Monday, August 1, 2011

Canadian Rugby Championship - First Round wins for BC Bears and Prarie Wolfpack

The 2011 Canadian Rugby Championship started differently to how the 2010 tournament finished as last years champions, The Rock were badly beaten by the 2009 champions, the BC Bears in Vancouver on Saturday. A superior pack of forwards laid the foundation as the BC Bears notched up a 43-19 bonus point victory to start the Canadian Rugby Championship in ideal fashion. However, the BC Bears, fielding a number of backs who will play at Rugby World Cup 2011, were well organized by flyhalf Nathan Hirayama who scored a try in addition to slotting a penalty and five conversions.

The match was played in warm conditions at Klahanie Park and despite The Rock scoring first with a penalty kick to flyhalf Dean Blanks it was the home side who controlled the flow of the match as the World Cup squad pair of centre Conor Trainor and Hirayama punished The Rock to put the BC Bears back on top quickly. With further tries to Jo Dolesau and Hirayama, the locals had scored seventeen points without reply and were leading 24-6 before Morgan Lovell made it 24-11 at half time as The Rock´s fullback scored an impressive try. It was all British Colombia after the interval, however, as the scoreboard blew out to give the home side a comfortable win.

The Rock have little time to reflect on the result and have their second match on Tuesday in Calgary as they take on the Prairie Wolf Pack. The BC Bears, meanwhile, will take on the Ontario Blues in Vancouver. The Prarie Wolfpack won the rounds other game, also on Saturday, as they scored a late try to complete a 31-25 victory in Calgary vs the Ontario Blues. The Calgary based side´s win would have had the coach eating his finger nails as the Prairie Wolf Pack had been in firm control of the match, leading 24-10 at one stage, only for the Ontario Blues to laucch a massive comeback and take the lead. Leading 17-10 at the interval, it looked like the Wolfpack would win the match without any real complications as they were in control of field possession and the Blues were making countless mistakes. Yet, the Blues turned the game on its head as they scored 15 unanswered points to take a 25-14 lead with ten minuted remaining. The Wolfpack showed determination to give the home fans a memorable match, however, as Canadian international, Nick Bleveins scored a late try to complete a famous win.

Celebrations will be short lived, however, as the Prarie Wolfpack have merely two days of preperation ahead of the clash vs The Rock to be played on Tuesday. The Ontario Blues picked up a bonus point for losign and thus put The Rock on bottom spot of the table, but this will be the last thing in the minds of the Toronto based side who go up against the BC Bears in Vancouver, also on Tuesday.

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