Saturday, August 28, 2010

Upsets in Canadian Rugby Championship

After a succesful debut season in 2009, the Americas Rugby Championship has taken on an an altered format for 2010. In 2009 the final was between the winner of the Canadian round robin series and the winner of Argentina Jaguars vs a USA Select XV. The tournament was held in North America with Canada hosting virtually every match. Los Jaguars won. In 2010, however, the tournament has unquestionably been improved. This time Canada´s domestic competition is officially being refered to as the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) and rather than have the winner advance to the final, the winner will be crowned CRC champion following the final to take place on September 18.

The advantage of this is that it gives Canada its own domestic competition with the same four teams from 2009 participating. It then allows national coach, Kieran Crowley, to select the top players from all four teams to play in what will be called Canada A in the 2010 Americas Rugby Championship to be played in Córdoba, Argentina in September following the completion of the CRC. Competing alongside Canada A will be the USA Select XV, Tonga A and hosts Argentina will have their A team, Los Jaguars. It is a unique opportunity for allm four countries to bridge the gap from domestic to international rugby.

So far the CRC has proven to be highly unpredictable. Last year the BC Bears won after defeating the Ontario Blues in the Final. However, this year has seen vast changes in performances with the Ontario Blues being defeated at home 13-15 by the Prarie Wolfpack and 33-0 by The Rock. The BC Bears were similarly out played by last years third and fourth teams in losing 41-6 vs the Prairie Wolf Pack and 34-12 vs The Rock. These results mean that regardless of what happens in the final round of the CRC (to be played on September 4), the 2010 finalists will be the Prairie Wolf Pack and The Rock. The winner of their roundrobin match on September 4 will determine who hosts the final on September 18.

Young starts from both The Rock and the Prairie Wolf Pack have come through this year. But 40 year old Canadian legend, Rod Snow has also returned and taken it to the youngsters. Snow is a veteran having played for Canada in Rugby World Cup 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. He played professional rugby in South Africa and in Wales and a total of 62 tests for Canada. His most recent test was vs Australia in Bordeaux during France 2007.

BC Bears vs The Rock:

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