BC Bears Unable To Solve Prairie Wolfpack In CRC Defeat

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Story and images Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

Saturday July 9, 2016  Esquimalt, BC ( ISN ) – The Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears were unable to weather a sutained Prairie Wolfpack defensive push in the second half, falling for the second time in so many weeks to the Wolfpack 25-17 at Bullen Park in Esquimalt Saturday afternoon.

BC’s Ollie Nott hopes for some help of the tongue to reign in this line out throw away from Kyle Morrison – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

After last weekends 27-21 defeat to the Wolfpack in the Canadian Rugby Championships opener, the Bears looked to have the answer early but were unable to find their second half offense and stop the balanced, grinding attack of the now 2-0 Prairie team.

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Both sides played even for much of the first half, a penalty separating sides 20-17. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Both teams would show well in the first half, scoring 37 points combined to entertain the packed crowd at the Esquimalt field. BC appeared to carry the play early going up 11-6 , but Alberta’s patient, grinding style of play and stalwart defense would prove dividends by the end of the first half, keeping BC away from the wing, and driving them into the middle of the field to contend with the Wolfpack front line. The Prairie’s would find themselves on the right side on the scoreboard at the half, up 20-17.

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BC’s Brock Staller runs out of Jake Robinson’s tackle – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The lone BC try was scored by Jake Gotegote (Burnaby Lake RFC) after a darting Crosby Stewart would pick up a loose ball on the wing and, after a bit of fancy footwork, would distribute the ball to Gotegote to put the ball down inthe Prairie end. UBC’s Brock Staller, the games top point scorer, would kick four successful penalty kicks in the half to pace the Bears. The Prairie’s side would counter with tries by Clay Panga, making his presence felt all over the pitch much of the match, and Robbie Povie, with a sliver of room on a corner try to increase the Prairie’s margin to finish the half.  Three successful penalty kicks would complete a successful half of play for the Wolfpack up by three.

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Wolfpack’s Clay Panga runs the mioddle of the field. A solid game from Panga would help lift the Wolfpack to the win – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

As did last weekend, where BC would run cold in the second half after holding 11-3 halftime lead, the Bears would similarly find difficulty this go around in the second half against a smothering Wolfpack defense and some unseasonable, inclement weather that made the ball difficult to hang onto for both squads. The second half saw little in the way of the scoring that was present in the opening half.  The Prairie Wolfpack, with a fortuitous try by Johnny Clarke, would add the only insurance marker needed to seal the away-field, 25-17 win.

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Bear’s Crosby Stewart can’t quite pull down the ball as he climbs the ladder against some taller opponents – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The BC Bears next match will be played July 21st vs the Atlantic Rock (1-1 ) in Nfld at Swilers Rugby Complex.

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