One of the most feared teams in the CRC is looking even better going into the 2012 season.
The Rock begins their quest for the MacTier Cup on August 25 at Oakville Crusaders RFC when they take on the Ontario Blues in a battle for early Eastern rugby supremacy.
The team had a very promising preseason that saw them take on some of the toughest competition Canada has to offer. They made a lot of noise with a 4-0 tour of Vancouver Island in May, recording strong wins against the Canadian Maple Leafs, Canada Men’s U20, Castaway-Wanderers RFC and James Bay Athletic Association. Many of the Rock’s players also prepared for the season by competing for the Newfoundland Rock in inter-provincial matches that saw them take down Quebec and Eastern Ontario’s Les Voyageurs once and the Nova Scotia Keltics once, all in the month of June.
The Rock announced three key additions before their final selection camp that took place between August 1 and the 5th. Seasoned World Cup veterans Frank Walsh, Ciaran Hearn and Chauncey O’Toole are expected to add a lot of muscle to the Atlantic lineup this season. Young, up-and-coming front row warriors Benoit Piffero, Jordan Power, Bob Rogers and Keelan Chapman are set fill the void left by the unfortunate loss of CRC legends Peter Densmore and Rod Snow. Other players not returning for the Rock are back rows Sean O’Leary and Chris Mooney.
Playing out of Swilers Rugby Park in St. John’s Newfoundland once again, The Rock is notorious as a force at home. They are looking to exploit this advantage to the fullest, as both Eastern teams will play three of five games at home this season.
Canada’s most eastern CRC representative is looking to erase the memory of last year’s season, as the Rock finished in last with a 2-3 record and only nine points. The team recorded its best season in 2010 with a perfect 3-0 record and a MacTier Cup victory. That season also saw the team tie the BC Bears’ record for the most ever points won in a CRC season at 14.
Much like Ontario and the Prairies, the Rock has pulled out all the stops this summer to ensure a victorious season and the bragging rights that may come with being the first CRC team to win the coveted MacTier Cup for a second time. With all the preparations in place this month, Canada’s highest domestic rugby award is within reach for The Rock.
2012 The Rock CRC Roster
Name (Club) Hometown
Frank Walsh (Vandals RFC) St. John’s, NL
Stephen Cutcliffe (Dogs RFC) St. John’s, NL
Bob Rogers (Dogs RFC) Mt. Pearl, NL
Keelan Chapman (St. Anne-de Bellevue) Montreal, PQ
Owen Parfrey (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Benoit Piffero (St. Anne-de Bellevue) Montreal, PQ
Jordan Power (Dogs RFC) Mt. Pearl, NL
Brad Lester (Dogs RFC) Mt. Pearl, NL
Jon Phelan (St. Anne-de Bellevue) Montreal, PQ
Toni Wodzicki (Wanderers RFC) Montreal, PQ
Justin Meyers (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Kevin Parfrey (Swilers RFC) Halifax, NS
Chauncey O’Toole (Belle Isle RFC) Victoria, BC
Jasmin Kukavika (Loyalist RFC) Fredericton, NB
Mike Hamson (Tars RFC) Halifax, NS
Kyle Baillie (Mudmen RFC) Edmonton, AB
Zac Coughlan (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Mike Simpson (Swilers RFC) Sudbury, ON
Scott Forrest (Tars RFC) Halifax, NS
Dean Blanks (Dogs RFC) Mt. Pearl, NL
Patrick Parfrey (Swilers RFC) St. John’s NL
Llyr Morris (Mudmen RFC) Charlottetown, PEI
Morgan Lovell (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Shane Stratton (Dogs RFC) Goulds, NL
Geoff Warden (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Tyler Wish (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Robert Wilson (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Patrick McNicholas (Swilers RFC) St. John’s, NL
Walker Blizzard (Trojans RFC) St. John, NB
Ciaran Hearn (Bayman RFC) Victoria, BC
Coach: Simon Blanks
Co-coach: Pat Parfrey
Manager: Rick Graham
Alex Marshall (Vandals, RFC) St. John’s, NL
Ryan Monahan (Baymen RFC) Conception Bay South, NL
Oliver van Gulick (Baymen RFC) Conception Bay South, NL
Matt Heaton (St. Anne-de Bellevue) Montreal, PQ
Alex Forrest (Acadia U. RFC) Halifax, NS
Ted Cadigan (Baymen RFC) Conception Bay South, NL