August 26, 2013, Langford, BC (ISN) – British Columbia’s senior men’s provincial team, the BC Bears (0-1), are gearing up for a Labour Day Weekend doubleheader that will see them scrum down against the defending MacTier Cup champions Ontario Blues (1-0) and Maritime representatives Atlantic Rock (1-1) at Langford’s Westhills Stadium.
Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm KO: Ontario Blues at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm KO: Atlantic Rock at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 youth
The matches are part of the Canadian Rugby Championship, a pivotal step in the pathway for provincial team reps looking to crack national team rosters. With Canada punching their tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2015 with a series clinching win over USA this past weekend, a number of the England-bound players could very well be on display on Friday night. Aaron Flagg, a 24-year-old product of Abbotsford RFC, was the first of the BC Bears this season to be seconded to the national team as he was called up for the 13-11 win over USA.
Friday’s upcoming 7:30 tilt against two-time defending national champs Ontario will be crucial for the Bears as they look to post their first win of the 2013 season and level the standings to have all four regional sides sitting with 1-1 records.
“History would say we can expect a battle up front as Ontario are traditionally very strong at the set piece and consequently create good front-foot ball for their back line,” said BC Bears head coach Jim Dixon. “I was very happy with our pack’s overall performance a couple weeks ago so I don’t feel like we have to worry about competing there.”
BC dropped their opener on August 10th against the Prairie Wolf Pack (1-1), going down 30-21 at UBC’s Wolfson Fields. The Bears’ three tries were tallied by forwards as Captain Micha Govorchin (Burnaby Lake), Soctt Mackay (Burnaby Lake) and Callum Morrison (Meraloma) each went over to score. All three Bears conversions came courtesy of James Bay product Connor Braid.
The Bears have since regrouped and were busy fine-tuning this past weekend with an exhibition match against Rounsefell Cup finalists Burnaby Lake Rugby Club. The Bears strung together six tries in the hit out and are now steadily building for their next CRC clash.
“If we scrum well and work a little harder in the contact area it will be a great contest,” Dixon added. “In all honesty, with a young team like we have, our priority is in ourselves. We need to execute more effectively and build on our game plan.”
Arguably the nation’s most storied interprovincial rugby rivalry, BC senior men’s sides are 3-3 against Ontario since the CRC competition first debuted in 2009. The most recent clash was a 32-17 win for Ontario Blues who downed the Pacific Tyee (represented BC in 2012) at Westhills Stadium on September 15, 2012.
Ontario squeaked past the Rock in their 2013 CRC opener on August 17th, posting a 27-25 victory. Steve Piatek of Brantford Harlequins was solid with the boot, kicking three conversions and a penalty to guide the hosts to the win. Ryan MacSween (Balmy Beach) and Cam Stones (Ajax Wanderers) provided the tries with a penalty provided by Derek Daypuck (London St. George’s).
NOTE: BC and Ontario player squads to be announced on Wednesday, August 28th.
CRC Results vs Ontario
2012 (September 15th) – LOSS Pacific Tyee 17, Ontario Blues 32
2012 (September 1st) – WIN Pacific Tyee 36, Ontario Blues 31
2011 (August 2nd) LOSS British Columbia 21, Ontario Blues 46
2010 (September 5th) LOSS British Columbia 20, Ontario Blues 55
2009 (October 10th) WIN – CRC FINAL – British Columbia 12, Ontario Blues 8
2009 (September 14th) WIN – British Columbia 29, Ontario Blues 24
Tickets can be purchased at the gate and are priced at $15 for adults, $10 for youth. A two-pack double-header (per person), good for both the Friday and Monday fixtures can be purchased for $25 for adults and $15 for youth.
Ontario Blues at BC Bears
Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm KO
(Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Atlantic Rock at BC Bears
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm KO
(Westhills Stadium, Langford)
2013 Canadian Rugby Championship:
Sat. Aug 10: Prairie Wolf Pack 30, BC Bears 21
Sat. Aug 17: Ontario Blues 27, Atlantic Rock 25
Sat. Aug 24: Atlantic Rock 16, Prairie Wolf Pack 14
Fri. Aug 30, 6:00pm: Atlantic Rock at Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary Rugby Park)
Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm: Ontario Blues at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Mon. Sept 2, 1:00pm: Ontario Blues at Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary Rugby Park)
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm: Atlantic Rock at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Sat. Sept 14, 4:30pm: BC Bears at Ontario Blues (Lindsay Rugby Park)
Sat. Sept 21, 3:30pm: Ontario Blues at Atlantic Rock (Swilers Rugby Complex, St. John’s)
Sat. Sept 21, 3:00pm: BC Bears at Prairie Wolf Pack (Ellersle Rugby Park, Edmonton)