September 1, 2013, LANGFORD, BC (ISN) – The BC Bears and The Rock will scrum down at Westhills Stadium in Langford on Monday afternoon in a crucial Canadian Rugby Championship encounter where both sides will be looking to bounce back from Friday night defeats.
The Bears (0-2) narrowly fell to the Ontario Blues (2-0) as they paced the reigning national champions until the dying minutes in a 11-7 battle at Westhills. Maritimes and Quebec reps The Rock (1-2) struggled to find their form in a rubber-match with the Prairie Wolf Pack (2-1), going down 47-27 at Calgary Rugby Park to a team they had previously defeated 16-14 in St. John’s just a week prior.
With three rounds of matches left, Monday’s encounter at Westhills will be pivotal for both programs as they look to stay in the hunt for a MacTier Cup.
The Rock at BC Bears
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm KO
(Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Tickets can be purchased at the gate and are priced at $15 for adults, $10 for youth.
“We are expecting another very physical encounter against The Rock,” said Bears head coach Jim Dixon. “They have a strong, aggressive forward pack and some real experience in the backs. I’m sure it will be another toughness encounter.”
Injuries and tactical changes have seen Dixon name eight different starters from Friday night’s bruiser.
“We’ve lost a few players from the game against Ontario, but thankfully we have some talented young players to call on to fill the gaps,” Dixon added.
Two-time Rugby World Cup rep Adam Kleeberger, who has been capped 35 times for Canada, will start on the flank after making an impact off the bench on Friday evening. The changes to the pack also include the insertion of Anthony Luca to an all-Burnaby Lake front row and James Bay’s Jim de Goede moving into the second row to replace Shea Wakefield.
Jonny Morris (Castaway Wanderers) will get the start at scrum half while Canada under-20 captain Pat Kay (UVic Vikes) replaces the injured Connor Braid at standoff.
Clayton Meeres (James Bay) will start at no. 11 while veteran Steve Battie (Burnaby Lake) takes over for Matt Buckley at inside centre. Injecting a little more pace to the back line, Dixon has also opted for Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake) to start on the wing.
New faces named to the reserves include UVic’s Luke Campbell, while Burnaby Lake’s Admir Cejvanovic returns to action looking to provide fresh legs to the forwards.
Monday’s roster includes two players capped at the senior men’s national level with Kleeberger and Abbotsford’s Aaron Flagg in the starting lineup. Graduates of the under-20 national team include Cejvanovic, Meeres, Kay, Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds) and Ryan March (Abbotsford RFC).
The Rock will announce their roster on Monday morning.
BC Bears Roster
1. Anthony Luca (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
2. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
3. Scott MacKay (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
4. Jim de Goede (James Bay AA)
5. Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford RFC)
6. Callum Morrison (Meraloma Rugby Club)
7. Adam Kleeberger (UVic Vikes)
8. Chris Chalmers (Abbotsford RFC)
9. Jonny Morris (Castaway Wanderers RFC)
10. Pat Kay (UVic Vikes)
11. Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA)
12. Steve Battie (Burnaby Lake)
13. Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
14. Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
15. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)
16. Alex Boyd (Meraloma Rugby Club)
17. Ryan March (Abbotsford RFC)
18. Luke Campbell (UVic Vikes)
19. Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
20. Caleb Hansen (Vancouver Rowing Club)
21. Luke McCloskey (UVic Vikes)
22. Henry Recinos (Vancouver Rowing Club)
Bears Team Staff
Head Coach – Jim Dixon
Assistant Coach – Kenny Goodland
Manager – Hans de Goede
Athletic Therapist – Michelle Jones
Team Doctor – Dr. Don Hedges
2013 Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule:
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: Atlantic Rock 27, Prairie Wolf Pack 47
Fri. Aug 30: Ontario Blues 11, BC Bears 7
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 (Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton)