Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Submitted by RC Communications
The Ontario Blues proved they were the best CRC team in 2011.
The 2011 MacTier Cup champions have produced a number of great players for Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team, as well as professional players in high profile leagues overseas. The Blues are looking to create a rugby dynasty by dominating the Canadian Rugby Championships for a second year in a row.
The team regrouped in March and began practicing on Monday nights in preparation for what was an outstanding preseason and South American tour. On April 7, the Blues got together for the first time in 2012 at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford, BC. They were hosted by the select team, the Canadian Maple Leafs. Despite losing 31-18, the Blues made it known they were more than prepared for a May venture in South America.
Ontario opened their first match of the tour against Chile. Although they quickly took an 8-0 lead over the Condors, the Chilean squad used their strength to steal the match 19-17. There were many positives for the players to take away from the close match, and they did just that. The Blues then traveled to Argentina for what was expected be a hard fought match against Salta Province. Despite a highly physical and heated game, the Argentine team was no match for the Blues, who came on top 32-26 for the first Ontario win of 2012.
The victory against Salta boosted the confidence of the Blues, who rode into Uruguay on a high note. They took to the pitch against the Uruguay’s national team on May 13. Even though they were threatened at times by Los Teros, the Blues easily dispatched their opponents 27-16, ending their South American tour with a record of 2-1, and preseason 2-2.
Ontario will open its CRC season at home for the first time when they take on The Rock at Oakville Crusaders RFC on Saturday August 25. They are expected to be boosted by the addition of valuable players. Ray Barkwill returns from three seasons with Western Force A and the University of Western Australia. Ryan Tomlinson will once again wear the Blue jersey after being sidelined from the 2011 season due to injury. Jamie Mackenzie and Mike Scholz will also return to Ontario after missing last year’s season due to the World Cup.
Not all of Ontario’s best and brightest will be returning for the 2012 season, however. Taylor Paris, Conor McCann and Brett Beukeboom are all signed overseas while Luke Tait, Dan and Mike Pletch will miss the season due to injury.
The forecast still looks bright for the Blues, however, as the team is excited to open the season and solidify themselves as the best team in Canada once again.
2012 Ontario Blues CRC Roster: Forwards Tyler Ardron (Brantford Harlequins) Lakefield, ON Ray Barkwill (Niagara/Oakville Crusaders) Port Colborne, ON Mike Blakey (Oshawa Vikings) Oshawa, ON Rob Brouwer (Lindsay RFC) Lindsay, ON Alistair Clark (Oakville Crusaders) Oakville, ON Andrew Crow (Balmy Beach) Vancouver, BC Tom Dolezel (London St Georges) Toronto, ON Scott Dunham (Balmy Beach) Toronto, ON Creag Johnston (Toronto Scottish) Woodbridge, ON Mark Macsween (Balmy Beach) Scarborough, ON Hank McQueen, (Balmy Beach) Toronto, ON Seb Pearson (Lindsay RFC/London St Georges) Lindsay, ON Gord Kehoe (Barrie RFC) Barrie, ON John Moonlight (James Bay AA) Pickering, ON Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC) Lindsay, ON JT Rowbotham (Lindsay RFC) Lindsay, ON
Backs Kyle Armstrong (Ajax Wanderers) Whitby, ON Derek Daypuck (London St Georges) London, ON Jamie Mackenzie (University of Victoria) Oakville, ON Ryan Macsween (Balmy Beach) Scarborough, ON Craig Marshall (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON Mike Scholz (Oakville Crusaders) Oakville, ON Steve Piatek (Brantford Harlequins) Brantford, ON Rory Tomlinson (Barrie RFC) Barrie, ON Ryan Tomlinson (Barrie RFC) Barrie, ON Dan Moor (Balmy Beach) Toronto, ON Grant Schnieder (Oakville Crusaders) Oakville, ON Dan West, (Oakville Crusaders) Scarborough, ON Liam Underwood (Balmy Beach) Toronto, ON Jordan Wilson Ross (Barrie RFC) Alliston, ON
U20 Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders) Oakville, ON Lucas Hammond (Toronto Nomads) Toronto, ON Jon West (Markham Irish) Scarborough, ON Jesse Lofthouse (Markham Irish) Stouffville, ON Jake Webster (Lindsay RFC) Lindsay, ON Luc Pearson (Lindsay RFC) Lindsay, ON John Laplaca (Barrie RFC) Barrie, ON Jacob Rumball (Balmy Beach) Toronto, ON Cam Stones (Ajax Wanderers) Ajax, ON Kurt Gibbons (Markham Irish) Markhan, ON Eric Garnham (Mississauga Blues) Mississauga, ON Eric Selvaggi, (Aurora Barbarians) Aurora, ON
Not available due to the signing of pro contracts: Conor McCann (Clermont), Taylor Paris (Glasgow Warriors), Brett Beukeboom (Plymouth Albion).
Not available due to injury: Dan Pletch, Mike Pletch, Luke Tait.