Bears Stymied By Wolf Pack, Slip From CRC Title Contention
BC Rugby – Esquimalt, BC – July 10, 2016: The path to the MacTier Cup was wide open this season, and the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears needed a win on Saturday to bring themselves level with the three other teams in the short competition at 1-1. Alas, the necessary result at Esquimalt’s Bullen Park was not forthcoming for the home side today.
The defending MacTier Cup champion Prairie Wolf Pack were managed to slow down the ball during a soggy second half, playing to their strengths in the forwards, while carrying the balance of the scrums and line outs en route to an important 25-17 win. The result means that the Canadian Rugby Rugby Championship title will be beyond the Bears’ reach in 2016. The Wolf Pack, meanwhile, are now 2-0, and are firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to repeating as MacTier Cup Champions. A win against either Ontario or the Atlantic Rock likely to see them over the finish line.
Much like in the previous encounter between the two rivals last week, again it was a battle between the flashy youngsters in the Bears’ backline against the veteran forwards for the Wolf Pack, with each group trying to dictate the flow of the game. For the second week in a row, it came down to unforced errors by the Bears in open play, combined with clinical work from close range by the Wolf Pack that made the difference on the day.
A key moment of the game happened nine minutes into the second half, with the Bears feeding the the scrum inside their own 22m line. Bears’ eight-man, Admir Cejvanovic, scooped up the ball from the base, sprinted up the blindside, and put a foot in touch as he tried to evade a tackle. The Wolf Pack claimed the ensuing lineout and drove the maul over the line for the try, making it a two score game.
As the rain came down, the Wolf Pack were happy to kick the ball away and wait for the Bears to attack, knowing that the wet conditions were going to make quick passing under pressure problematic. The tactic paid off, as the Bears were held off the scoreboard throughout the second half.
“We knew that our strength was to utilize our maul, get inside the opposition ’22,’ and use the quick pick-and-go’s,” said Wolf Pack back-rower, Clay Panga, who scored one try in the game. “A lot of the time there was nothing too fancy about it.”
Despite scoring the game’s first try off an exciting attack started by winger Crosby Stewart, finished by centers Jeke Gotegote and Doug Fraser, the Bears’ lead was short lived, as the Wolf Pack were able to counter with a pair of first half tries to take a 20-17 advantage into half time.
“We need more work-rate at the breakdown,” said Bears’ inside-centre, Doug Fraser. “That’s something we need to get back to so we can get quick ball. We have to earn it.”
The men from BC will wrap up the Canadian Rugby Championship with an East Coast road trip, which sees them face the Atlantic Rock in St. John’s, NL, on July 21st, followed by the Ontario Blues in Toronto on July 24th. The summer schedule then concludes with an exhibition match against North Otago Rugby Union in Burnaby, BC, on August 10th.
The Canadian Rugby Championship is proudly presented by Johnsonville.
Available on Youtube at youtu.be/oQJ-7c6ZxgI
Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears
Tries: D. Fraser (1)
Penalty Kicks: B. Staller (4)
Prairie Wolf Pack
Tries: C. Panga (1), C. Desmond (1), J. Clark (1)
Conversions: R. Povey (2)
Penalty Kicks: R. Povey (2)
Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears’ Roster
1. Anthony Luca (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) – Captain
2. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
3. Ryan Ackerman (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
4. Kevin Leask (UVic Vikes)
5. Craig McLaughlin (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
6. Josh Clarke (Meraloma Rugby Club)
7. Ollie Nott (UVic Vikes)
8. Taitusi Vikilani (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
9. Jorden Sandover-Best (UBC Thunderbirds)
10. Guiseppe Du Toit (UVic Vikes)
11. Manar Kulkhan (UBC Thunderbirds)
12. Doug Fraser (UVic Vikes)
13. Jeke Gotegote (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
14. Crosby Stewart (UVic Vikes)
15. Brock Staller (UBC Thunderbirds)
16. Cody McClary (Port Alberni Black Sheep)
17. Adrian Longbone (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
18. Micha Govorchin (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
19. Craig McLaughlin (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
20. Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
21. Cody Rockson (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
22. Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
23. Gareth Marsden (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
Head Coach – Gabriel Fulcher (UBCOB Ravens)
Assistant Coach – Tony LaCarte (BC Rugby)
Assistant Coach – Angel Cividanes (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
Manager – Pete Hill (UBCOB Ravens)
Athletic Therapist – Katie Wnuk
Prairie Wolf Pack
1. Peter Houlihan – Strathcona Druids
2. Casey Reed – Edmonton Clansmen / Uvic Vikes
3. Ryan Kotlewski – Calgary Saints
4. Conor Turner – Calgary Hornets
5. Eric Lopatinsky – Calgary Hornets
6. Lucas Albornoz – St. Albert RFC
7. Johnny Clarke – Strathcona Druids
8. Clay Panga Calgary – Westshore
9. Jake Robinson – St. Albert RFC
10. Robbie Povey Northhamton UK / CCIAC/ Rugby School
11. Adam Bontus – St. Albert RFC
12. Ben LeSage – Calgary Canucks
13. Mozac Samson – Calgary Saints
14. Conor Desmond – CCIAC
15. Graham Turner – Calgary Hornets
16. Nick McAuley – Calgary Saints
17. John Braddock – Calgary Rams
18. Liam Beaulieu – St. Albert RFC
19. Kyle Morrison – Nor’Westers
20. Connor Gilbert – Bow Valley
21. Jake Bentley – Calgary Canucks
22. Cam Hall – Strathcona Druids
23. Ian Shoults – CCIAC
The Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) is the highest level domestic competition for Senior Men’s Fifteens Rugby in Canada. The CRC consists of four matches per team, with at least one fixture against each opponent. The Teams involved in the CRC are the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears, the Prairie Wolf Pack, the Ontario Blues and the Atlantic Rock. The winner of the competition is awarded the MacTier Cup. BC last won the trophy in 2009.
Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears vs Prairie Wolf Pack
Location: Bullen Park, Esquimalt, BC
Date: Saturday, July 9th
Time: 3:00pm PT
Other scores and updates:
The Canadian Rugby Championship website – canadianrugbychampionship.com – will be posting up to date standings tables and scores for all four rounds of the CRC.
More information about BC Rugby
The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 7,500 individuals registered through more than 50 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.
Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears’ schedule
CRC round one: (LOSS 21-27) at Prairie Wolf Pack – Calgary, AB, July 2, 2016 – 3:00pm MT
CRC round two: (LOSS 17-25) vs Prairie Wolf Pack – Esquimalt, BC, July 9th, 2016 – 3:00pm PT
CRC round three: at Atlantic Rock – St. John’s, NL, July 21st, 2016 – time TBD
CRC round four: at Ontario Blues – Toronto, ON, July 24th, 2016 – time TBD
Exhibition match: vs North Otago Rugby Union – Burnaby, BC, August 10th, 2016
For further information about BC Rugby or this event, contact:
Communications Manager – BC Rugby
Tel: +1- 604-737-3070