CALGARY – The Ontario Blues all but secured a spot in the Canadian Rugby Championship final as they moved to 2-0 in the competition with a 45-22 win over the Prairie Wolf Pack Sunday at Calgary Rugby Park.
Kainoa Lloyd put together a first-half hat trick to put the Blues up by a 28-10 margin at the break and then added one more in the second half to help lead the defending CRC champions to a convincing victory.
The Blues extended their lead to as much as 35 points, 45-10, late in match, before Wolf Pack tries from Mozac Samson and Carl Pocock rounded out the scoring.
Along with Lloyds four tries, the Blues Shawn Windsor, Andrew Ferguson and Dan Moor also put up tries for Ontario.
Brandon Baker scored the Wolf Pack’s first try of the competition midway through the first half.
“We started the game really well and got a lot of points on the board,” Lloyd said. “But the last 20 minutes, we really started to let up and let them back in the game. So, we’re disappointed with how we finished off the game. We want to make sure we don’t have that drop off at the end of the game.”
Both teams are back in action Aug. 16 back at Calgary Rugby Park, with the Blues taking on the BC Bears (7pm PT/4pm PT) and the Wolf Pack playing the Atlantic Rock (9pm ET/6pm PT).
The Blues have collected all five points from each of their first two matches, while the Wolf Pack are still without a point in the standings through two outings.
After a strong opening 10 minutes for Ontario, Moor broke through, scoring the first try for the Blues in the 11th minute.
The Wolf Pack slotted a penalty in the 25th minute to narrow the gap to four points. However, five mintues later Lloyd responded with his first try of the afternoon.
With Ontario’s Lucas Rumball in the sin bin, the Wolf Pack found the try line for the first time in this year’s CRC, with Baker thundering down the middle of the park and touching down in the 33rd minute.
However, from there, it was Lloyd taking over, scoring twice before the halftime whistle. The Blues Ferguson tallied all four first-half conversions.
The Blues added to their lead in the 59th minute when Ferguson scored himself to put Ontario up 33-10. Then it was Windsor and Lloyd scoring to put the Blues up 45-10.
“The key for me today was just having good support lines,” Lloyd said. “Against the Rock, I didn’t have a lot of runs throughs and today I looked to get more involved and it worked out well.”
Late tries from Samson and Pocock reeled the Blues in, but only marginally, as Ontario held on for the win.
This year’s CRC format sees each team face each other once, with the two best teams in the standings playing in the MacTier Cup championship game Aug. 19. The other two teams will battle for third place on the same day.
Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule
July 14 – BC Bears 43 Prairie Wolf Pack 0
July 22 – Ontario Blues 24 Atlantic Rock 17
August 13 – Ontario Blues 45 Prairie Wolf Pack 22
August 13 – BC Bears vs. Atlantic Rock – 5pm ET/2pm PT
August 16 – BC Bears vs. Ontario Blues – 7pm ET/4pm PT
August 16 – Atlantic Rock vs. Prairie Wolf Pack – 9pm ET/6pm PT
August 19 – 3rd Place Match – 7pm ET/4pm PT
August 19 – Championship Game – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Prairie Wolf Pack
1. Hubert Buydens - Saskatoon Wild Oats
2. Robert Blunden - St. Albert RFC
3. Ryan Kotlewski - Calgary Saints
4. Conor Turner - Calgary Hornets
5. Riley Fahlman - Regina Campion Grads
6. Lucas Albornoz - Burnaby Lake
7. Kyle Gilmour - St. Albert RFC (captain)
8. Jeremy Kyne - Strathcona Druids
9. Jake Robinson - St. Albert RFC
10. Gradyn Bowd - Red Deer Titans
11. Conor Desmond – Calgary Canadian Irish
12. Adam Bontus - St. Albert RFC
13. Mozac Samson - Calgary Saints
14. Carl Pocock - Calgary Rams
15. Nick McAuley - Calgary Saints
16. Pete Houlihan - Strathcona Druids
17. Casey Reed - Univ of Victoria
18. Wayde Hodgen - Calgary Hornets
19. Kyle Morrison - Edmonton Nor’Westers
20. Mark Discombe - Regina Rogues
21. Robbie Povey - Calgary Hornets
22. Nicholas Blevins - Calgary Hornets
Col Jeffs - Head Coach
Gordon McRorie - Assistant Coach
Tyler Hawes - Assistant Coach
Melissa Petryna - Therapist
Jim Kazakoff - Manager
Sean Tindall - Assistant Manager
Jo Reinbold - Assistant Manager
Colby Westgard - Therapist
1. Rob Brouwer, Lindsay RFC (Captain)
2. Eric Howard, Brantford Harlequins
3. Tom Dolezel, London St. Georges
4. Hank McQueen, Balmy Beach RFC
5. Mike Sheppard, Stoney Creek Camels
6. Peter Milazzo, Toronto Saracens
7. Lucas Rumball, Balmy Beach
8. Andrew Wilson, Crusaders
9. Andrew Ferguson, Crusaders
10. Shawn Windsor, Stoney Creek Camels
11. Kainoa Lloyd, Mississauga Blues
12. Josh Campbell, London St. Georges
13. Andrew Coe, Markham Irish
14. Dan Moor, Balmy Beach
15. Rory McDonell, Brantford Harlequins
16. Andrew Quattrin, Aurora Barbarians
17. Pat Lynott, Bytown Blues
18. Ryan Surgenor, Bytown Blues
19. Paul Ciulini, Aurora Barbarians
20. Marcello Wainwright, Toronto Saracens
21. Mario Van Der Westhuizen, Guelph Redcoats
22. Mitch Richardson, Stoney Creek Camels
23. John Sheridan, Markham Irish
Chris Silverthorn - Head Coach
Cory Hector - Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur - Team Manager
Chris Kelly - Athletic Therapist
Rodin Lozada - Video Analyst
Dr. Chris Gallimore - Team Doctor
Canadian Rugby Championship – Past Champions
2016 - Ontario Blues
2015 - Prairie Wolf Pack
2014 - Ontario Blues
2013 - Ontario Blues
2012 - Ontario Blues
2011 - Ontario Blues
2010 - Atlantic Rock
2009 - BC Bears