BC Bears Unable to Keep Wolf Pack at Bay

bc bears

Take Tough Loss to Open Their Season

Calgary, AB – July 2, 2016: The Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears were dealt a tough blow in their quest to capture their first MacTier Cup since 2009, dropping a corybantic contest 27-21 to the Prairie Wolf Pack in the opening round of the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC).

While the Bears were twice in good positions to take control of the game, including an 11-3 lead at half-time and a momentum swinging try to bring the game to 22-21 late in the second half, the Wolf Pack were not to be denied on the day. The home team scored their fourth try of the second frame –  a massive marker courtesy Casey Reed in the maul – with only seven minutes remaining on the clock to pull away from the Bears.

Despite a yellow card to the Wolf Pack’s John Braddock in the game’s closing moments, and a frantic attempt to push the ball wide for a potential overlap, the Bears were unable to land the dramatic game winning score as time ran out.

“We played with great ambition, and I’m proud the team’s performance,” said Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears’ Coach, Gabriel Fulcher. “The Wolf Pack simply made fewer errors than we did and they capitalized on some simple opportunities. So long as we tighten up our error count and defend better in certain specific areas, we’ll be competitive again next week in the rematch.”

Brock Staller, having just returned from international duty with Rugby Canada, led the way for the Bearson Saturday. He was able to successfully kick two penalties from over 40m into an unfriendly crosswind, in addition to finishing a 70m run that was easily the game’s most electrifying moment. Following an athletic break out move from Manar Kulkhan and a lovely offload to Doug Fraser, Staller timed his support run to perfection, taking Fraser’s pass all the way up field for an emphatic try.

The Bears also got a try from UVic Vikes’ winger Crosby Stewart, who finished off some confident passing with a try in the corner midway through the first half.

The Wolf Pack were able to respond with a second half tries from Ben LeSage, Adam Bontus and two close range efforts from Casey Reed.

“We came out in the second half a little flat and let them dictate the pace of the game,” said Bears Captain, Anth Luca. “Once we regained our pace, they couldn’t keep up with us. It just took us too long to get back to it, and we ran out of time. I also think we had the better scrum and failed to capitalize on some opportunities. We need to continue to push on when we are the better team.”

The Bears will get a chance at redemption in one week’s time, as they  return to BC and begin preparations for their first home fixture of the CRC. The opponents will once again be the Prairie Wolf Pack. That game is scheduled for Saturday, July 9th in Esquimalt (greater Victoria). Kickoff at Bullen Park will be at 3:00pm PT. Tickets will be available at the gate on game day for $10. Youth aged 18 and under get in for free when presenting school ID. Youth 12 and under also get in for free.

Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears
Tries: C. Stewart (1), B. Staller (1)
Conversions: B. Staller (1)
Penalties: B. Staller (3)

Prairie Wolf Pack
Tries: B. LeSage (1), A. Bontus (1), C. Reed (2).

Referee: Chris Assmus
Assistant Referee: Michael Jones
Assistant Referee: David Crisp

Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears’ Roster vs the Prairie Wolf Pack

1. Anthony Luca (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
2. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
3. Ryan Ackerman (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
4. Kevin Leask (UVic Vikes)
5. Craig McLaughlin (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
6. Brendan Kelliher (Castaway Wanderers)
7. Ollie Nott (UVic Vikes)
8. Josh Clarke (Meraloma Rugby Club)
9. Jorden Sandover-Best (UBC Thunderbirds)
10. Guiseppe Du Toit (UVic Vikes)
11. Manar Kulkhan (UBC Thunderbirds)
12. Doug Fraser (UVic Vikes)
13. Jeke Gotegote (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)                                 
14. Crosby Stewart (UVic Vikes)
15. Brock Staller (UBC Thunderbirds)

16. Cody McClary (Port Alberni Black Sheep)
17. Jordan Harvey-Reid (Capilano RFC)
18. Nik Hildebrand (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
19. Liam Chisholm (UVic Vikes)
20. Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
21. Cody Rockson (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
22. Gareth Marsden (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
23. Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)

Team Staff
Head Coach – Gabriel Fulcher (UBCOB Ravens)
Assistant Coach – Tony LaCarte (BC Rugby)
Assistant Coach – Angel Cividanes (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
Manager – Pete Hill (UBCOB Ravens)
Athletic Therapist – Katie Wnukpt

Prairie Wolf Pack Roster
1. Peter Houlihan from Edmonton, AB (Strathcona Druids)
2. Matt Harrison from Winnipeg, MB (Assassins RFC / St. Albert RFC)
3. Ryan Kotlewski from Calgary, AB (Calgary Saints)
4. Conor Turner from Calgary, AB (Calgary Hornets)
5. Liam Beaulieu from Edmonton, AB (St. Albert RFC)
6. Lucas Albornoz from Edmonton, AB (St. Albert RFC)
7. Johnny Clarke from Edmonton, AB (Strathcona Druids)
8. Clay Panga from Calgary, AB (Calgary Hornets / Westshore)
9. Gordon McRorie from Calgary, AB (Calgary Hornets)
10. Robbie Povey from Northhamton, UK (CCIAC / Rugby School)
11. Adam Bontus from St. Albert, AB (St. Albert RFC)
12. Ben LeSage from Calgary, AB (Calgary Canucks)
13. Mozac Samson from Calgary, AB (Calgary Saints)
14. Ian Schoults from Calgary, AB (CCIAC)
15. Graham Turner from Calgary, AB (Calgary Hornets)
16. Casey Reed from Airdrie, AB (Edmonton Clansmen)
17. Nick McAuley from Calgary, AB (Calgary Saints)
18. John Braddock from Calgary, AB (Calgary Rams)
19. Kyle Morrison from Beaumont, AB (Strathcona Druids)
20. Grant Crowell from Calgary, AB (Calgary Rams)
21. Jake Robinson from St. Albert, AB (St. Albert RFC)
22. Cam Hall from Edmonton, AB (Strathcona Druids)
23. Conor Desmond from Calgary, AB (CCIAC)

Head Coach: Greame Moffat
Coach: Col Jeffs
Assistant Coach: Tyler Hawes
Assistant Coach: Dan Meikle
Manager Jim Kazakoff
Assistant Manager: Jo Reinbold
Assistant Manager: Sean Tindall
Athletic Therapist: Caitlan Fredricks
Athletic Therapist: Colby Westhuard