Ander Monro should have car trouble more often.
The veteran of the 2011 World Cup got to Windsor Park mere minutes before game time Saturday and missed the pre-game warm-up. Despite going in stone cold, he kicked two converts and three penalty goals for 13 points to be named man of the match in leading the Castaway Wanderers to a 28-24 B.C. Premier Rugby League victory over Capilano of West Vancouver.
"Despite having no warm-up, I felt relaxed," said Shawnigan Lake-resident Monro, who missed only one convert on the day.
After you've been through what Monro experienced at the World Cup last year in New Zealand - missing two penalty goals but rebounding to score a high-tension late try and penalty goal as Canada rallied to tie Japan 23-23 - you don't rattle easily in a club game with or without a warm-up.
"A lot of kickers perform best when under the most pressure," noted Monro, about the unique position in rugby.
"I feed off it and enjoy it." CW standout Nanyak Dala, a veteran of the 2011 World Cup and Canada's Shield victory last month at the Hong Kong Sevens, said he expects nothing less of Monro.
"Ander is a world-class player, and we always expect him to come with his 'A' game," said Dala.
Maybe it was Monro's late arrival to the pitch, but CW (9-3-1) appeared discombobulated in falling behind 10-0 after just 12 minutes before tries by Brian MacKenzie, Paul Buckley and Lucas Hammond brought CW back and dropped Capilano to 9-4.
"We made some costly mental mistakes early but stuck to our game plan," said Dala.
Meanwhile, kicking also proved crucial for leagueleading James Bay (12-1) as emerging Canadian international Connor Braid hit on four penalty goals, including the late game winner, in a 2421 win on the Lower Mainland to eliminate Meralomas (6-6-1) from the playoff hunt as James Bay, CW, Capilano and Burnaby Lake are assured berths in the semifinal round May 5.
At Wallace Field, the UVic Vikes (2-11) trampled all over the UBCOB Ravens (4-9) by a 74-22 count in a bid to avoid relegation.
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