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AUGUST 23, 2017



L 21-26

AUGUST 27, 2017



W 31-5

UBC downs Queensland 31-5 


August 24, 2017


Coming off a narrow defeat to Bond University, the Thunderbirds were up for a massive task playing the University of Queensland.  The Red Heavies were coming straight off of a men’s premiership title of their own, as well as winning the Doughty Shield, awarded to the top club in Queensland across all ages and skill levels.  After a communal viewing of the McGregor and Mayweather fight, the ‘Birds took the pitch against a group of players that ranged from 1st grade to 3rd, as well as some of their younger talent mixed in.


The Thunderbirds had a good start to the game, with a lengthy possession ending with a Clint Lemkus (Paul Roos)try as he piled over the line.  Theo Sauder (St George’s)  missed the convert, and the boys were fired up to be up 5-0 after 5 minutes of play.  Shortly after, Clint, our 275 pound prop, found himself in open space once again, this time deciding to attack with a kick through the line, that 2nd year winger Jake Lan (Rockridge) dove on for our 2nd try of the match.


Queensland was playing running rugby throughout the entire match, tapping on penalties and going wide at every opportunity.  That would pay off, catching the birds sleeping and swinging the ball wide to score shortly after, closing the gap to 10-5.  


Moments before half time, the Thunderbirds would go on a deep line break started by Andrew Coe (Bill Crothers) and John Jubenvill (Earl Marriott).  A dropped ball lead to a turnover and kick deep into our own territory.  Theo Sauder, starting at 15 for the Birds, picked the ball up and countered, slicing through their defense, and making the full back decisively miss, dotting down between the posts.  17-5 was the score at half, after Sauder converted his own try.


The 2nd half was more of the same, with some aggressive, running rugby being played by both sides.  Wes Wong stepped up defensively, as did Andrew Coe, making some impressive tackles in open space and tight quarters.  Tyler Rowland(Mentor College) earned some stripes, leaving his mark on the game a ripe 17 years of age.


Aaron McLelland (Mount Albert) would once again show why he will be a force this season.  Midway through the first half, he broke on the far left hand sideline, beating and pacing not one, not two, but three to score between the posts.  And once again, moments later, as Queensland were looking to reply, Christof Stangl (Carson Graham)intercepted a pass.  As he got to the 40m line, he realized Aaron, he realized Aaron may be more suited to finish the try, as defenders were quickly closing the gap behind him.  One quick pass, and Aaron was off, scoring his 2nd try in under 10 minutes.  Sauder converted both of those, putting the score at 31-5.  Some back and forth wound down the clock, but the final would stay the same.


We would really like to thank the University of Queensland Rugby Club for hosting us.  They were a great group of guys, super accommodating, and some of the guys seemed to really make some good connections at the post match. 


All in all the tour was very successful, as the Thunderbirds move towards defending their Rousenfell Cup title in the upcoming 2017-18 season

UBC drops tour opener 26-21 to Bond University 


August 24, 2017


On a warm winter evening in Surfers Paradise, the UBC Thunderbirds took on Bond University in a great opening match for the 2017-2018 season.  A mix of returning veterans, an injection of first year players, and a couple of off season additions made for a bit of a learning curve.  It is to note that as many as 17 players were unable to attend the trip due to injury, national team or work commitments.


The game started off with a mental lapse defensively, but the ‘Birds quickly rebounded and pushed into the Bond half of the field.  After Theo Sauder(St George’s) missed a 45’ penalty in the 3rd minute, Bond quickly pressed the other direction, eventually scoring in the left corner after a lapse in defensive systems.  Aaron McLelland (Mount Albert), starting on the wing in his first game as a Thunderbird, had to be subbed out in the 7th minute due to a hip injury, and into the game was John Jubenville (Earl Marriott), after taking a semester off to work on his craft in New Zealand.  Some deep possession after a number of phases lead to another penalty opportunity that Theo Sauder this time easily converted, to close the gap to 7-3.  The coaches agreed upon using unlimited subs, which allowed UBC to see a number of different lineups. 


Sauder put more points on the board, this time slicing through the defense up the middle to dot down untouched in the 24th minute.  Convert was missed, but the Birds had their first lead of the 2017-2018 campaign.  Unfortunately, another defensive lapse put the Birds down just 5 minutes later, Bond up 12-8 at the half. 


Early in the 2nd half, after a lengthy 10+ phase possession, Sauder popped a penalty from just inside half, Birds down just a single point, 12-11.  Freshman James Newman (Oak Bay) scored what looked to be an incredible team try just minutes later, on his Thunderbirds debut.  However, it was called out of bounds, and upon video review, the rookie was robbed of his first Thunderbirds points.  Bond answered back resiliently, refusing to fall behind their Canadian counterparts, conversion was good, Bond back up 19-11.  Aaron McLellan was able to return to the pitch and show off some pace, something that Thunderbirds fans should get used to, as his try pulled the boys back within 3 points. 


Another almost instant response from Bond had them back up, 26-16.  A late Christof Stangl (Carson Graham) try was a great team effort, and put the Birds back to 26-21, and that is how the match ended.  The boys are now up in Brisbane, ready for their match against the University of Queensland, fresh off their Doughty Shield win as the top team in Brisbane. 

UBC’s men’s varsity team headed to Australia in August 


July 10, 2017


The UBC men’s rugby team will be touring Australia in late August 2017 as part of the Club’s pre-season preparation for the upcoming BC Rugby Premiership League competition for 2017-2018. 


The touring party will be playing games at Bond University (August 23rd) and at the University of Queensland (August 27th) as well as taking part in organized sessions in the Brisbane area and taking in the Australia vs All Blacks Test. 

The players will depart on August 17th and return on August 28th. This will be the Club’s second major tour in the past three years following the highly successful Oxford trip in 2015. 


Check back to for additional tour information, squad details and travel updates. 


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