With Photos by Erich Eichhorn – ISN
Victoria (ISN) – Following their 39-29 win over the Canadian Maple Leafs on Sunday, the touring Atlantic Rock rugby squad defeated the Canadian U20 Development team 41-21 Monday evening at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford.
The Rock were visiting Victoria in preparation for the start of the Canadian Rugby Championships (CRC) season. Head Coach, Patrick Parfrey brought in two teams of players, including his senior players and a group of younger players.
U20’s Lukas Balkovec takes the legs away from the Rocks’s Jasmin Kukavica – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Rock’s opponent on Sunday, the Canadian Maple Leafs, are a squad comprised of athletes training at the Centre of Excellence under Rugby Canada’s centralization. The players have been training at the Centre of Excellence since January. Sunday will mark their second match as a squad. They previously defeated the Ontario Blues by a score of 31-18.
Canada’s Lucien Nel prepares to wrap up the explosive Scott Forrest of the Rock Development team- Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Rock’s second opponent on Monday, the U20 National players, are preparing for the Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT) taking place in June at Salt Lake City. This will be the team’s first match since their loss to Romania in March and will demonstrate the impact of their training.
Canada’s Tua Vaa runs over a Rock player while advancing the ball late in the test- Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
“The full U20 squad arrived in Langford this week and gives us an opportunity to evaluate the players in a game situation,” stated U20 Head Coach, Mike Shelley. “Having these two matches against the Rock is a good opportunity for us at the start of our operation to assess our players and decide where we are and where we need to go.”
U20’s #11 Josh Hart made great strides downfield while dragging a Rock player along for the ride – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The U20 squad was a bit overwhelmed on Monday at the hands of the older, harder and often more skilled Rock development squad. The final tally was 41-21 but it was 34-7 in the second half before Shelley brought on some of his first stringers who added a couple of tallies.
U20’s Fuku Vikilani straight-arms Scott Forest of the Rock- Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )