April 10, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – The final round of the 2013-14 Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League regular season will play out this Saturday with two matches having major implications on playoff seedings.
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. April 12th:
Castaway Wanderers at UBCOB Ravens (Jericho Park) 2:45pm
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club at Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park) 2:45pm
James Bay AA at Meraloma (Connaught Park) 2:45pm
Vancouver Rowing Club at UVic Vikes (Wallace Field) 2:45pm
PLAYOFFS: Semifinals scheduled for April 26 / Rounsefell Cup Final May 10
The no.3 Castaway Wanderers (8-5, 38 pts) currently have a two point lead over no.4 Capilano RFC (7-6, 36 pts) in the standings. CW will be in Vancouver on Saturday battling the no.5 UBCOB Ravens (6-7, 31 pts) who need at least a bonus point win and additional tries to earn a playoff berth at Capilano’s expense.
Capilano are currently holding down fourth spot and even a bonus point loss could see them comfortably through to the semifinals. An upset win for Capilano over Burnaby on Saturday combined with a loss for CW could see Caps clinch third and a trip to the Island versus no.2 James Bay in the final four.
If the rankings were to stay the same after Saturday’s final round of games, both the no.3 Castaway Wanderers and no.4 Capilano would not have to travel far for their semifinals.
“We know Ravens need a bonus point win to have any chance of keeping their playoff hopes alive,” said Castaway Wanderers head coach Ian Hyde-Lay. “We are expecting a hard, competitive match. Ravens have a very capable pack of forwards and some very dangerous backs.”
Oak Bay-based Castaway Wanderers had to face Burnaby in last year’s semifinals and were dealt a 26-10 loss after making the journey to the Lower Mainland. The squad is eyeing a third place finish this year, however, and head into Saturday’s clash on the back of a three game winning-streak.
“The regular season has seen just about everything,” added Hyde-Lay. “We really struggled before Christmas with a lack of player depth and copped a few hidings. Since the start of March, the return of some stalwarts including Ander Monro and Hubert Buydens, as well as some newcomers, has really allowed us to secure some needed wins.”
The two sides met back on October 26th with Ravens edging CW 7-5 at Windsor Park. A shaky start to 2014 saw the Ravens drop three straight losses but the squad has recovered, since going 2-2 and are fresh off a narrow 29-24 bonus point victory over the UVic Vikes.
The Ravens’ roster features a number of standouts in BC Bears rep Callum Morrison, Wolf Pack rep Kyle Gilmour and former Cornish Pirate Tom Luke. Their fifth ranked defence will be tested on Saturday, however, with a number of Canada-capped stars suiting up in CW’s tricolours.
CW’s pack features the likes of Canadian internationals Buydens, Andrew Tiedemann, Jake Ilnicki, John Phelan and Ray Barkwill along with capped players Adam Kleeberger and Mike Sholz bolstering the back line. UVic Vikes grad Keenan Horton has also proven effective and sits second in league try-scoring with 10 tallies this season. CW are peaking just at the right time and will be a serious threat in the playoffs.
“The guys are enjoying their rugby,” added Hyde-Lay. “Pretty much our entire focus has been on developing our attack. Even when the weather conditions have been poor, we have looked to move the ball and kick as little as possible. As always, we will look to play attractive rugby, play with speed and use all 15 players on the pitch.”
Saturday’s matches are set for 2:45pm kickoffs. For scoring and live updates, check back to twitter.com/bcrugbyunion
CDI Premier League Scoring Race:
- 109 pts – Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
- 75 pts – Fergus Hall (UVic Vikes)
- 66 pts – Mike Hall (Meraloma)
- 59 pts – Connor Braid (James Bay AA)
- 55 pts – Taylor Dalziel (James Bay AA)
- 51 pts – Matt Sims (Capilano RFC)
- 50 pts – Keenan Horton (Castaway Wanderers)
- 40 pts – Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
- 40 pts – Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA)
- 38 pts – Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderes)