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Rugby Ontario – (MARKHAM, ON) – England Counties made it three wins from three matches on their current tour of Canada, earning a 73-0 victory over the Ontario Blues in their tour finale on Saturday afternoon at Markham’s Fletcher’s Fields.

The visitors rarely made a misstep throughout the match, striking early and often to build a four-try lead by the halftime whistle. Showing no signs of fatigue in the 31-degree heat, England Counties added 47 points against the young Ontario side in the second half, notching seven tries in the frame to ensure a strong finish to the match.

“Our opponents were first-class this afternoon. They’re arguably the best team we’ve ever played in our program’s eight-year history,” said Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn, following the match. “It was the final game of their tour, and they put everything together. It was a great opportunity for us to gain some solid experience against a strong, disciplined side.”

England Counties enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the match, with the well-drilled visitors routinely penning Ontario into their own half and forcing the hosts into making uncharacteristic mistakes.

“We worked hard this afternoon, and for of lot of our guys, this was their first time playing against a team of this level,” said Blues captain Hank McQueen. “Getting quality games against international opponents shows us what we have to strive to become as a program. We have to put the pressure on ourselves, domestically, to raise our level of play to get to England Counties’ level, and we’re going to learn a lot from this experience. It will motivate us to be that much stronger in our remaining games this year.”

England Counties is the flagship team of the Community Game in England, and features players from National League One and below. The mid-season fixture marked the third and final stop on the visiting side’s Canadian tour, which saw England Counties rack up 181 points over their three matches. Counties opened their tour with a 41-0 victory over the British Columbia Bears in Vancouver on June 3, and earned a 67-10 win over the Prairie Wolf Pack in Calgary on June 7.

Five Blues players – Mark Denton, AJ Quattrin, Hayden Ryan, Marcello Wainwright, and Jeremy Wright – made their first starts for the senior provincial program in the international friendly, while Chris Gladney, Quattrin, and Karl Schroeder all earned their first senior Blues caps.

“We’ve got a great foundation of players currently training with the program, and with more than a dozen of our players on international duty with Canada, we’ll have a fantastic pool to draw from for our last few CRC games,” added Silverthorn. “We need to keep things going, and keep things positive. There are no excuses for today, but this young group of players learned some valuable lessons. I know they’ll take a lot from it.”

The Blues will resume their Canadian Rugby Championship season on June 2, when the provincial side travels to St. John’s, N.L. to face the Atlantic Rock at Swilers RFC. Following their trip to eastern Canada, Ontario will host the Prairie Wolf Pack and British Columbia Bears at Fletcher’s Fields on July 21 and July 24, respectively.

England Counties Score Report

Tries: J. Walsh 2 (60, 78), D. Williams 2 (16, 43), S. Winter 2 (50, 80), S. Baker (64), T. Cowan-Dickie (73), L. Fielding (19), M. Wilcox (3), C. Williams (37)

Conversions: M. Shepherd 5 (4, 17, 38, 44, 51), F. Gabbitass 4 (61, 74, 79, 80)

Ontario Blues Squad vs. England Counties – Name (Club)

1. Brendan Blaikie (Markham Irish)

2. AJ Quattrin (Aurora Barbarians)

3. Rob Brouwer (Lindsay)

4. Hank McQueen, Captain (Balmy Beach) 

5. Mike Sheppard (Brampton Beavers) 

6. Marcello Wainwright (Toronto Saracens) 

7. Peter Milazzo (Toronto Saracens) 

8. Jeremy Wright (Lindsay)

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

10. Mitch Richardson (Stoney Creek) 

11. Brandon McLeod (Guelph Redcoats) 

12. Rich Lebel (Waterloo County) 

13. John Sheridan (Markham Irish) 

14. Hayden Ryan (Lindsay)

15. Mark Denton (Aurora Barbarians) 

16. Chris Gladney (Oshawa Vikings)

17. JT Rowbotham (Lindsay)

18. Creag Johnston (Toronto Scottish) 

19. Brandon Black (Markham Irish) 

20. Karl Schroeder (Waterloo County)

21. Chad Strapp (Stoney Creek)

22. Jason Hubbell (Waterloo County)

23. Kainoa Lloyd (Mississauga Blues)

Ontario Blues Staff

Chris Silverthorn – Head Coach

Paul Connelly – Assistant Coach

Mark Winokur – Manager

Rodin Lozada – Performance Analyst

Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist

Dr. Chris Gallimore – Team Doctor

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 12 v. Atlantic Rock 22

Saturday, June 4, 2016

5 p.m. EDT

Sherwood Forest Park, Burlington, Ont.

Ontario Blues 0 v. England Counties 73
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 http://www.rugbyontario.com/

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.

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For more information, please contact: 

Brock Smith
Communications Coordinator
Rugby Ontario
(647) 560-4790 x106
bsmith@rugbyontario.com

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