BLUES TOP THE ROCK, WIN 2012 CANADIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, September 22, 2012 - Submitted by The Rock Communications
The 2012 Canadian Rugby Championships season has come full circle for the Ontario Blues.
Starting the campaign as the defending MacTier Cup champions, the squad saw themselves complete a successful tour of South America, come back to Canada and battle through a challenging 2012 CRC season in which they finished 4-1 and capped it off by raising the MacTier Cup on Saturday in St. John's as national champions with a convincing 40-16 win over The Rock at the Swilers Rugby Complex. 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. The Rock's Ciaran Hearn and Blues' Derek Daypuck went back and forth with two penalties each taking the score to 11-6 Blues after 30 minutes.
The Rock answered back by crafting a beautiful try, orchestrated by their young outside half Patrick Parfrey. With an onrushing Blues' back line 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 of the match 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 Ray 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 championship, letting out a loud cheer as captain Derek Daypuck was presented with the McTier Cup by Rugby Canada's General Manger of Rugby Operations and Performance, Mike Chu.
“We had the intensity we needed to win here," said Blues' captain Daypuck. "The Rock are so tough, especially at home, so it felt like we really stepped up under pressure.”
“Great effort from our guys in the second half, especially on defence," said Blues Head Coach Chris Silverthorn. "We had them under pressure and took points from that pressure. So proud of the guys for a truly committed effort all year.”
“Great atmosphere for rugby, beautiful day, big crowd," said Blues Manager Mark Winokur. "Really a great feeling for the guys and for the entire provincial program.”
The game wrapped up an exciting CRC season that featured a very close competition between the league's top sides, coming down to the last day of the competition where any one of three teams, the Blues, the Rock or the Wolf Pack, 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, Argentina and Uruguay October 12th, 16th and 20th in Langford, BC at Westhills Stadium.
TEAM 1st 2nd Final The Rock 13 3 16 Ontario Blues 11 29 40
16 Steve Cutliffe - Dogs RFC Mt. Pearl, NL 17 Benoit Piffero - St. Anne-de Bellevue Montreal, PQ 18 Justin Meyers - Swilers RFC St. John’s, NL 19 Mike Hansom – Tars RFC Halifax, NS 20 Scott Forrest - Tars RFC Halifax, NS 21 Llyr Morris - Mudmen RFC Charlottetown, PEI 22 Patrick McNicholas - Swilers RFC St. John’s, NL 23 Alex Rogers - Dogs RFC Mt. Pearl NL
Ontario Blues Starting Line Up 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 Jamie Mackenzie, Oakville 10 Derek Daypuck, London 11 Ryan Macsween, Balmy Beach 12 Dan West, Oakville 13 Jordan Wilson-Ross, Barrie 14 Dan Moor, Balmy Beach 15 Liam Underwood, Balmy Beach
16 Creag Johnston, Toronto Scottish 17 Mike Blakey, Oshawa Vikings 18 Rob Brouwer, Lindsay/Aurora 19 Andrew Crow, Balmy Beach 20 Kyle Armstrong, Ajax 21 Ryan Tomlinson, Barrie 22 Rory Tomlinson, Barrie
CRC Referees Referee: Chris Assmus Assistant Referee: Andrew McMaster Assistant Referee: Sean Clancy (NL