The BC Bears, British Columbia’s senior men’s provincial rugby team, recorded a monumental victory on Saturday afternoon when they defeated the Uruguayan senior men’s national team in Montevideo. The 21-20 result marked the first time BC has defeated a full International Test side since the Bears downed Russia 38-16 in 2009 at Westhills Stadium in Langford, BC.
“We are obviously very pleased with the result and proud of the effort of the players,” said Jim Dixon, BC Bears Director of Rugby. “It was an incredibly physical game and our scrum was under a lot of pressure. We defended well and created pressure when we spread the ball.”
Brock Staller (UBC Thunderbirds) paced BC with a pair of tries while full back Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds) notched the provincial team’s third score. Pat Kay (UVic Vikes) tallied three conversions for the win.
Uruguay’s tries came courtesy of Joaquin Prada and Mathias Braun. Alejo Duran added two penalties and two conversions to round out the scoring for the hosts.
The Bears have been touring South America as part of the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of the British Columbia Rugby Union. The provincial program had dropped their tour opener 38-7 on Wednesday to Buenos Aires.
“The win marks a special occasion as we celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the BC Rugby Union,” added Dixon. “Most importantly, we developed as a squad and guys responded very well to the feedback coaches Ken Goodland and Tom Luke provided them during the week. We came in at half time today and were confident knowing that with some fine tuning, we could get the result.”
The BC provincial team has defeated national teams in previous years having downed Australia (11-8, 1958), British Lions (8-3, 1966), Japan (38-7, 1976), Scotland (22-13, 1985), Japan (46-10, 1989) and then Russia in 2009.
“I want to thank everyone back in BC for for the fantastic support we have received through social media and emails,” added Dixon. “We are very proud to add to the history of the Bears program and take another International scalp.”
The tour was also part of the program’s preseason preparations ahead of the 2014 Canadian Rugby Championship. A four team home-and-away competition played annually between BC, the Prairie Wolf Pack, Ontario Blues and Atlantic Rock, the CRC is used as a selection tool for the Americas Rugby Championship.
The Bears will now return home where they will prepare for their 2014 CRC opener in Calgary on August 9th when they face the Prairie Wolf Pack at Calgary Rugby Park.
BC Roster vs Uruguay Name, Rugby Club 1. Noah Barker (James Bay AA) 2. Micha Govorchin (Burnaby Lake RC) 3. Jake Ilnicki (Castaway Wanderers / Williams Lake) 4. Shea Wakefield (UVic Vikes) 5. Callum Morrison (UBCOB Ravens) 6. Gord Kehoe (Castaway Wanderers RFC) 7. Chase Kelliher (UVic Vikes) 8. Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake RC) 9. Cody Rockson (Burnaby Lake RC) 10. Pat Kay (UVic Vikes) 11. Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake RC) 12. Steve Batie (Burnaby Lake RC) 13. Brock Staller (UBC Thunderbirds) 14. Caleb Hansen (Vancouver Rowing Club) 15. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)
Reserves 16. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake RC) 17. Scott MacKay (Burnaby Lake RC) 18. Cole Racine (James Bay AA) 19. Nate Mantle (Burnaby Lake RC) 20. Luke Campbell (UVic Vikes) 21. Bryan Tyrer (UBC Thunderbirds) 22. Adam Timler (Bayside AA) 23. James Pitblado (UVic Vikes)
Injured: Anthony Luca (Burnaby Lake RC) Jonny Morris (Castaway Wanderers RFC) Travel Reserve: Kevin Gurniak (Vancouver Rowing Club)
Team Staff Director of Rugby - Jim Dixon Forwards Coach - Ken Goodland Backs Coach - Tom Luke Assistant Coach - Roger Robinson Strength & Conditioning - Conan Cooper Athletic Therapist - Jessica Smith
LOS TEROS 1 – Rodolfo De Mula 2 – Nicolás Klappenbach 3 – Oscar Duran 4 – Cristofer Soares de Lima 5 – Mathías Palomeque 6 – Juan De Freitas 7 – Diego Magno 8 – Mathías Braun 9 – Guillermo Lijtenstein 10 – Alejo Durán 11 – Rodrigo Silva 12 – Joaquín Prada 13 – Federico Favaro 14 – Santiago Gibernau 15 – Santiago Martínez
SUPLENTES 16 – Alejo Corral 17 – Arturo Ávalo 18 – Carlos Arboleya 19 – Santiago Vilaseca 20 – Franco Lamanna 21 – Juan Manuel Gaminara 22 – Leandro Leivas 23 – Alberto Román 24 – Pedro Deal
Head coach: Pablo Lemoine
Canadian Rugby Championship Aug 9: CRC BC Bears at Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary Rugby Park, Alberta) Aug 16: CRC Prairie Wolf Pack at BC Bears (Apple Bowl, Kelowna) Sept 4: CRC Atlantic Rock at BC Bears (Klahanie Park, West Vancouver) Sept 7: CRC Ontario Blues at BC Bears (Klahanie Park, West Vancouver) Sept 18: CRC BC Bears at Ontario Blues (Guelph University Stadium) Sept 21: CRC BC Bears at Atlantic Rock (Swiler’s Rugby Complex, St. John's Newfoundland)