April 23, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – The Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League playoffs are underway this Saturday with top seeded Burnaby Lake (13-1) and James Bay (10-4) set to host the semifinal rounds.
Burnaby will face their Lower Mainland rivals no.4 Capilano (7-7) at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex and an all-Island semifinal in Victoria will see the no.3 Castaway Wanderers (9-5) away to reigning Rounsefell Cup champions James Bay at MacDonald Park.
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – Sat. April 26th:
SEMIFINALS: no.4 Capilano RFC at no.1 Burnaby Lake RC (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 2:45pm
SEMIFINALS: no.3 Castaway Wanderers at no.2 James Bay AA (MacDonald Park) 2:45pm
ROUNSEFELL CUP FINAL: Scheduled for May 10, 2014
SEMIFINAL 1: no.4 Capilano RFC at no.1 Burnaby Lake RC
2013-14 Head-to-head: Nov 2 Capilano Win 9-3, April 12 Burnaby Win 29-0
BLRC Record: 13-1, 63 pts
BLRC Top Scorers: Geoff Ryan 119 pts, Joe Dolesau 40 pts, Brian Murphy 35 pts
Capilano Record: 7-7, 37 pts
Capilano Top Scorers: Matt Sims 58 pts, Adam Zaruba 40 pts, Matt Yanagiya 33 pts
Capilano is the only Premier League side to defeat Burnaby this season. The North Shore club nearly repeated their heroics in the final regular season match but came away with just a bonus point in their 25-19 loss on April 12th. Led by heavy-hitting Captain Glen McKinnon, Capilano ranked third in the league defensively, allowing just 19.7 points per game. Their offence struggled, however, ranking sixth with 19.4 ppg.
Burnaby led the league both offensively (33.6 ppg) and defensively (12 ppg) and wrapped up the season with 10 straight wins.
“This will be the second year we’ve entered the playoffs in first place and with the top seed,” said Burnaby’s Director of Rugby Simon Smoldon. “While our club sees this as a great accomplishment, we recognize that the most difficult game we’ll play all year is against Capilano this Saturday.”
After coming up short to James Bay in last year’s final, Burnaby added depth to their roster with new additions Gurvinder Kalar, Kyle Wisniewski and Cody Rockson complimenting a veteran core. 20-year-old Brian Murphy has also made an impact, as has league leading scoring Geoff Ryan. A true veteran on the roster, Michael “Pikey” Gough has made his presence felt with his physicality and worth ethic around the park.
“What adds fuel to our rivalry with Capilano is competition more than anything else,” added Smoldon. “A tough win is the one you feel best about and a close loss is the one that leaves you the most emotional. We have more of those games against each other than any other clubs do. Few other clubs can have a great 3-5 GREAT games of rugby against each other on any given Saturday.”
SEMIFINAL 2: no.3 Castaway Wanderers at no.2 James Bay AA
2013-14 Head-to-head: Oct 19 JBAA WIN 40-15, Feb 22 CW Win 24-15
JBAA Record: 10-4, 52 pts
JBAA Top Scorers: Connor Braid 71 pts, Taylor Dalziel 55 pts, Clayton Meeres 55 pts
CW Record: 9-5, 43 pts
CW Top Scorers: Keenan Horton 55 pts, Ciaran Hearn 38 pts, Ander Monro 33 pts
Another edition of the 100 Years War will take place between storied rivals James Bay and CW on Saturday as the two sides battle for a berth to the Rounsefell Cup Final on May 10. CW heads into the playoffs on the back of four straight wins while JBAA have three straight. While both will be without a number of Canada Sevens reps, each side will still have their share of national team capped players in their rosters.
CW have relied on the services of Jake and Riley Ilnicki throughout the season and steady performances from Ray Barkwill, John Phelan and Andrew Tiedamann make their pack one of the most lethal in the league. The tricolours have threats on both wings with top scorer Keenan Horton (11 tries) and Jonny Morris both capable of producing points.
Reigning champs James Bay will be aiming to lift a record 25th Rounsefell Cup this season. The Bays will be without their top scorer Connor Braid but will look to rely on the steady Dalziels – Spencer and Taylor – in the playoffs. James Bay’s back line will also feature Canada-capped Nick Blevins and Sevens-capped Jordan Wilson-Ross. Front row standout Noah Barker will also look to continue his impressive form that has seen him gain a reputation as an elite scrummager.
“CW will offer some great match ups this coming weekend and the battle up front should be very intriguing,” said James Bay head coach Peter Rushton. “This will be a much better matchup than the one we saw back in February.”
“CW are our cross town rivals. There is a healthy, respectful relationship between the clubs, but believe me, there is no love lost,” Rushton added. “As is always the case, JBAA embraces the challenge.”
Premier League Scoring
- 119 pts – Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake)
- 75 pts – Fergus Hall (UVic Vikes)
- 71 pts – Connor Braid (James Bay)
- 69 pts – Mike Hall (Meraloma)
- 58 pts – Matt Sims (Capilano)
- 55 pts – Taylor Dalziel (James Bay)
- 55 pts – Keenan Horton (Castaway Wanderers)
- 55 pts – Clayton Meeres (James Bay)
- 50 pts – Pat Kay (UVic Vikes)
- 40 pts – Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake)