The Seattle Rugby Club pulled off a huge upset Saturday in the final weekend of the Okanagan Spring Brewery League, the 2nd tier in British Columbia's club competition.
Playing in Seattle, SRFC defeated league-leaders Bayside 31-24, and because of that result improved to 5-4, and clinched 3rd in the league with one game (a home match against 4th-place Richmond) to go.
Seattle is slated to take on 2nd-place Vancouver Rowing Club April 28 for the right to play Bayside for the league title.
It's a huge accomplishment for Seattle, which often does well in BC in the fall, but struggles a bit more in the spring as some of their top players move up to play with Old Puget Sound Beach in the Super League.
"We had a great result Saturday," said captain and player-coach Kevin Flynn. "This puts us in playoffs in the BC league. It was a very physical game - I know I'm certainly very sore."
The game opened up a little at times, but was down to who won the physical battle. The Seattle forwards were solid, led by flanker Farzhad Darouian.
"Farzhad has been in and out of the Seattle rugby club for many years," said Flynn. "It's greet to have him back. His defense and attacking strength was paramount in us beating Bayside."
Darouian made several long runs to put Bayside under pressure. In the backs, Nate Olsen and Casey Cronk was crucial, and Cronk was effective in using his boot to pin Bayside in their own end.
That worked well for a while, but Bayside made a game of it late, scoring three tries in the second half to come within a try.
"I'm sure they were missing a couple of players due to travel and we look forward to possibly meeting them again in playoffs," said Flynn. "For us it has been a good year with lots of new faces in the last 12 months, and a good influx of local guys who haven't played before. We emphasize that there should be a place for everyone to play and we religiously promote team camararderie on and off the field and that, no matter what your ability, we want you to be playing rugby and enjoying it. In turn I think this has helped in some of our successes in The BC league and OPSB`s successes in the RSL also."