CALGARY – The Atlantic Rock rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to earn a 33-29 comeback win over the Prairie Wolf Pack in Round 3 of the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) at Calgary Rugby Park.
Trailing 17-6 late in the first half, the Rock tallied 27 straight points to go ahead 33-17, before a pair of late Wolf Pack tries made it a four-point game at the final whistle.
The win is the first victory for the Rock in this year’s CRC, while the Wolf Pack remains winless through three games.
The two teams will meet again Aug. 19 (7pm ET/4pm PT) in the third place match back at Calgary Rugby Park. Following that match, the CRC championship game will feature the Ontario Blues and the BC Bears (9pm ET/6pm PT).
“It was a tough game and the Wolf Pack are tough to defend against because they have a good team,” said Rock captain Martial Lagain. “But then we had a good rush in the second half and we held onto the ball and scored some tries, so it was a good finish.
“At halftime, we talked about working hard in the middle of the field and holding onto the ball and then producing quick balls to attack the wide channels. So, that’s what we did and that worked.”
Cooper Coats led the Rock with a try and three penalties, while Brett Johnson, Mike Hamson and Jack McCarthy also scored tries for the Atlantic.
Robbie Povey had a pair of tries to go with a penalty, while Jake Bentley and Mozac Samson scored tries in the game’s waning moments to narrow the final scoreline.
The Rock opened the scoring, with Coats slotting a penalty, only to see the Wolf Pack strike back with consecutive converted tries – first from Povey and then from Bentley – to give the Wolf Pack a 14-3 lead through 17 minutes.
After Coats and Povey traded penalties, the Rock finally broke through in the 35th minute when Johnson touched down for Atlantic’s first try of the evening.
Coats knocked through his third penalty of the game just before the break to bring the Rock within three points, 17-14, at halftime.
Taking advantage of a yellow card to BC’s Connor Gilbert, the Coats opened the second-half scoring with a 50th minute try and, after converting himself, put his team ahead 21-17.
After Hamson scored to put the Rock up 26-17, a well-executed play by the Atlantic boys saw McCarthy also cross the line to seal the victory.
The Rock’s Alex Forrest was issued a yellow card in the 73rd minute and the Wolf Pack seized the opportunity to score a pair of late tries – first from Samson and then Povey – but ultimately, they proved inconsequential.
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 20 Atlantic Rock 13
August 16 – BC Bears 34 Ontario Blues 31
August 16 – Atlantic Rock 33 Prairie Wolf Pack 29
August 19 – 3rd Place Match – 7pm ET/4pm PT
August 19 – Championship Game – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Canadian Rugby Championship – Rosters
1. Dickie, Evan - Enfield RFC
2. Lagain, Martial - Ste. Anne de Bellevue (captain)
3. Power, Jordon - Dogs RFC
4. Hotton, Lucas - Town of Mt. Royal
5. Lester. Brad - Dogs RFC
6. Carter, Liam - Balmy Beach
7. Abdelmonen, Moe - Halifax Tars
8. O'Sullivan, Carson
9. Barry, Graham - Halifax Tars
10. Coats, Cooper - Halifax Tars
11. Chris Browne – Dogs RFC
12. Sehic, Emil - Loyalists RFC
13. Alexander, Colin - Balmy Beach
14. Lantos, Daniel - Swilers RFC
15. Johnson, Brett - Truro Saints
16. Parfrey, Owen - Swilers RFC
17. Forrest, Alex - PEI Mudmen
18. Chahwan, Jake - Ottawa Irish
19. Phelan, Jon
20. Keys, Connor - Ottawa Indians
21. Paul, Adam – Swilers RFC
22. Debove, Charles - Ste. Anne de Bellevue
23. McCarthy, Jack - Baymen RFC
24. Walsh, Frank - Vandals RFC
25. Hamson, Michael - Halifax Tars
26. Parfrey, Patrick Jr. - Swilers RFC
Blanks, Simon - Coach
Hanratty, Jack - Coach
Graham, Rick – Hon. Manager
Parfrey, Patrick Sr. - Director of Rugby
Parfrrey, Kevin – Therapist
Prairie Wolf Pack
1. Pete Houlihan - Strathcona Druids (captain)
2. Casey Reed - Univ of Victoria
3. Nick McAuley - Calgary Saints
4. Riley Fahlman - Regina Campion Grads
5. Conor Turner - Calgary Hornets
6. Connor Gilbert - Bow Valley Grizzlies
7. Wayde Hodgen - Calgary Hornets
8. Kyle Morrison - Edmonton Nor’Westers
9. Mark Discombe - Regina Rogues
10. Robbie Povey - Calgary Hornets
11. Jake Bentley - Calgary Canucks
12. Adam Bontus - St. Albert RFC
13. Evan Thomas - Edmonton Lep/Tigers
14. Brandon Baker - Regina Campion Grads
15. Cam Hall - Strathcona Druids
16. Ryan Kotlewski - Calgary Saints
17. Lalit Bharadwaj – Calgary Saints
18. Robert Blunden - St. Albert RFC
19. Hubert Buydens - Saskatoon Wild Oats
20. Lucas Albornoz - Burnaby Lake
21. Jake Robinson - St. Albert RFC
22. Carl Pocock - Calgary Rams
23. Mozac Samson - Calgary Saints
24. Gradyn Bowd - Red Deer Titans
25. Kyle Gilmour - St. Albert RFC
26. Jeremy Kyne - Strathcona Druids
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
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