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The Rock will play Ontario in their final game of the CRC

The Rock will play Ontario in their final game of the Canadian Rugby Championships in Toronto on Saturday September 3rd. Ontario have already been crowned as champions, but the Rock view this as a big game as they are playing for second place.

"Ontario are deserving champions, combining an experienced pack with a young talented back-line.However this game will be an opportunity for our new-look team to develop." said Coach Simon Blanks."This starts our 5 year plan to make this team successful"

In reality the 2011 season has been a year of transition for the Rock from the excellent squad of 2002-2010 to a new squad, driven by injuries to a substantial number of players and to a lesser extent by Rugby World Cup call-ups. The size of the transition is demonstrated by the fact that 10 of the first XV that defeated Canada Selects in May did not play against Ontario 2 weeks ago. There has also been a leadership transition as injuries to Peter Densmore and Tyler Wish deprived the team of their captains, and they have been replaced by Robert Wilson and Owen Parfrey. The final transition has been as Head Coach where Simon Blanks has replaced Pat Parfrey, Simon was forced to miss the Ontario game as he was needed to help the Newfoundland  Statoil under 16 team win a National Silver medal.

Last Saturday The Rock were certainly helped by the return of Kevin Parfrey and Geoff Warden in the game v BC. Mike Simpson also impressed on his return at scrum-half. The Rock played very well for 60 minutes but were under the cosh for the last 20 mins, when down to 14 men, the first 10 minutes for a harsh yellow card and the last 10 for a deserved red card.

"We are pleased that in view of these transitions that we have remained a competitive team and have won 2 out of 4 games played. Our defence has been disappointing but the forwards have played well. In particular we are happy with the progress made by Steve Cutliffe at prop, Owen Parfrey at hooker, Jon Phelan at second row, Justin Meyers at flanker, and Jason Picco at center. Furthermore 5 of last year’s successful under 20 team have played big roles in the CRC - Zac Coughlan, Kyle Baillie, Jordan Power, Shane Stratton and Patrick Parfrey. " commented Director of the Rock program Pat Parfrey.

The squad for Saturday’s game is

Props: Steve Cutliffe, Rod Snow, Chris Burt

Hookers: Owen Parfrey(co-c), Chris Seyler

2nd row:  Brad Lester, Jon Phelan, Toni Wodzicki

Flankers: Justin Meyers, Kevin Parfrey

Number 8: Zac Coughlan, Kyle Baillie

Scrum half: Mike Simpson, Adam Paul

Out-half: Dean Blanks

Centers: Patrick Parfrey, Geoff Warden, Jason Picco

Wings: Rob Wilson©, Rob Turk, Simon Pacey

Full back:  Morgan Lovell


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