Monday, August 19, 2013 - Submitted by Brock Smith - Rugby Ontario
(BURLINGTON, ON) – The Ontario Blues have won the opening match of their 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship season, defeating the Atlantic Rock in a nail-biter, 27-25, at Burlington’s Sherwood Forest Park.
In a back-and-forth match that saw the constant trading of tries and penalties, it was the clinical kicking of Ontario tandem Steve Piatek and Derek Daypuck that ensured victory for the Blues, as the duo did not miss a single conversion or penalty on the day.
“We survived,” said Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn, describing the match. “It was a bit sloppy, but the guys really got stuck in. Defensively, we were solid, and we didn’t miss a lot of tackles, but offensively, we would have liked to have had the ball a little more.”
After giving up an early penalty to the Rock, the Blues responded with consecutive tries from winger Ryan MacSween and No. 8 Cam Stones, both of which were converted by Piatek, to regain the first-half momentum.
The Rock quickly fought back with a try under the posts from fly half Patrick Parfrey, which was converted by winger Robert Wilson. Despite the Blues adding a Piatek penalty minutes later, a late first-half try by Rock No. 8 Zac Coughlan was converted, knotting the score at 17-17 on the halftime whistle.
The Rock started the second half as the stronger of the two sides, adding another early penalty to regain the lead, 20-17. However, the Blues immediately responded with a gritty try from Daypuck under the posts, which was converted by Piatek, bringing the score to 24-20 in favour of Ontario.
The lead would be short-lived, as the pendulum soon swung in the Rock’s direction, with fullback Alex Rogers scoring a try to restore the Rock’s lead, 25-24.
The Rock were unable to convert their final try – a play that would come back to haunt the Atlantic side, as a late Daypuck penalty, combined with a spirited display of defense, was enough to see Ontario through to a 27-25 win.
With the Blues without five starters from last year’s Championship-winning side (Ray Barkwill, Tom Dolezel, John Moonlight, Liam Underwood, and Doug Wooldridge) due to international duties, the squad called on a number of fresh faces to fill the gaps. Five Blues – Pat Richardson, Jesse Lofthouse, Djustice Sears-Duru, Mike Sheppard, and Matt Alexander – all received their first senior provincial caps in Ontario’s victory over the Rock.
“It just shows the depth of our program,” said Silverthorn. “With five of our guys off playing for Canada, it’s exactly what we want to see. We hope that next year, we’ll have another five of our guys representing our nation.”
“The new guys are adapting well to our system, but we’ll be looking to improve in a number of areas before our next match,” added Blues manager Mark Winokur. “The boys did enough to get the win today, and the plan is to keep up the intensity for next Friday.”
The Blues are back in action next Friday (Aug. 23rd) against the Life University Running Eagles, a top American club side, in Oakville, ON. The match will be hosted by the Oakville Crusaders, and will be played at their home pitch, Crusaders Park. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. For more information on this upcoming match, please visitwww.rugbyontario.com.
Ontario Blues Score Report
Tries: Ryan MacSween, Cam Stones, Derek Daypuck
Conversions: Steve Piatek (3)
Penalties: Steve Piatek, Derek Daypuck
Ontario Blues Lineup for CRC Match vs. Atlantic Rock – Name (Club)
1- Creag Johnston (Toronto Scottish) 2- Seb Pearson (London St. George’s) 3- Jacob Rumball (Balmy Beach) 4- Haddon Murray (Balmy Beach) 5- Scott Dunham (Balmy Beach) 6- Pat Richardson (Markham Irish) 7- Alistair Clark (Bay Street) 8- Cam Stones (Ajax Wanderers) 9- Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders) 10- Steve Piatek (Brantford Harlequins) 11- Ryan MacSween (Balmy Beach) 12- Derek Daypuck, Captain, (London St. George’s) 13- Mike Scholz (Castaway Wanderers RFC) 14- Jordan Wilson-Ross (Barrie RFC) 15- Jesse Lofthouse (Markham Irish) 16- Dave Neill (Brantford Harlequins) 17- Djustice Sears-Duru (Oakville Crusaders) 18- Mike Sheppard (Stoney Creek) 19- Mark MacSween (Balmy Beach) 20- Matt Alexander (Oshawa Vikings) 21- Dan Moor (Balmy Beach) 22- Rory Tomlinson (Barrie RFC)
Ontario Blues Team Staff
Head Coach - Chris Silverthorn Manager - Mark Winokur Assistant Coaches - Paul Connelly, Paul Ambrose Video Analyst - Rodin Lozada Athletic Therapist - Chris Kelly Team Doctor - Dr. Chris Gallimore
Ontario Blues 2013 Match Schedule:
BLUES 38 @ NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB 23 Saturday, May 4th, 2013 Kick off: 3:00 p.m. Travers Island, New York, New York
ATLANTIC ROCK 25 @ 27 BLUES Saturday, August 17th, 2013 Kick off: 4:30 p.m. Sherwood Forest Park, Burlington, Ontario
LIFE UNIVERSITY RUNNING EAGLES @ BLUES Friday, August 23rd, 2013 Kick off: 6 p.m. Crusaders Park, Oakville, Ontario
BLUES @ BRITISH COLUMBIA Friday, August 30th, 2013 Kick off: 4:30 p.m. PDT, 7:30 p.m. EDT Westhills Stadium, Langford, British Columbia
BLUES @ PRAIRIE WOLFPACK Monday, September 2nd, 2013 Kick off: 1:00 p.m. MDT, 3:00 p.m. EDT Calgary Rugby Park, Calgary, Alberta
BRITISH COLUMBIA @ BLUES Saturday, September 14th, 2013 Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. Lindsay Rugby Park, Lindsay, Ontario
BLUES @ ATLANTIC ROCK Saturday, September 21st, 2013 Kick off: 3:30 p.m. NDT, 2:00 p.m. EDT Swilers Rugby Complex, St. John's, Newfoundland
About Rugby Ontario:
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to promote, govern, and develop rugby at all levels in a safe, affordable and enjoyable environment within the province of Ontario.