Two tries from World Cup hero Conor Trainor and a hat trick from 7s star Phil Mack lifted Pacific Tyee past Ontario Blues 36-31 in an exciting if often baffling fixture at Burlington RFC on Saturday.
A good crowd of around 700 saw seven lead changes before Trainor intercepted a loose pass from Blues Ryan Macsween with 6 minutes left to give the Tyee a 36-28 lead before Blues rallied with an injury time penalty kick from Derek Daypuck to gain a bonus point.
The Blues had taken a 6-0 lead with two Daypuck penalties in the first 10 minutes of Ontario pressure, but Mack scored the first of his three tries, ducking a tackle and scoring in the corner, Connor Braid converting. Daypuck kicked Ontario ahead again before yet another Mack try out wide, again converted by Braid.
The Blues then camped on the Tyee line and their scrum dominated to the point where referee Brian Arciero first yellow carded scrum half Sean White, then awarded the Blues a penalty try when the Tyee scrum buckled on their own line, Daypucks convert giving Blues a 16-14 lead at the half.
The Blues began the second half with purpose, driving deep into Pacific territory before winning a scrum near the line, which halfback Jamie Mackenzie picked and dove over in the corner, Daypuck converting.
Off the kickoff, Blues fumbled, Mack chipped through and was awarded a try in a controversial race with John Moonlight to the loose ball, 23-19 Ontario.
From that kickoff, Blues stole and drove in Tyee territory, lock Tyler Ardron going over from a well-worked maul.
But the Tyee, with a fully capped backline, had the last word, Trainor getting a crazy bounce of a kicked ball back into his hands to score, Braid hitting a 40 meter drop goal and then Trainors gift wrapped intercept. Blues came back with Moonlight crashing to the line, but not over, and from the ensuing penalty, Daypuck converted to close the gap to 36-31 on full time.
“We talked about a structured game plan that took care of the ball” said Blues coach Chris Silverthorn, “but in the end, we just chucked it around and it came back to haunt us. The Tyee have some great athletes and we contained them for the most part, but we simply gave them too many chances down the stretch.”
The win gives the Tyee five points in the standings, same as Ontario, although the Blues have a game in hand with two played against the Tyee three. First place Prairie Wolfpack come to town on Tuesday night, facing the Blues at Oakville RFC, 630 pm kickoff, see www.oakvillecrusaders.com in a crucial game for both teams.
TEAM 1ST 2ND FINAL
ONTARIO BLUES 16 15 31
PACIFIC TYEE 14 22 36
Ontario Blues Roster
1 Doug Wooldridge, Lindsay
2 Ray Barkwill, Niagara/Oakville
3 Tom Dolezel, London
4 Tyler Ardron, McMaster U.
5 Scott Dunham, Balmy Beach
6 John Moonlight, Ajax
7 Alistair Clark, Oakville
8 Seb Pearson, Lindsay/London
9 Kyle Armstrong, Ajax
10 Liam Underwood, Balmy Beach
11 Ryan Macsween, Balmy Beach
12 Derek Daypuck, London C
13 Jordan Wilson-Ross, Barrie
14 Lucas Hammond, Toronto Nomads
15 Ryan Tomlinson, Barrie
16 Rob Brouwer, Lindsay
17 JT Rowbotham, Lindsay
18 Jacob Rumball, Balmy Beach
19 Andrew Crow, Balmy Beach
20 Jamie Mackenzie, Oakville
21 Rory Tomlinson, Barrie
22 Dan Moor Balmy Beach
Coach: Chris Silverthorn
Assistant coaches: Paul Connelly, Paul Ambrose
Manage: Mark Winokur
AT: Mike Cook
Video Analyst: Rodin Lozada
Dr John Ho
Pacific Tyee Roster
1. Anthony Luca Burnaby Lake RC Pitt Meadows BC
2. Micha Govorchin Burnaby Lake RC North Delta, BC
3. Scott Mackay Burnaby Lake RC North Vancouver BC
4. Luke Campbell UVIC Vikes Victoria BC
5. Liam Chisholm UVIC Vikes Kenora, ON
6. Alex Boyd Maralomas RC Winnipeg MB
7. Thyssen de Goede James Bay AA Courtenay BC
8. Callum Morrison James Bay AA Victoria BC
9. Sean White James Bay AA Victoria, BC
10. Connor Braid James Bay AA Victoria, BC
11. Sean Duke UVIC Vikes Vancouver, BC
12. Harry Jones Capilano RC Vancouver, BC
13. Conor Trainor Old Boy Ravens Vancouver, BC
14. Brodie Henderson Chilliwack RFC Chilliwack BC
15. Phil Mack UVIC Vikes Victoria, BC
16. Noah Barker James Bay AA Courtenay BC
17. Andrew Lackner Burnaby Lake RC Pitt Meadows BC
18. Toby Berg Velox RC Denman Island, BC
19. Will Campbell UVIC Vikes Toronto ON
20. Jonathan Hill UBCOB Ravens Edmonton AB
21. Cody Rockson Bayside RC Langley BC
22. Mike Fuailefau Castaway Wanderers RC Victoria BC
Head Coach: John MacMillan
Manager: Todd Silverthorn