Thunderbirds dispatch Meraloma with 34–10 win

On Saturday, the UBC Thunderbirds men’s rugby team braved the rain and cold to decisively defeat Meraloma in a 34–10 game which saw the T-Birds strengthen their position amongst the best teams in the BC Premier League.

On a day where the weather meant effective ball handling would be difficult, UBC’s forwards opened the game’s scoring with a maul into Meraloma’s endzone. When the maul passed the Meraloma tryline, Thunderbird hooker Connor Sampson was quick to dot down the ball for a try. After some deliberation between the referee and her assistant, the try was awarded and UBC went up 5–0.

The game wouldn't yet escape Meraloma, who elected to kick a penalty from just over 35 meters out. The successful kick put Meraloma within 2 points of UBC at 5–3.

Meraloma wouldn't stay within kicking distance from the lead. UBC’s scrum pressured the Meraloma pack on their put in, resulting in the ball flying haphazardly out of the scrum and being knocked on by Meraloma. UBC was able to take advantage of their resulting scrum, a Meraloma scrum infringement got UBC a penalty, which quickly became a further penalty that was successfully kicked for 3 points, making it 8–3.

After the kick, Meraloma looked poised to strike, they had an extended passage of play deep in the Thunderbirds end that looked dangerous. The ’Lomas kept pounding at the gates hungry for a game-tying try that if converted would see them lead. UBC would weather the storm, defending against the Meraloma attack and get back into the business of scoring points.

Soon after escaping their half, UBC winger Jake Lan would receive a pass from flyhalf Adam McQueen, straight into a gap. Meraloma had no defender to cover the UBC winger who ran into the opposition tryzone untouched. A successful conversion on the try saw UBC extend the lead to 15–3.

The rest of the half would go scoreless but would see one yellow awarded to Meraloma and UBC each.

The second half saw scoring open on the back of an opportunistic quick tap. When Meraloma committed a scrum infraction deep in their own end UBC wasted no time getting the ball to their man at the back of the scrum. Strong running and a clean offload turned the tap into a try for UBC’s Michael Smith, making it 22–3 for the T-Birds.

UBC would score on their next venture past the ’Loma’s 22. A strong attack spearheaded by the T-Birds forward pack kept applying pressure deep in Meraloma territory. When a collapsed UBC maul was unplayable, it appeared Meraloma were about to catch a break. The ’Birds pack drew a penalty on the resulting scrum. Dominant play in the forwards eventually saw UBC’s reserve 8-man score off the back of a later 5-meter scrum. The converted try saw the score become 29-3.

Meraloma would respond by scoring and converting their sole try of the match. Much like the first try scored by the ’Birds, a Meraloma maul took the ball across the tryline and made the score 29–10.

The Thunderbirds would go on to score the game’s final try. Willing to take risks in the final moments of the game, UBC scored with Evan Norris grounding the ball after it had been kicked into the corner of Meraloma's try-zone.

The game ended immediately after the unsuccessful conversion attempt with the final score 34–10 for UBC.