FOURTACULAR - BLUES TAKE CRC TITLE WITH WIN OVER ROCK
Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Submitted by Brock Smith - Rugby Ontario
Four years, four national championships.
The Ontario Blues continued their prolific run in the Canadian Rugby Championship on Saturday afternoon, using a 45-5 victory over the Atlantic Rock in St. John’s, N.L. to clinch their fourth straight MacTier Cup.
The Blues had a tall order entering the match, requiring a bonus-point victory to secure the national title. Anything less than a five-point performance by Ontario would have seen the idle Prairie Wolf Pack claim their first-ever MacTier Cup.
Despite the stakes, the Blues began the match as the more pedestrian of the two sides, going up against a Rock team that looked well at home while playing in blustery, rainy conditions. The Maritime side scored the match’s first points, with flanker Toni Wodzicki crashing in to give the Rock a 5-0 lead.
The Rock would maintain their lead until the 31-minute mark, when Blues flanker Alistair Clark answered back for Ontario. Blues captain Derek Daypuck hit his conversion, giving Ontario a 7-5 lead that would hold through to the halftime whistle.
While the first half featured a Blues side that appeared sluggish and error-prone, the second frame would showcase the best half of rugby played by Ontario this season.
The Blues exploded for three tries in the opening fifteen minutes of the half: speedy scrum-half Andrew Ferguson notched the first two, while lock Hank McQueen rumbled in to score the vital fourth try of the day, securing Ontario the much-needed bonus point.
With a shell-shocked Rock side deflated, the reinvigorated Blues continued to pour it on throughout the final twenty minutes of the match. Tries from flankers Tim Richardson and Lucas Rumball gave the Blues their insurance markers, while fly-half Shawn Windsor dealt the final blow in the dying second of the match.
Ontario’s six-try half, coupled with Daypuck’s four conversions, gave the Blues a comfortable 45-5 victory over their hosts, en route to capturing the national title.
“The feeling you get from winning a national championship never gets old,” said Blues manager Mark Winokur, after the match. “The pressure was on, with us having to take a bonus point today. We were in tough, needing to score three tries in the second half, but our guys responded with their best half of rugby all season.”
“We know that we’re privileged to be part of something so special,” added Winokur. “To be this dominant in such a high-calibre competition is what drives us to continue to succeed, year after year. Our guys have worked so hard to achieve their four-peat, and it says a lot about the state of rugby in our province.”
Ontario’s bonus-point victory took the Blues (5-1) atop the Canadian Rugby Championship standings with 24 points, one point ahead of tournament runners-up Prairie Wolf Pack (5-1). British Columbia Bears (2-4) finished the tournament in third place with 10 points, while the winless Atlantic Rock (0-6) ended the season in fourth spot, with just a single point.
Ontario Blues Squad vs. Atlantic Rock – Name (Club)
1. Tom Dolezel (London St. George’s) 2. Ray Barkwill (Niagara Wasps) 3. Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC) 4. Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach) 5. Scott Dunham (Balmy Beach) 6. Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach) 7. Alistair Clark (Bay Street RFC) 8. Seb Pearson (London St. George’s) 9. Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders) 10. Shawn Windsor (Stoney Creek) 11. Dan Moor (Balmy Beach) 12. Derek Daypuck (London St. George’s), Captain 13. Jordan Wilson-Ross (Barrie RFC) 14. Jake Webster (Lindsay RFC) 15. Rich Lebel (Waterloo County) 16. Judson Rowbotham (Lindsay RFC) 17. Rob Brouwer (Lindsay RFC) 18. Jacob Rumball (Balmy Beach) 19. Haddon Murray (Balmy Beach) 20. Tim Richardson (Toronto Scottish) 21. Joshua Campbell (London St. George’s) 22. Jesse Lofthouse (Markham Irish) 23. Dan Mathie (Oakville Crusaders)
Rock Starting XV 1. Frank Walsh 2. Owen Parfrey 3. Bob Rogers 4. Brad Lester 5. Justin Meyers 6. Toni Wodzicki 7. Kyle Baillie 8. Mike Hamson 9. Tony Pomroy 10. Colin Alexander 11. Bryce Thomassin 12. Alex Rogers 13. Ben Harris 14. Robert Wilson or Jason Picco 15. Patrick McNicholas
Ontario Blues Team Staff
Chris Silverthorn – Head Coach Paul Connelly – Assistant Coach Paul Ambrose – Scrum Coach Mark Winokur – Manager Rodin Lozada – Performance Analyst Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist Dr. Chris Gallimore – Team Doctor
Ontario Blues 2014 CRC Match Schedule:
ATLANTIC ROCK 11 @ ONTARIO BLUES 20 Saturday, August 16, 2014 Kick off: 4:30 p.m. Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa, Ont.
ONTARIO BLUES 28 @ PRAIRIE WOLF PACK 3 Thursday, September 4, 2014 Kick off: 8:30 p.m. Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, Alta.
ONTARIO BLUES 30 @ BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS 20 Sunday, September 7, 2014 Kick off: 4:00 p.m. Klahanie Park, Vancouver, B.C.
BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS 11 @ ONTARIO BLUES 29 (RECHARGE WITH MILK CUP) Thursday, September 18, 2014 Kick off: 8:00 p.m. Alumni Stadium, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont.
PRAIRIE WOLF PACK 29 @ ONTARIO BLUES 26 Sunday, September 21, 2014 Kick off: 1:00 p.m. Nicholls Oval Park, Peterborough, Ont.
ONTARIO BLUES 45 @ ATLANTIC ROCK 5 Saturday, September 27, 2014 Kick off: 1:30 p.m. Swilers Rugby Complex, St. John’s, N.L.