invites all those men and women interested in playing rugby to attend training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6.30 p.m.at the club’s Fallen Alders facility on the Royston/Cumberland Road. For more info, visit our website at http://kickersrugby.ca.
The club gratefully acknowledges our team sponsors: AFC Construction, Bayview Chiropractic, Cummins Fencing, Green Earth Carpet Cleaning, Investors Group and Wedler Engineering; along with our club sponsors Continual Palingenesis – Social Media Solutions and Speed Pro Signs Courtenay. Without this support rugby would not continue to flourish in the Comox Valley.