May 7, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – West Vancouver’s Klahanie Park will play host to the 2014 Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League Rounsefell Cup Final on Saturday afternoon, featuring the top men’s club rugby programs in British Columbia.
The match will be a repeat of the 2013 championship final featuring the top-seeded Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (13-1) against the playoff-proven and 23-time Rounsefell Cup champions James Bay Athletic Association (10-4).
Still in search of their first Premier League title, Burnaby followed up last year’s showing with a dominant regular season and are currently riding an 11-game win streak. The roster is full of BC Bears senior men’s provincial representatives and boasts the 2013 Canadian Direct Insurance Player of the Year in speedster Joe Dolesau. Their hefty pack is feared throughout the league and features several BC Bears front row standouts in Anthony Luca, Micha Govorchin, Andrew Lackner and Scott MacKay. Fly half Geoff Ryan was the league’s top scorer during the 2013-14 season, leading the competition with 119 points. Since their runner-up performance last May, Burnaby have added valuable additions in scrum half Cody Rockson and back rower Gurvinder Kalar.
Burnaby are enjoying the benefits of a successful four-year rebuild and the only thing left for the program to do is capture the Rounsefell Cup. In 2011, Burnaby made the quarterfinals after an extended absence from the post season. 2012 saw them make it to the semifinals and in 2013 they finally punched their ticket to the provincial title match but eventually fell 10-18 to James Bay.
The two 2013-14 regular season clashes saw Burnaby down the reigning Rounsefell Cup Champions 42-17 on October 5th and then 26-21 on March 22nd. The Bays have always shown well in the playoffs, however, and will be preparing for their third straight appearance in the provincial final.
“James Bay have been here many times and I would think they should be considered the favourites,” said Simon Smoldon, Burnaby Lake’s Director of Rugby. “They have strength everywhere. Their forwards are powerful and love the maul. Their backs are talented and experienced, and will punish you for missing a tackle.”
The Bays were made to work in their semifinal on April 26th, edging Castaway Wanderers 16-13 in the latest edition of the 100 Years War. The squad will be without their top scorer Connor Braid (71 points) on Saturday but have plenty of experience to draw from in Captain Spencer Dalziel and the hard-hitting Nolan Miles. Dalziel’s brother Taylor – a former Canada under-20 rep – will also feature for the Bays. Their front row will look to match Burnaby with heavy hitters Noah Barker and Cole Racine. James Bay’s second highest try scorer Clayton Meeres has also been a consistent scoring threat, tallying nine times in 10 matches.
“Burnaby will play a very physical game up front and the backs have always got something interesting,” said James Bay head coach Peter Rushton. “But JBAA will be led by the players that have been in this position on a number of occasions. Experience in the finals is invaluable.”
The Bays will be looking to secure their first successful title defence since the 2008 season, where they completed a rare three-peat of provincial titles. The trophy has since been lifted by five different clubs; Meraloma in 2009, UVic in 2010, Castaway Wanderers in 2011, Capilano in 2012, and JBAA in 2013. Burnaby is the only side currently competing in the eight-team league to have not lifted the coveted Rounsefell. But after a dominant regular season, the club is on course for the major milestone.
“Burnaby’s record speaks for itself,” Rushton added. “Going undefeated for 11 games in this league is a very difficult thing to do. The big question on Saturday is – will it be 12?”
The two teams will square off in the Rounsefell Cup Final for the second straight year on Saturday afternoon at Klahanie Park. The highlight event will kickoff at 4:00pm. Tickets are priced at $15. For those unable to attend the club finals in West Vancouver, the match will be live streamed on www.bcrugby.com
Quick Stats – Burnaby Lake vs James Bay:
Head to head: Burnaby 2-0
Burnaby 2013-14: 13-1 (14-1 including playoffs)
Burnaby Offence: 33.6 ppg (1st)
Burnaby Defence: 12 ppga (1st)
Burnaby Top Scorer: Geoff Ryan – 119 pts (1st overall in CDI Premier)
Burnaby Top Try Scorer: Joe Dolesau – 8 tries
James Bay 2013-14: 10-4 (11-4 including playoffs)
James Bay Offence: 33 ppg (2nd)
James Bay Defence: 18.6 ppga (2nd)
James Bay Top Scorer: Connor Braid – 71 pts (3rd overall)
James Bay Top Try Scorer: Taylor Dalziel – 11 tries
BC RUGBY FINALS AT KLAHANIE PARK
(Klahanie Main Pitch – 305 Klahanie Court, West Vancouver)
*General Admission tickets at Klahanie Park are $15.00
4:00pm – Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League – ROUNSEFELL CUP FINAL
James Bay AA vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club
2:00pm – Premier League First Division – CEILI’S CUP FINAL
UVic Norsemen vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club
12:00pm – Women’s Adidas Premiership – GORDON HARRIS MEMORIAL CUP FINAL
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs Velox Valkyries
1:45pm – Province Wide Third Division Tier A
Kats RFC vs Capilano(A) RFC
12:00pm – Province Wide Third Division Tier B
Abbotsford RFC vs Capilano(B) RFC
BC RUGBY FINALS AT BROCKTON OVAL
(Brockton Oval Main Pitch – 1151 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver)
*General Admission tickets at Brockton Oval are $10.00
4:30pm – Okanagan Spring Brewery League One – THE PROVINCE CUP
UBC Thunderbirds vs Seattle RFC
2:45pm – Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two
UBC vs Seattle RFC
1:10pm – Women’s First Division: KAREN MOORE CUP
Cowichan Rugby Club vs Kamloops Rugby Club
11:30am – Women’s Second Division: GED GRIFFITH’S CUP
Meraloma Rugby Club vs Nanaimo Hornets