Junior Canadian Rugby Championships to be held at the Swilers July 16-20. It involves five regional teams featuring the top 130 junior players in the country: BC, Prairies, Ontario, Voyageurs (Ottawa/Quebec), the Atlantic Rock (NL, PEI, NS, NB).
The Rock team comprises 14 players from Newfoundland, 2 from Prince Edward Island, 2 from Nova Scotia, and 8 from New Brunswick.
Two years ago Atlantic were totally outclassed and last year did not enter a team .However this year Atlantic have prepared assiduously with two selection camps in Halifax and one in St Johns. In addition to u19 players Atlantic will benefit from being able to use six u20 players rather than u18 players.
”Our objective is to medal “ commented Pat Parfrey, coach. ”The color of the medal will be determined by performance and fan support”
The core of the team is last year’s good u18 Newfoundland team, which will be strengthened by the six u20 players and a set of good backs from the mainland.
The Rock’s first game is on Wednesday July 16th at 6.30 pm is against Ontario, co-favorite with BC, which will reveal the fortitude of the Rock team. Besides Parfrey the other co-coach is Les Gilson and manager Rick Graham.
All weekday games will be in the evening at 5.00 pm and 6.30 pm. All 3 weekday Rock games will be at the later time.
Saturday July 19th should be a big rugby day with Ontario playing BC at 3pm, preceded by Prairies v Voyageurs, and followed by the senior Rock trial Newfoundland v Atlantic Canada at 4.30 pm.
For more information on CRC U19, visit: http://www.canadianrugbychampionship.com/U19 Atlantic Rock Canadian Rugby Championship Roster
Rugby Canada is proud to once again host the Canadian Rugby Championship Under 19 tournament, this year in St. John’s in Newfoundland. The tournament will take place over the course of 5 days from July 16th to the 20th at the Swilers Rugby Club.
This year’s contest features five regional teams from across Canada: the Ontario Blues, BC Bears, Prairie Wolf Pack, Atlantic Rock and Lower Canada Voyageurs.
Last year’s champions the BC Bears will be looking to defend their title after having beat the Wolf Pack in the final 15-13. Meanwhile the Atlantic Rock will be looking to make a big impact after being absent from the 2013 competition.
The Under 19 Canadian Rugby Championship is the premier youth rugby division in Canada, featuring some of Canada’s most talented players. The tournament serves as a feeder to the Senior Men’s Canadian Rugby Championship as well as to the National U20 Men’s Team.
Entry to the event is free, see full match schedule here.
There will be two matches played a day, meaning all teams will have a singular bye day. The Swilers Rugby Club is located at: 100 Crosbie Rd, St John's, NL A1E 3Y3.
Submitted by Connor McGee- Rugby Canada Communications
The Ontario Blues capped off their season as Canadian Rugby Championship champs by making it an undefeated 5-0 campaign after a hard fought 26-23 over The Rock in St. John's. This marks the first time in CRC history that a team has managed to go undefeated. Just prior to the official kick off, a ceremonial kick off was performed by Rock veteran Dean Blanks who was recently forced into retirement after a severe skull fracture suffered against the Wolf Pack in Calgary. The crowd of 500-600 gave Blanks a rousing ovation for his years of dedication and service to Rock rugby.
Once underway it was all Rock for the opening portion of the game as they dominated possession and enjoyed several phases of play. This led to a penalty opportunity at the 4 minute mark but Rock center and Canadian international Ciaran Hearn missed from 10 m. Moments later a slick break by Rock scrum half Adam Paul put the Blues under pressure but the opportunity was lost when the ball was knocked on. The Rock got on the scoreboard first at the 13 minute mark when flanker Kevin Parfrey touched down in the corner following an excursion up the touch line by #8 Zac Coughlan. The conversion was missed leaving it at 5-0 for The Rock.
Three minutes later the Blues were nabbed for being offside and Hearn made them pay by slotting the penalty from 30m. 8-0 Rock. Blues center and veteran Derek Daypuck and the Rock's Hearn each missed makeable penalties before the Blues got on the scoreboard through fly-half Matt Alexander's try following on a nice break by flanker Alistair Clark. Daypuck was good with the conversion to make it 8-7 for The Rock. The Blues took the lead at the 36 minute mark with Clark getting his own sniff of the line as he went over in the corner to cap off a period of Blues pressure. Daypuck was good with the extras and the half time score stood at 14-8 for the Blues.
Daypuck missed a chance to extend the lead early in the 2nd half as his penalty attempt was off target. Ten minutes later the Rock scored the try of the game when fly-half Patrick Parfrey's chip kick was collected in mid air inside the Blues 22m line by flanker Toni Wodziki. The ball was quickly moved left to prop Frank Walsh and center Geoff Warden who hit winger Robert Wilson on the fly to score in the corner. Hearn's conversion attempt missed making it 14-13 for the Blues.
The Rock retook the lead at 60 minutes when Parfrey pushed a grubber kick through the Blues and Wilson's follow-up forced the isolated Blues fullback to hold on to the ball for a penalty in front of the posts that Hearn slotted easily. 16-14 for The Rock. A Blues #8 Cam Stones try put the Blues back on top at 68 minutes after the Blues took advantage of a missed Rock touch kick to put together several phases of play. 19-16 Blues.
Five minutes later the crowd went wild as The Rock were back in the lead with a slashing run by Hearn leading to Wilson's second of the afternoon. Hearn's conversion was good making it 23-19 Rock with seven minutes left to play.
However, the Blues were not to be denied their undefeated season as they put the Rock under pressure on their goal line before a clever switch to replacement Mike Sheppard put him through a gap with just three minutes left to play. Daypuck was again good with the conversion to make the final score 26-23.
Blues Tries - Alexander, Clark, Stones, Sheppard Conversions - Daypuck (3) RockTries - Kevin Parfrey, Wilson (2) Conversions - Hearn (1) Penalties - Hearn (2) Rock Starting Roster:
Ontario Blues Starting Roster
September 18, 2013 - The Rock will play Ontario in the CRC at the Swilers Rugby Complex on Saturday Sept 21 at 3pm. Ontario, undefeated in 4 consecutive games in the CRC, were crowned National champions last Saturday, when they defeated BC by 50-27. The Rock lost their chance when they were defeated in two games, by the Wolf Pack and BC Bears, in a most difficult weekend out west over Labor Day weekend.
Ontario has won the National title for 3 consecutive years, a credit to their strong development program from u14 to senior.
They are determined to have an unbeaten season but the Rock are equally determined to resist on their home ground. In the prior game this year in Toronto The Rock lost a tight contest by 27-25. Last year the Rock lost at home comprehensively to Ontario in the final game of the CRC.
Powered by a strong pack featuring current Canadian internationals, Doug Woolridge, Ray Barkwill and John Moonlight, and by a potent backline, dominated by capped Liam Underwood and Derek Daypuck, Ontario will be favorites. However the Rock have improved compared to last year and should have several players back from injury. They will be expecting to field a fired –up pack, pushed by veterans Frank Walsh, Brad Lester and Kevin Parfrey, and a skillful backline, led by Canadian internationals Patrick Parfrey and Ciaran Hearn. Missing for Saturday will be Mike Simpson, Dean Blanks and Patrick McNicholas.
‘We are determined to play at our most intense’ commented Rock coach Simon Blanks. ”We will need our sixteenth man, the crowd on our side if we are to have any chance of prevailing. Although the National champions have been crowned the results of all CRC games have importance, particularly against our traditional rivals Ontario.”
Rock roster to face Ontario Blues:Frank WalshStephen CutliffeOwen ParfreyJordan PowerBrad LesterToni WodzickiJustin MeyersKevin ParfreyZac CoughlanKyle BaillieMatt HeatonMike HamsonAdam PaulPatrick ParfreyRobert WilsonGeoff WardenCiaran HearnJason PiccoAndrew JamiesonAlex Rogers
LANGFORD, BC - Duncan, BC standout Pat Kay produced a flawless 20-point kicking performance on Monday afternoon to lead the BC Bears to their first win of the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship. The Canada Under-20 national team Captain was eight-for-eight through the uprights contributing four conversions, three penalties and a drop goal in the 40-18 victory over Quebec and Maritimes representatives The Rock.
Monday night's Bears squad were a completely revamped outfit from Friday night's loss to Ontario as speedsters Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds), Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA), Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake) and forwards substitute Luke Campbell (UVic Vikes) were each given plenty of space to record tries.
"We knew what was coming, we just couldn't stop it," said The Rock head coach Simon Blanks after the game. "Pat Kay had the best game I've ever seen him play and I thought Adam Kleeberger was outstanding at the break down."
Kay opened the scoring with three straight penalties as the Bears jumped out to a 9-0 lead.
The Rock had an opportunity of their own for a quick three points but opted for a scrum inside the 22 and the ball was knocked on in the ensuing play.
The first try came in the 24th minute as BC inside centre Dolesau sprinted down the wing, shaking off several tacklers before off-loading to Ferguson who dotted down. Kay tacked on the conversion from way outside and the Bears were roaring at 16-0.
The Rock would pull one back in the 23rd minute after a full 15-man lineout forced BC to concede a penalty on their own five-metre line. Off the ensuing scrum the ball was spun wide and Rob Wilson (St Anne de Bellevue) went over to make it 5-16.
Kay sparked an offensive play in the 27th minute, slicing through the Rock for a 30-metre dash before offloading to Meeres who crashed over to make it 21-5. A conversion from Kay then put the hosts up 23-5.
Kay would tack on a drop goal in the 33rd minute and put his side up 26-5 at the half.
"During the break between games we focused a lot on our aggression and technique at the breakdown," said BC Bears head coach Jim Dixon when asked what the difference was between the Bears two Labour Day weekend matches. "We wanted a better platform to attack from and I think we achieved that today."
The second half opened with the Rock scoring a try as Zach Coughlan (Swilers RFC) finished off a well worked team try going over in the corner to make it 26-10. Wilson would then add another penalty in the 62nd minute to see the Rock closing in 26-13.
The final 15 minutes then featured three tries and it was BC's substitute Luke Campbell (UVic Vikes) who ran in a try in the 67th. Kay converted and it was 33-13.
As the clock wore out and The Rock shifted four forwards into the back line to deal with injuries, Toni Wodzicki (Balmy Beach) would barrel through for a score to make it 18-33.
The final play of the game featured an impressive display of pace and power as Dolesau handed off a tackler at the 22-metre line and sprinted under the posts for the final score. Kay had the final points as he kicked the conversion for the 40-18 win.
"I'm obviously very pleased to get the result and it's important that we got those four tries," added BC coach Dixon. "We've got lots to build on for our next game against Ontario but it was a great result."
BC will now gear up for their final games on the road as they take on the Ontario Blues in Lindsay on September 14th and then head to Edmonton to face the Prairie Wolf Pack on September 21st.
BC: Pat Kay 4 conversions, 3 penalties, 1 drop goalTries; Sean Ferguson, Joe Dolesau, Clayton Meeres, Luke CampbellRock: Tries: Rob Wilson, Toni Wodzicki, Zach CoughlanPenalties: WilsonBC Bears Roster1. Anthony Luca (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)2. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) 3. Scott MacKay (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)4. Jim de Goede (James Bay AA) 5. Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford RFC) 6. Callum Morrison (Meraloma Rugby Club) 7. Adam Kleeberger (UVic Vikes) 8. Chris Chalmers (Abbotsford RFC) 9. Jonny Morris (Castaway Wanderers RFC)10. Pat Kay (UVic Vikes) 11. Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA) 12. Steve Battie (Burnaby Lake) 13. Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) 14. Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)15. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)Reserves16. Alex Boyd (Meraloma Rugby Club)17. Ryan March (Abbotsford RFC) 18. Luke Campbell (UVic Vikes) 19. Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) 20. Caleb Hansen (Vancouver Rowing Club) 21. Luke McCloskey (UVic Vikes) 22. Henry Recinos (Vancouver Rowing Club) Bears Team StaffHead Coach - Jim DixonAssistant Coach - Kenny GoodlandManager - Hans de GoedeAthletic Therapist - Michelle Jones Team Doctor - Dr. Don Hedges The Rock Roster 1. Steve Cutcliffe (Dogs RFC)2. Jordan Power (Dogs RFC)3. Bob Rogers (Dogs RFC)4. Toni Wodzicki (Balmy Beach RFC)5. Mike Haycock (Ottawa Irish RFC)6. Kevin Parfrey (Swilers RFC)7. Matt Heaton (Ste. Anne de Bellevue RFC)8. Kyle Baillie (St. Albert RFC)9. Mike Simpson (Swilers RFC)10. Patrick Parfrey (Swilers RFC)11. Hayden Thomassin (Ste. Anne de Bellevue RFC)12. Bryce Thomassin (Ste. Anne de Bellevue RFC)13. Robert Wilson (c) (Swilers RFC)14. Jason Picco (Baymen RFC)15. Andrew Jamieson (Ste. Anne de Bellevue RFC)
Reserves16. Frank Walsh (Vandals RFC )17. Owen Parfrey (Swilers RFC)18. Justin Meyers (Swilers RFC)19. Mike Holloway (Baymen RFC)20. Grant Crowell (Valley Bulldogs RFC)21. Zac Coughlan (Swilers RFC)22. Ian Armour (Windsor Machine RFC)Head Coach: Simon Blanks Coach: Les GilsonAsst. Coach: Jack Hanratty Team Physician: Dr. John Gillis Videographer: Benvon CramerStrength and Conditioning: Bobber ThompsonManager: Rick Graham Swilers RFCDirector of Rugby: Dr. Pat Parfrey Swilers RFC Match OfficialsReferee: Sherry TrumbullAssistant Referee: Dave SmortchevskyAssistant Referee: Nathan Abdelnour
After a slow start, the Prairie Wolf Pack proved they will be a force to contend with in the 2013 CRC after a convincing win over the Atlantic Rock on a blustery day in Calgary, Alberta.Coming into the match on the heels of a disheartening 16-14 loss to the Rock in Newfoundland, the Pack had a difficult task ahead of them in the form of the always tough Rock outfit. Despite a very evenly contested first half, the story of the game was the strength of the impact players coming off of the bench for both sides in the 2nd stanza.
An early score by The Rock #8 Zac Coughlan put a scare into the home crowd and seemed to wake the slow starting Wolf Pack. Their response came in the form of 3 unanswered try’s. The first of those three was by World Cup veteran Scott Franklin who rampaged in from 20 meters out. Successive try’s came from #10 Gordie McRorie on a beautifully taken intercept on their own 22 metre line, and from Brodie Henderson on a powerful run up the middle through some lackluster Rock defence.
(Check out this Photo Album from the game shot by Jose Lagman - http://www.canadianrugbychampionship.com/leagues/albums_open.cfm?clientID=2581&leagueID=6921&albumID=12303)
Rock veteran Dean Blanks kicked a penalty at the 30 minute mark to bring the score line to 19-8 and was quickly followed by a well worked try which was finished by the strong running Jason Picco. Shortly after, Wolf Pack #10 McRorie was sin binned for an infraction off the ball and with the halftime score at 19-13 and the wind shifting in favour of the Rock, there were few in the stands who imagined this game was in the books.
The Wolf Pack also lost 2 influential players at half time with both Jake Robinson (#9) and winger Brodie Henderson succumbing to first half injuries. The depth of the bench was to be tested on this night as the Rock continued to live up to their hard-nosed style of play.
The home team answered that call in the form of a brilliant individual try from Wolf Pack veteran James Buchanan while playing a man short. Buchanan brought his high tempo energy to the 2nd half, which lifted those around him and made a statement that he is seriously fighting for a starting berth. A versatile player who has been mainly used in the centres, his role at #9 for this match would greatly influence the outcome.
Despite all of this, Dr. Parfrey’s men from the East coast were up to the challenge and responded with a penalty goal from Robert Wilson and a try from one of the 3 Parfrey children on the field this day – Kevin – which was successfully converted by Wilson to bring the score to 26-23 Wolf Pack with 25 minutes to play.
The difference in this match came at the 65th minute when replacement winger Duncan McGuire finished a brilliant effort from the Pack outfit. This seemed to energize the Wolf Pack and was followed by a well worked set piece try from fullback Carl Pocock and another intercept try by the man of the match Gordie McRorie. With all of the conversions, the final scoreline read 47-27 in favour of the home team.
The Wolf Pack will now face a quick turnaround and recovery and will play the visiting Ontario Blues at the Calgary Rugby Park on Monday at 1pm.
Wolf PackTries: Gordie McRorie (2), Brodie Henderson, Duncan McGuire, Scott Franklin, James Buchanan, Carl PocockConversions: Gordie McRorie (5), Pocock
Atlantic RockTries: Zac Coughlan, Jason Picco, Kevin ParfreyConversions: Robert WilsonPenalties: Dean Blanks, Robert Wilson
The Rock will look to win back-to-back games and move to the top of the Canadian Rugby Championship league standings when it faces the Prairie Wolf Pack in a rematch today in Calgary.
The two teams met Saturday at the Rugby Swilers Complex in St. John’s, with The Rock prevailing 16-14.
A win today and another against the British Columbia Bears in Langford, B.C., on Labour Day could vault the Rock, in the second year of a five-year rebuilding plan, into a position to play for the title against the Ontario Blues on Sept. 21 at the Swilers Complex.
The Blues beat the visiting Rock 27-25 earlier this month on the opening day of the 2013 CRC schedule.
“The away games are difficult to win in this tournament,” says Rock head coach Simon Blanks.
“But if we can pull off two miracle wins on the road, we could be playing for all the beans against Ontario at home.”
What’s more, the Rock will likely benefit from the return of national team player Ciaran Hearn for the September meeting with Ontario. Hearn is not available for either of this long weekend’s road games as Rugby Canada is resting a group of players who compete for both the national 15- and seven-aside squads.
But making the Blues game a meaningful one starts with collecting a win against the Wolf Pack today.
That task, however, comes with its own set of challenges as the Rock will be without several key players, forcing them to rely on a trio of relatively inexperienced players to fill the holes.
On the injury front, Alex Rogers is still out with a concussion and Brad Lester suffered a broken hand in Saturday’s game. The teams is also without Geoff Warden, who is unable to make the trip out West, and Toni Wodziki.
Wodziki, the talented back row from Montreal, was red-carded and ejected from Saturday’s game after decking a Wolf Pack player. The subsequent suspension could be anywhere from two to nine weeks, but Blanks says it could be reduced to as short one week.
“There are mitigating factors,” Blanks says, pointing to Wodziki’s clean record.
“So we’re hopeful we get a bit of luck and the judicial officer gives him the low entry and reduces it by half.”
Stepping in are multi-positional Andrew Jamieson from Quebec and Ian?Armour, a young wing from Nova Scotia
“He did very well at the beginning of the season, just lacks a little bit of experience,” Blanks says Armour.
“He’s about to get it.”
The Rock will also add Hayden Thomassin, brother of Bryce Thomassin.
“He’s been around the program for a while. He’s an excellent rugby player and a utility guy,” Blanks says.
“We kind of need that bit of diversity.”
The Wolf Pack, meanwhile, will have their lineup bolstered by the return of national team players Adam Tiederman and Nick Blevins.
Blanks is hopeful they can give rugby fans Newfoundland a game worth cheering for when they get home.
“If we can actually be in that last game with it all on the line, then the crowd as the 16th man will be undeniably the difference, as they have been in the past for us.
“If we can do our bit, we’re hoping they will come out and do their bit for us.”
The rest of the Rock’s roster for the two games includes Frank Walsh, Owen Parfrey, Kyle Baillie, Justin Meyers, Kevin Parfrey, Matt Heaton, Zac Coughlan, Mike Simpson, Patrick Parfrey, Bryce Thomassin, Robert Wilson, Jason Picco, Dean Blanks, Jordan Power, Steve Cutliff, Mike Holloway, Mike Haycock, Grant Crowell.
Under overcast skies and on a wet, slick Swilers Rugby Complex field, The Rock squeezed out a 16-14 win over the visiting Prairie Wolf Pack to take their first win of the 2013 CRC campaign. While happy with the victory, The Rock were a little disappointed with the narrow margin as they dominated both possession and territory and left several points on the field. The Wolf Pack were first on the board as winger Duncan McGuire collected a poor Rock chip kick 5 minutes in and beat the cover to dot down in the corner. Gordon McRorie was good with the conversion to make it 7-0 Wolf Pack. The Rock got on the board at 18 minutes when Dean Blanks narrowed the margin to 7-3 with a penalty kick. Wolf Pack prop Tyler Hawes increased their lead at the 20 minute mark by charging down an attempted clearing kick and following up to ground the ball in goal. Another successful conversion brought the score to 14-3.
The Rock then enjoyed a long period of pressure deep in Wolf Pack territory but came up empty after both Patrick Parfrey and Zac Coughlan were judged to knock the ball on as they each crossed the Wolf Pack line for near tries. The halftime score remained 14-3 for the Wolf Pack.
The Rock opened up the second half well and were rewarded with a successful Dean Blanks penalty from 42m to narrow the Wolf Pack lead to 14-6. Five minutes later a Wolf Pack infraction led to a long distance touch kick by Patrick Parfrey that pinned the Wolf Pack deep in their end. Rock scrum half Mike Simpson was able to sneak in the corner from the resulting lineout and a successful conversion by Blanks made it 14-13. The Rock were reduced to 14 men at 58 minutes after flanker Toni Wodziki took exception to some Wolf Pack stomping and was red carded. Wolf Pack prop Tyler Hawes was on the receiving end and required several minutes of medical attention as a result.
The Rock took the lead for good at the 60 minute mark as Dean Blanks slotted a penalty from 35m to make it 16-14 for The Rock. The Rock dominated the rest of the second half and almost all play was in the Wolf Pack half of the field. This pressure led to more Rock penalty opportunities but Blanks was off target with two long distance attempts and another from the left touch line. A final penalty attempt in the last ten minutes hit the right post.
After the final whistle Rock players gave a salute to the 700-800 fans in attendance and will now turn their attention to their rematch with the Wolf Pack in Calgary Friday August 30th.
The toughest part of Thursday night’s two-hour practice at Swilers Complex for Alex Rogers was having to watch it from the sidelines.
Rogers had anticipated starting his first Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) League game this afternoon at home against the Prairie Wolf Pack.
That won’t happen because the six-foot-one, 190-pounder suffered a concussion in last week’s road loss to the Ontario Blues.
Rogers picked up the injury in the second half when he got hit in the head. He finished the game, but the headaches started the next day, so he knew something was wrong.
Rogers still suffers from headaches, dizziness and disorientation and won’t be cleared to play until he goes a full week without any symptoms.
He admitted missing today’s match, set to start 3 p.m. at Swilers. is a “huge disappointment.”
Rogers said it was “great” to play against Ontario and added he wasn’t that nervous while his aim was to avoid making mistakes.
A Memorial University student and member of the Dogs RFC who lives in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, Rogers began playing rugby at 11 before continuing the game at Prince of Wales Collegiate.
He has surprised a lot of people with his quick development.
Only 19, he already has earned a reputation for his fine defence and devastating tackles which he takes a lot of pride in.
He said he came up “with a lot of good offensive players,” so that’s why he concentrated on defence.
He got into his first CRC game last season as a substitute, but earned a starting lineup slot this season, mainly, according to him, because of injuries to other roster players.
But Rock head coach Simon Blanks says Rogers has earned his shot at the big club.
“He can play any backline position and he’s the best tackler on our team,” Blanks noted.
Jason Picco will replace Rogers at the wing position.
“The fact Jason is on the field after ACL reconstruction is pretty amazing,” said Blanks. “Jason has world-class potential. At full speed, given the time and space, he’s unstoppable.”
The Rock coach said his players will be better prepared mentally for the Wolf Pack this season.
He said part of the problem in last year’s home loss to the Prairie squad was The Rock’s coaching staff.
“When you tell your players they are in year-one of a five-year developmental stage and unlikely to win, they actually believe it,” said Blanks.
“We changed our attitude after that game and played very well the rest of the way.”
Blanks said the key to beating the Wolf Pack is “shutting down their scrum half. He’s very good. He’s their general.”
He said The Rock, which lost its season opener 27-25 to the Blues in Burlington, will need a “real team effort” today because of some injuries to regulars.
(BURLINGTON, ON) – The Ontario Blues have won the opening match of their 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship season, defeating the Atlantic Rock in a nail-biter, 27-25, at Burlington’s Sherwood Forest Park.
In a back-and-forth match that saw the constant trading of tries and penalties, it was the clinical kicking of Ontario tandem Steve Piatek and Derek Daypuck that ensured victory for the Blues, as the duo did not miss a single conversion or penalty on the day.
“We survived,” said Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn, describing the match. “It was a bit sloppy, but the guys really got stuck in. Defensively, we were solid, and we didn’t miss a lot of tackles, but offensively, we would have liked to have had the ball a little more.”
After giving up an early penalty to the Rock, the Blues responded with consecutive tries from winger Ryan MacSween and No. 8 Cam Stones, both of which were converted by Piatek, to regain the first-half momentum.
The Rock quickly fought back with a try under the posts from fly half Patrick Parfrey, which was converted by winger Robert Wilson. Despite the Blues adding a Piatek penalty minutes later, a late first-half try by Rock No. 8 Zac Coughlan was converted, knotting the score at 17-17 on the halftime whistle.
The Rock started the second half as the stronger of the two sides, adding another early penalty to regain the lead, 20-17. However, the Blues immediately responded with a gritty try from Daypuck under the posts, which was converted by Piatek, bringing the score to 24-20 in favour of Ontario.
The lead would be short-lived, as the pendulum soon swung in the Rock’s direction, with fullback Alex Rogers scoring a try to restore the Rock’s lead, 25-24.
The Rock were unable to convert their final try – a play that would come back to haunt the Atlantic side, as a late Daypuck penalty, combined with a spirited display of defense, was enough to see Ontario through to a 27-25 win.
With the Blues without five starters from last year’s Championship-winning side (Ray Barkwill, Tom Dolezel, John Moonlight, Liam Underwood, and Doug Wooldridge) due to international duties, the squad called on a number of fresh faces to fill the gaps. Five Blues – Pat Richardson, Jesse Lofthouse, Djustice Sears-Duru, Mike Sheppard, and Matt Alexander – all received their first senior provincial caps in Ontario’s victory over the Rock.
The Ontario Blues earned their second straight Canadian Rugby Campionship title with a convincing 40-16 win over The Rock at the Swilers Rugby Complex in St. John's Saturday. The Blues victory was sparked by two try performances from second row Tyler Ardron and flanker John Moonlight.
The Blues got on the scoreboard early when wing Dan Moor pounced on a loose ball and took it to the corner for 5 points. Derek Daypuck couldn't slot the tough convert. Much of the play in the early part of the match was focused inside the two 22m lines as momentum by one team would be undone by a conceded penalty and subsequent clearing kick. Ciaran Hearn and Daypuck went back and forth with two penaties each taking the score to 11-6 Blues after 30 minutes. The Rock crafted a beautiful try orchestrated by their young outside half Patrick Parfrey. With an onrushing Blues backline at their own 22m line, Parfrey neatly chipped over the top where it was recovered by center Tyler Wish who offloaded to Parfrey following up hard. He dotted down under the posts for the major which was converted by Hearn to make the half time score 13-11 for The Rock.
The Blues went ahead for good with a Daypuck penalty five minutes into the second half which was followed up by John Moonlight's first try of the day off a 5m scrum. Daypuck missed the extras making it 19-13 for the Blues. A Hearn penalty brought The Rock to within three points at 19-16. Ardron got his first try when the Blues moved the ball through the hands, including a deft touch by big prop Tom Dolezel, putting Ardron through a gap in the Rock defence. With Daypuck's convert it was Blues 26, Rock 16 after 65 minutes. Five minutes later some more great hands by the Blues forwards saw a backhand pass from Moonlight hitting Barkwill to Ardron for his second of the day. 33-16 with the conversion from Daypuck.
John Moonlight sealed the deal for the Blues when his late try made it 38-16 Blues and Daypuck's extras made the final score 40-16 Blues.
Rock coach Simon Blanks, while obviously disappointed conceded that the best team won on the day. He noted the superb performance from Tyler Adron who's line-out work and two tries earned him man of the match honours in Blank's estimation.
The Blues were thrilled with their second straight victory letting out a loud cheer as captain Derek Daypuck was presented with the McTier Cup by Rugby Canada's Mike Chu.
The game wrapped up an exciting CRC season that featured a very close competiton between the league's top sides, coming down to the last day of the competiton where any one of three teams could have walked away with the title.
Fans can now look forward to the upcoming Americas Rugby Championship where several of the CRC's top players will have earned a spot on the Canada side that will take on USA A, Argentina Jaguars and Uruguay next month in Victoria.
September 18, 2012 – The final game of the Canadian Rugby Championships will be played on Saturday Sept 22 at the Swilers Rugby Complex at 3pm between long standing rivals Ontario and The Rock. The National title is on the line, with Ontario in the driver’s seat as they need no more than a tie or 2 bonus points (awarded for losing by less than 8 points or scoring 4 tries). The Rock is mathematically in contention but need to win by more than 50 points. In the event of the Rock winning but by a margin of less than 50 points, the Prairie Wolf Pack will win the title.
The Rock have won their last 2 games having beaten Pacific Tyee at home and the Wolf Pack away in 2 thrillers, but lost their first 2 games by small margins. Ontario have won 3 and lost one game to Pacific Tyee, with an aggregate of +35 comparing scores for and against. The Rock’s aggregate difference is +1.
“We are delighted with our performances so far this year, as are rebuilding and have improved in each game” commented Director of Rock Rugby Pat Parfrey.” Ten of the squad for Saturday range from 18-22 years and they will definitely benefit as they experience the tensions of what is in effect a National Final. Hopefully they will respond to the exhortations of a home crowd with a display of passion and guts”.
Ontario have a strong team with Canadian players at prop (Doug Wooldridge and Tom Dolezal), flanker (John Moonlight and Tyler Ardron), scrum half (Jamie McKenzie), center (Derek Daypuck), and deserve their tag as favorites to repeat as National Champions. The Rock will be without Kevin Parfrey, Dean Blanks, Morgan Lovell, and Geoff Warden because of injury. However the Rock have been buoyed by strong performances from their younger players particularly Bob Rogers (prop), Jon Phelan (second row), Toni Wodzick (flanker), Patrick Parfrey (outhalf) and Ciaran Hearn (fullback). Consistent with their rebuilding program the Rock will start 21 year old Kyle McGuirk on the wing and include 18 year old Alex Rogers in the squad.
“We are on a development journey with our squad and will focus on playing properly,” said Simon Blanks (head Coach of the Rock).”Our offense has been good but our defence is a work in progress. To be competitive on Saturday we will not only have to tackle strongly but we will need to maintain our defensive structure, which has broken down on occasion this year. Nonetheless we will continue to play the young bucks”.
The Rock team is
In a league that is structured in a round robin format, with the scoring system that the Canadian Rugby Championship uses, there is a good chance you will have an exciting, and sometimes confusing, finish.
With the close win by The Rock over the Wolf Pack and a win by the Ontario Blues over the Pacific Tyee, there are a number of different ways the MacTier Cup can play out this season.
Going into the final match of the season on Saturday, that sees the Ontario Blues travel to St. John’s, NL to take on The Rock, three teams are still in the hunt to capture the coveted trophy.
Currently, the Prairie Wolf Pack sit atop the standing with 16 points, followed closely by the Ontario Blues with 15 points and The Rock sit in third with 11 points. With only a few points separating all three teams, anything could happen and even a big win by The Rock could catapult them from 3rd to 1st.
With the Prairie Wolf Pack, Ontario Blues and The Rock all still hoping to finish the season on top, here is how each of the three teams could walk away with the MacTier Cup after the Ontario Blues vs. The Rock match on Saturday.
The Ontario Blues win if:
The Rock win if:
The Wolfpack win if:
If The Rock win by exactly 50 points, then the winner will be determined by basis of difference in tries scored vs. tries against.
In the end, an Ontario Blues victory will seal the deal for the Blues and give them their second straight MacTier Cup. If The Rock win, however, it opens up possibilities where any of the three teams could take home the championship, depending on bonus points and the size of the margin of victory.
With a league that consistently delivers non-stop, unpredictable action, it is no surprise that the championship could come down to a crazy finish. Whether the Ontario Blues win, or The Rock wins, on Saturday, it is guaranteed that a MacTier Cup champion will be crowned and fans in St. John’s, NL will be treated to two teams that are hungry to hit the pitch.
September 12, 2012 - The Rock will play the fourth game of their Canadian Rugby Championships on Saturday Sept 15 away in Calgary against the Prairie Wolf Pack. The other weekend game will feature the Pacific Tyee hosting Ontario Blues. With one game to play the Wolf Pack have 14 points, and with 2 games to play Ontario have 10 points and the Rock have 6 points so all 3 teams could conceivably become National Champions.
Ontario's big win against the Wolf Pack, and the Rock's narrow win against the Pacific Tyee set up the critically important weekend games. So far the CRC has featured multiple competitive games at a higher standard than in previous years. It involves the best young players in the country, vying for a place in the Canada squad at October's American Rugby Championship's in Langford Vancouver Island.
The Rock have been quite pleased with the development of their young team, particularly as good defence was added to good primary phase possession against Pacific. This week the Rock will be without young Kyle Baillie, who dislocated his shoulder again at a Canada Sevens camp, and will require surgery. Also missing will be injured Dean Blanks, Morgan Lovell and Kevin Parfrey.
"Our objective is to get better each game and if that occurs we will have a chance of playing for glory against Ontario in St. John's on Saturday Sept 22," commented Simon Blanks The Rock Coach.
The Rock's selection policy is to ensure development of players, and on that basis Scott Forrest and Mike Simpson will rotate at scrumhalf and Shane Stratton comes in on the wing.
The Rock team for Saturday is:
On the heels of two close and disappointing losses, The Rock earned their first win of the 2012 Canadian Rugby Championship season with a 26-20 win over the Pacific Tyee at the Swilers Rugby Complex in St. John's. The Tyee got on the board first 10 minutes in as prop Scott Mackay finished off a series of tight bashes up the middle. 5-0 Tyee. Two penalties from Canadian international Ciaran Hearn gave The Rock a 6-5 lead after thirty minutes. In stoppage time near the end of the first half, Rock scrum-half Scott Forrest weighted a beautiful kick to pin the Tyee deep inside their 22m line. The Rock stole the resulting line-out and drove in from 5m with hooker Owen Parfrey scoring the try. Half time score 11-5 for The Rock.
The second half opened with great pressure from The Rock on the opening kick off resulting in turn-over ball and a series of small runs. The Tyee were penalized for an infraction and Hearn once again did the honours with another penalty. 14-5 for The Rock. Continuing pressure resulted in another Tyee penalty four minutes later and Hearn increased the lead to 17-5.
Two penalties against The Rock marched the Tyee up the field from their own 22m line. With The Rock on the back foot and an overlap out right, Tyee scrum half Sean White broke a couple of tackles and scored untouched. It was converted by Connor Braid to make it 17-12 for The Rock.
After a missed attempt, Hearn was good once again with a penalty to bring the score to 20-12. The Rock were reduced to 14 men as Chauncey O'Toole received a yellow card from Referee Brian Arceiro with 25 minutes gone in the half. The Tyee were able to move the ball within striking distance and a Rock infraction led to a successful penalty by Braid reducing the lead to 20-15 for The Rock.
The Tyee fell to two scores back after a Tyee loose forward was called for not maintaining his bind and Hearn slotted yet another penalty from 23m. 23-15 for The Rock. Bouyed by his successful kicking, Hearn attempted an over-ambitious long range drop goal that fell well short giving the Tyee's contingent of Canadian international backs a great counter-attacking opportunity. They made no mistake as Phil Mack freed up Conor Trainor who scored after a long run. With eight minutes left to play The Rock's lead was reduced to 23-20.
The Rock answered back with the 1000+ fans in attendance roaring and urging them on. A huge hit by Chauncey O'Toole from up the middle of a ruck turned the ball over. The Rock moved up field and the pressure resulted in the Tyee giving up a penalty with four minutes to go. Hearn calmly stepped up and slotted the kick from 35m to take the score to 26-20 for The Rock. The Rock recovered the resulting restart kick and ground out the remaining minutes with a series of tight pick and go movements. Replacement scrum half Mike Simpson finally retrieved the ball from the rollicking pack and kicked the ball to touch giving The Rock their first victory of the 2012 CRC campaign.
Coach Simon Blanks was delighted with his side's significant improvement at the contact area which was fundamental to their success. He noted Jon Phelan's work in the lineout was exceptional and disrupted the Tyee's continuity and rythym.
Next up for The Rock is the Prairie Wolf Pack when they travel to Calgary on September 15th. Scoring 10 mins Tyee Try - MacKay14 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn30 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn42 mins Rock Try - Owen Parfrey43 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn47 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn49 mins Tyee Try - White50 mins Tyee conversion - Braid55 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn58 mins Tyee Penalty - Braid64 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn72 mins Tyee Try - Trainor76 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
The Prairie Wolf Pack defeated the Rock 22-18 in a tightly contested match up at the Swilers Rugby Complex Saturday afternoon in St. John's. The Wolf Pack took an early lead 2 minutes in after a quick dart up the middle a ruck on the Wolf Pack 22m line led to a long run finished by #9 McRorie and converted by #15 Woodward. After a period of sloppy play and dropped balls the teams seemed to settle into the game. At the 13 minute mark, The Rock replied with an unconverted try from 20 year old tighthead prop Bob Rogers following a Rock lineout and drive from the 5m line. A Ciaran Hearn penalty gave The Rock an 8-7 halftime lead.
With a strong wind in his back and to the amazement of the 1,000 + crowd, Hearn attempted a penalty from 61m, striking the post well above the crossbar. Moments later from a scrum on the Wolf Pack 5m line, Rock scrum half Mike Simpson broke right and threw a miss pass to wing Tyler Wish who scored in the right corner to make it 13-7 for The Rock.
The Wolf Pack answered back quickly when three minutes later they turned over a ball from an isolated Rock back, moved the ball left springing wing Jeff Hassler. The Canadian 7s international made a great deal of ground before flanker Chris Long scored under the posts. It was converted by #10 Wulff making it 14-13 Wolf Pack.
The back and forth continued, as four minutes later it was Zac Coughlan, to Owen Parfrey to Benoit Piffero who finished the corner after a ruck on the Wolf Pack 5m line. The Rock were now up 18-14.
The Wolf Pack took the lead for good after several missed tackles led to #8 Clay Panga driving in from close range to dot down for a try. 19-18 Wolf Pack.
With 10 minutes left in the game and The Rock desperate for points, replacement Jasmin Kulkavia was yellow carded after being on the field less than 15 seconds. With The Rock down to 14 men, the Wolf Pack's Wulff slotted a penalty to take the final score to Wolf Pack 22, The Rock 18.
The loss marks the second for The Rock in the 2012 CRC so it doesn't look good for their chances at the title. Rock coach Simon Blanks, while desperately disappointed with the loss noted the six U21s in the Rock lineup played admirably. He recognized his team put forth a "Herculean effort" but it just wasn't good enough against a tough Prairie side. He noted the yellow card late in the game was disappointing and especially tough to take as a Wolf Pack stomp to the head went uncarded earlier in the game - The touch judge mis-identified the offending player as one who had previously left the field so only a penalty was awarded.
The win was extremely satisfying for the Wolf Pack as it marks the first time the Wolf Pack have defeated The Rock. It gives them a 3-0 record in this year's CRC putting them in the drivers seat in the competition.
Next up for The Rock is the Pacific Tyee on Tuesday night in St. John's, while the Wolf Pack take on the Ontario Blues in Oakville that same night.
Scorers 2 mins WP McRorie Try3 mins WP Woodward Conversion13 mins Rock Rogers Try31 mins Rock Hearn Penalty45 mins Rock Wish Try48 mins WP Long Try49 mins WP Wulff Conversion53 mins Rock Piffero Try67 mins WP Panga Try75 mins WP Wulff Penalty Submitted by The Rock Communications
August 28, 2012 - The Rock will play the Prairie Wolf Pack on Saturday Sept 1st at 3pm at the Swilers Rugby Complex in their second game of the 5 round Canadian Rugby Championship. The Rock lost narrowly to Ontario away last Saturday by 23 - 19, thus gaining one bonus point by losing by less than 8 points.
The Wolf Pack have won both their games by wide margins v Pacific Tyee and now have 10 points, having secured a bonus point in each game by scoring 4 tries.
Consequently this is a vital game for both teams. A loss for the Rock will make it very difficult for them to win the National title, whereas a win for the Wolf Pack will bring them much closer to their first National title.
The Wolf Pack has strong forwards with 4 Canadian Internationals, front rowers Hubert Buydens, Scott Franklin and Andrew Tiedemann and flanker Nanyak Dala. In addition, their backs include Sevens international Jeff Hassler and new active scrumhalf Gordon McRorie.
Robert Wilson is getting married on Friday, as a result the Rock will be without him and his groomsmen Justin Meyers and Geoff Warden. Kyle Baillie returns from injury, Owen Parfrey from wedding duties, and Ciaran Hearn from International sevens with Canada.
The Rock’s best players v Ontario were Toni Wodzicki, Jon Phelan and Benoit Piffero, all forwards. Furthermore Rod Snow’s young replacement Bob Rogers scrummaged well against the strong Ontario unit.
“The Rock will continue with our policy of introducing young players this year by starting Llyr Morris at centre and bringing in Patrick McNicholas at wing in the second half”, commented coach Simon Blanks. ”In addition 20 year old Patrick Parfrey will start at outside half ,with Dean Blanks moving to fullback. This brings the number of u21 players in Saturday’s squad to six!”
On Tuesday Sept 4th the Rock will play Pacific Tyee at the Swilers Rugby Complex at 6pm in their third game of the CRC.
The Rock team for Saturday is:
In celebration of his long standing as a member of the Canadian National Men's Rugby team, as well as his participation with the Newfoundland/the Rock provincial team, the Newfoundland rugby community honoured Rod Snow with a dinner and roast.
Along with honouring Snow, the 150 in attendance acknowledged the accomplishments of the Newfoundland under 16 side, who finished 2nd in the 2011 National Championships. The night also acted as The Rock Appreciation Dinner for sponsors and VIPs, whose contributions make the Rock Program financially viable and competitive with the mainland teams.
Although the weather from the previous day attempted to prevent the guests from attending the dinner, which took place at the Swilers' clubhouse in St. John's, they braved the elements and were treated to not only a fantastic feast but also a night of entertaining and humourous rugby tales.
Al Charron, former National team captain, roasted his good friend and teammate with a collection of stories about old times as well as a few tales about some embarrassing moments. All done in good fun, Charron also shared a few stories about fellow guest, former National team coach and current Director of the The Rock program, Pat Parfrey.
Not being able to attend, but sending his greetings was the Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay. MacKay prepared a statement that said, "To Rod, our honoured guest. I extend my sincere best wishes and thanks for all that you have done to elevate rugby in Atlantic Canada and the country. You struck an imposing figure on the field with your thundering hits and powerful push and drives. When the ball was in your hands it was not coming loose and when you took off on a ramble, things were going to happen. On and off the field, at home and away..."
Rod responded in kind and showed that he could both dish it out and take it, recalling old war stories with the entire group. Snow also took the occasion to speak from the heart about the people who mattered in his life and career.
Rod Snow, who was accompanied by his lovely wife Elizabeth, was feted by rugby supporters, young and old, from the area and beyond for an outstanding career at the club, provincial, professional and national levels.
Also present were many past team members from Rod's club and provincial days. It was a great night of stories and laughs with the celebration carrying on to various establishments on the world famous George Street after the reception.
The Rock 36 Niagara 24
Outstanding first 30 minutes - 2 tries by Jordan Power and 1 by Patrick McNicholas, 2 conversions by McNicholas. Niagara came back with 2 converted tries either side of halftime, however The Rock dominated the last 15 minutes with tries by Alex Marshall and Matt o’Reilly, and a penalty and 2 conversions by McNicholas.
Negotiations are in progress to have a National Final between the Rock and the Crimson Tide, BC U20 WINNERS.
The Rock played their last game of the CRC on Saturday, loosing away to Ontario by 21 -19. The game was played in stifling heat, with the temperature at 30 degrees and humidity making it feel like 39 degrees. Nonetheless The Rock played their best game of the year and nearly tied the game at the end. Despite being decimated by injuries this young team (average 24 years) played courageously and skilfully against the champions, leading by 11-10 at half, and scoring a try in the last minute in the corner. The conversion attempt by Dean Blanks cruelly curled away at the last second.
Dean Blanks had 3 penalties, Zac Coughlan scored a try from a scrum and Chris Burt scored the other try.
Noteworthy in the game was outstanding lineout work, a vastly improved defence, and several long line breaks from Rob Wilson, Zac Coughlan, Patrick Parfrey and Kyle Baillie. The young scrum was under pressure from the heavier Ontario pack and the strong Ontario defence was the difference.
“The Rock won only 2 of 5 games this CRC season, but we are delighted that we have transitioned to a new group of players who have given us much hope for the future” commented Pat Parfrey, Director of the Rock program. ”Simon and I were very happy with individual performances, and the improvement made from the home game v Ontario to the away game was very substantial. This improvement was attributable not only to the players but also to the work Simon has done with the team in the last few weeks. Our job next year will be to expose our young players to high quality opposition, and target another National Championship sometime in the next 5 years”
The degree of the transition made is shown by the names of the squad who did not play on Saturday— Frank Walsh, Peter Densmore, Sean O’Leary, Jebb Sinclair, Chauncey O’Toole, Ken Goodland, Morgan Williams, Tyler Wish, Ciarean Hearn, Phil Mack, furthermore we lost Robert Wilson and Zac Coughlan in the first half to injury.
The last event of the 2011 season will be a dinner on Friday November 18th called "A Tribute to a Warrior - Rod Snow"
This is not a retirement dinner, but one responding to the requests of our supporters on the deck who want to recognize the vast contribution Rod has made to Newfoundland rugby. Some of the proceeds from this dinner will go to support the Rugby World Cup team, featuring 4 of our players, and some to a May tour to Wales for the Rock U25 team.