Burnaby Lake set to battle James Bay for Rounsefell Cup


Andrew Smith

May 8, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (11-4) will look to cap off an impressive season with a Rounsefell Cup on Saturday as they gear up for the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League provincial final against playoff-proven James Bay Athletic Association (11-4).

Burnaby will be well represented in the Wallace Field finals triple-header with their Women’s Premiership side battling Velox for a Gordon Harris Memorial Cup and their men’s First Division squad taking on the UVic Norsemen for the Ceili’s Cup.

Rounsefell Cup Match Details:

4:00pm Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League Final

James Bay Athletic Association vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (at Wallace Field, UVic)

Match Preview

Years of an intensive rebuild are paying off for the Burnaby men’s premier program that has been in the midst of a three-season revamp. In 2010, Burnaby finished in the Premier League table cellar; 2011 saw them bounced in the quarterfinals; and 2012 ended in a crushing two-point semifinal defeat at the hands of James Bay at MacDonald Park. After nearly two decades, the club has finally returned to the big dance and will look to hoist the coveted Rounsefell Cup at UVic’s Wallace Field on Saturday.

“Three years ago before [head coach] Kris de Scossa got here we were down and out,” said Burnaby Lake captain Mike Gough. “We had a core group of players who were taking 70-point hammerings week in and week out. But Kris came in and has built a club atmosphere and with more players involved and the recent success at all levels of the club, it shows we are doing something right.”

After years of watching their women’s premier side contest for provincial titles (2011, 2009, 2007, 2006 champs), the men’s side appear to be on the same track.

“The women’s program have been a dominant force in BC for years now and it’s great to see the men’s program living up to the standards they have set,” added Gough.

After a slow 1-3 start this past Fall, Burnaby went on an eight-game winning streak and led the league offensively producing 35.64 ppg and boast the toughest defence with just 15 ppg against. A key victory was their March 23rd 42-19 dismantling of the Bays, having previously lost 20-19 on October 21st to their Island rivals. The winning streak came to an abrupt end on April 13th when they fell 23-16 to the Castaway Wanderers at Windsor Park, just in time for the squad to retool for the playoffs according to Gough.

“We came crashing home against CW a couple weeks ago which really wasn’t a bad thing as we were probably feeling a little bit untouchable at that time,” Gough added.

Burnaby bounced back with a 76-5 win over Bayside and then downed CW 26-10 in the semifinals two weeks later. Now a side with plenty of scoring threats and veteran forwards will look to defeat perennial finalists James Bay.

The Bays have won 22 Rounsefell Cups and narrowly missed out on their 23rd last May against Capilano RFC. The club hasn’t lifted a premier league title since their 2006-2008 three-peat but have plenty of tested veterans in their roster including former national team players Morgan and Jeff Williams, Dave Moonlight and Neil Meechan.

“We have lots of experience in this team and if you look at someone like our MVP this year Spencer Dalziel, he has probably played in at least six Rounsefell Cup finals,” said James Bay head coach Peter Rushton. “The experience factor for us will be huge.”

James Bay will be making a second straight appearance in the provincial final, having eliminated defending champs Capilano in an over-time semifinal thriller last Saturday at MacDonald Park.

“Spencer scored in the final two minutes of over time which is a pretty good indication of the type of athlete he is,” Rushton added about his captain. “He leads with his chest and is all about making the team go forward.”

The Bays will have their hands full against a team boasting a cohesive forward pack and lethal back line.

“They have an advantage of consistency in their group where the same core players have been together all season,” added Rushton. “Their strength will be in the forwards and we will look to counter that on Saturday.”

Kick off for the Premier League final is set for 4:00pm with the Women’s Adidas Premiership match set for 12:00pm and the Ceili’s Cup Div One game at 2:00pm.

Quick Stats – Burnaby Lake vs James Bay:

Head to head: 1-1

Burnaby 2012-13: 10-4 (1st)

Burnaby Offence: 35.64 ppg (1st)

Burnaby Defence: 15 ppg (1st)

Burnaby Top Scorer: James Reekie, 139 pts (1st)

Burnaby Top Try Scorer: Joe Dolesau, 14 tries

James Bay 2012-13: 10-4 (2nd)

James Bay Offence: 29.21 ppg (2nd)

James Bay Defence: 21.5 ppg (2nd)

James Bay Top Scorer: Dan Kilpatrick, 54 pts (7th)

James Bay Top Try Scorer: John Moonlight, 5 tries

Rounsefell Cup – Recent Winners

2011-2012 Capilano

2010-2011 Castaway Wanderers

2009-2010 University of Victoria

2008-2009 Meraloma

2007-2008 James Bay

2006-2007James Bay

2005-2006 James Bay

2004-2005 Capilano

2003-2004 Capilano

2002-2003 University of Victoria

2001-2002 Castaway Wanderers

2000-2001 Castaway Wanderers

1999-2000 Castaway Wanderers

1998-1999 James Bay

1997-1998 Cowichan

1996-1997 Cowichan

1995-1996 James Bay

1994-1995 Vancouver Rowing Club

1993-1994 UBC Old Boys

1992-1993 James Bay

1991-1992 James Bay


General Admission Tickets: $15, $10 for Youth (Under 15 or students with valid ID)

12:00pm Women’s Adidas Premiership – Gordon Harris Memorial Cup

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs Velox Valkyries

2:00pm Ceili’s Cup Men’s First Division Final

Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs UVic Norsemen

4:00pm Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League Final – Rounsefell Cup

James Bay Athletic Association vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club