Monday, September 22, 2014 - Submitted by Brendan Munro - BC Rugby Communications
It’s been a season full of adversity for the BC Bears, but on Sunday they were finally able to gain a modicum of redemption with a 26-20 victory of the Atlantic Rock.
September in St. John’s, Newfoundland, meant blustery conditions, as both teams struggled to control the ball. Knock-ons and scrums were the order of the day, with the Rock holding a slight edge in the scrums overall.
The Bears led wire-to-wire, and while the Rock threatened to take the lead on several occasions, the Bears consistently had a response.
Toni Pomroy made an outstanding run for the Rock at the 18 minute mark, but his grubber kick into goal was desperately recovered by the Bears. Only moments later, it was Bears centre Nathan Yanagiya picking up the last of a string of passes to sneak across the line for the game’s opening try.
After a Ciaran Hearn penalty to bring the score to 5-3, the Bears made the most of a McNichols clearance kick on the full, which brought the ball back near the Rock's 22m line. After the line-out, Brock Staller opened up the defence and prop Cody McLary rumbled over the try line to increase the Bear's lead to 12-3 and putting some distance between themselves and the Rock at half time.
The second half opened with a highlight reel tackle by Frank Walsh. Give Sean Ferguson credit for getting up following the big hit by Walsh, but Ferguson will still be feeling it on the long coast-to-coast flight back home.
After a line out, Toni Pomroy went for a long run across the field, spreading the Bears defence very thin, before successfully finding Charles DeBove in ample space. DeBove was able to score easily to bring the Rock to within a score at 12-8.
Less than two minutes later, the Bears moved quickly up the field and created pressure only 5m from the try line. The Rock defence anxiously pilled into the ruck, but overcommitted players, which allowed the Bears to spin the ball out to an unmarked Pat Kay. He dotted down for 5 and added the conversion.
In the 70th minute Bryan Tyrer showed quick feet, danced through the tackle line and dished to Jordan Sandover-Best. His try would hold up as the game winner.
Mike Hamson and Adam Paul showed that the Atlantic Rock would not quit, adding home-crowd pleasing tries in the 75th and 80th minutes respectively to round out the scoring at 26-20.
The BC Bears (2-4) finished the CRC season in third place with 10 points.
BC Bears: Tries: Yanagiya, McLary, Kay, Sandover Best Conversions: Kay (3)