venue: South Surrey Athletic Park, Vancouver
22nd July 2015
Full Match Report
BRITISH COLUMBIA U23 v BARLA U23
Vancouver put on perfect weather for Rugby League and the playing surface on this field was last year compared to top quality NRL fields as both teams gave it the thumbs up after this game.
England started the game with a simple error and were penalized from the kick off for being in front of the kicker. This was one of their few errors however as they played tough & aggressive in the first half.
Poor completions were killing any chance the Bulldogs had as they finished the first half at a low 40%. This didn't stop them throwing some big defence at the Lions but you can't give quality teams that much ball. Nathan Hill scored a neat try after only 4 minutes, backing up one of the forwards.
The Bulldogs held tight for the next 15 minute period and had lots of opportunities but couldn't get over the line through the great defence from the Lions. Two quick tries at the 20th and 23rd minute by Tom Wilkinson & Martin Reilly were all converted by Keiron Jones to give the touring team a comfortable 18-0 lead.
The Bulldogs were down on options after losing two players to concussion in the first 20 minutes, but held tight until half time.
The 2nd half start was not great for the home team as the Lions scored two soft tries in a matter of minutes.
Keiron Jones scored a converted try by himself at 45 minutes & then Braden Hunter scored from a bomb after 48 minutes but his try was not converted. At 28-0 the game could have gone in two directions, but at 53 minutes the Bulldogs showed their spirit by hanging in with some improved defence and then a passing movement down the left side saw the ball passed to Billy Gemmell who showed pace and a good step to beat the Full Back and score near the posts.
He converted his own try and at 28-6 fans were asking could this lead to more points.
Unfortunately for the home fans, this wasn't to be as the Lions scored two minutes later when Keiron Jones scored his 2nd converted try to make it 34-6.
At the 64th minute, Ryan Bowie finished the scoring with a nice try which was converted by Jones to finish his afternoon successful, scoring 20 points
Final score was 40-6 and it was a convincing win to the England Young Lions.
At the Presentation England Lions Ben Arbon was voted by the BC Bulldogs Under 23s Coach as their best player and Erick Alvardo, who had just returned from training for 3 weeks with the Huddersfield Giants Academy team, was voted by the Lion's Coach as BC Bulldogs best.
A great game to start the tour for England Young Lions and next game is this Saturday when they play the Canada Young Wolverines. The big test will come when they play the BC Bulldogs Open Age team on Wednesday July 29th
BC BULLDOGS U23
Nathaniel Silva, Billy Gemmell, Dan Lee, Tyler Hergott, Lukas Silver, Justin Fish, Wes Wong, McKenzie Mills, Gavin Stephens, Erick Alvarado, Raf Malcolm, Jackson Boyle, Scyler Dumas, Kyle Morrison, Ricky Schouten, Noah Jensen, Ryley Nagy, Greg Crowe, Connor Hunter
Nathan Hill, Jordan Darwin, Braden Hunter, Brett Barlow, Adam Allerton, Kieren Jones, Joe Bold, Gareth Nicholson, Tom Wilkinson, Brad Hailes, Martyn Reilly, Jordan Siddons, Connor Ratcliffe, Ryan Bowie, Alistair McEwan, Toby Richardson, Ben Arbon, Luke Davison, Sam Ottewell