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Rugby Ontario – (EDMONTON, AB) – Overcoming adverse weather conditions, the Ontario Blues used a strong defensive performance to defeat host side Alberta Selects 19-9 in their preseason clash at Edmonton’s Ellerslie Park on Sunday afternoon.

Ontario’s lone Canadian Rugby Championship preseason match may have been played through steady rainfall and howling winds, but the senior men’s provincial rugby team held firm to ensure their hosts did not cross the try line at any point throughout the game.

The Blues led 7-6 at the break through a try from Dan Moor; the outside centre opened the match scoring when he dotted down at the 14-minute mark, though two first-half penalties from the boot of Alberta’s Gordon McRorie allowed the hosts to stay within striking distance of Ontario through 40 minutes.

Second-half scoring began with a pick-and-go try from Blues number eight Lucas Rumball, and while a third McRorie penalty reduced Ontario’s lead to 14-9 partway through the latter frame, speedy wing Kainoa Lloyd sealed Ontario’s victory with a try in the corner scored two minutes before the final whistle.

Scrum-half Andrew Ferguson connected on two conversion attempts for the Blues.

Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn was impressed with what he saw from his team.

“With just the one game to prepare for the CRC season, and having to play it on the road in tough conditions, I’m very proud of the way our team came together to put in such a solid defensive showing,” said Silverthorn. “There will be lots to work on in training before our first CRC match, but the fact that we stifled and limited a talented Alberta side for a full 80 minutes is certainly a good sign heading into the season. We’ll look to build on it.”

While 10 internationally capped players featured for the Blues on Sunday, Ontario dressed a relatively young squad for their first match of 2016, with nine under-23 players taking part in the game.

Four players – Trenton Cooper, Brandon McLeod, Mitch Richardson and John Sheridan – received their first starts for Ontario, while Armin Gurdic, McLeod and Richardson all made their senior team debuts.

“All of our young guys put in great performances, which a great testament to the depth of our program,” said Blues manager Mark Winokur. “They were doing the little things right, like when Brandon McLeod set up Dan Moor with a great pass for our first try of the game. They proved they’re ready to play at this level, and we’re upbeat after the win.”

The Blues senior side will now return home to kick off their CRC season against eastern Canadian rivals Atlantic Rock on Saturday, June 11, with the tournament opener held at Sherwood Forest Park in Burlington, Ont.

Ontario Blues Score Report

Tries: K. Lloyd, D. Moor, L. Rumball

Conversions: A. Ferguson (2)

Alberta Selects Score Report

Penalties: G. McRorie (3)

Ontario Blues Squad vs. Alberta Selects – Name (Club)

1. Rob Brouwer (Lindsay)

2. Eric Howard (Brantford Harlequins) 

3. Tom Dolezel (London St. George’s) 

4. Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach) 

5. Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians)

6. Mike Sheppard (Brampton Beavers) 

7. Alistair Clark (Bay Street)

8. Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach) 

9. Andrew Ferguson (Crusaders) 

10. Mitch Richardson (Stoney Creek) 

11. Brandon McLeod (Guelph Redcoats) 

12. Dan West (Crusaders) 

13. Dan Moor (Balmy Beach) 

14. Trenton Cooper (Oshawa Vikings) 

15. John Sheridan (Markham Irish) 

16. Brendan Blaikie (Markham Irish) 

17. Armin Gurdic (London St. George’s)

18. Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay) 

19. Dillon Goos (London St. George’s) 

20. Andrew Wilson (Crusaders)
21. Kainoa Lloyd (Mississauga Blues)

22. Josh Campbell (London St. George’s) 

23. Matt Alexander (Oshawa Vikings)

Ontario Blues Staff

Chris Silverthorn – Head Coach

Paul Connelly – Assistant Coach

Mark Winokur – Manager

Rodin Lozada – Performance Analyst

Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist

Ontario Blues 2016 Match Schedule:

Alberta Selects 9 v. Ontario Blues 19*
Sunday, May 22, 2016
1 p.m. MDT; 3 p.m. EDT
Ellerslie Park, Edmonton, Alta.

Ontario Blues v. Atlantic Rock

Saturday, June 4, 2016

5 p.m. EDT

Sherwood Forest Park, Burlington, Ont.

Ontario Blues v. England Counties*
Saturday, June 11, 2016
3:30 p.m. EDT
Fletcher’s Fields, Markham, Ont.

Atlantic Rock v. Ontario Blues
Saturday, July 2, 2016
3 p.m. NDT; 1:30 p.m. EDT
Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N.L.


Ontario Blues v. Prairie Wolf Pack
Thursday, July 21, 2016
6:30 p.m. EDT
Fletcher’s Fields, Markham, Ont.


Ontario Blues v. British Columbia Bears
Sunday, July 24, 2016
3:30 p.m. EDT
Fletcher’s Fields, Markham, Ont.

* indicates non-CRC match


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.

There are more than 10,000 Rugby Ontario members registered with 63 rugby clubs and four branch unions located across the province, with participation in age grades ranging from minor (age 6+) to masters (age 35+) in male and female divisions.

For more information, visit

About Ontario Blues:

The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male rugby players in Ontario. It is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for Canadian national teams.

The senior team represents Ontario in the annual Canadian Rugby Championship, and has earned four national titles, having won the competition’s MacTier Cup annually from 2011-2014.

The under-19 team represents Ontario at the annual under-19 men’s Canadian Rugby Championship, and is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for the under-20 national team, as well as serving as a feeder program for the Ontario Blues senior team.


For more information, please contact: 

Brock Smith
Communications Coordinator
Rugby Ontario
(647) 560-4790 x106

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