(TORONTO, ON) – The Ontario Blues have become the first team in the Canadian Rugby Championship’s five-year history to finish a season with a perfect 5-0 record, achieving the feat after defeating the Atlantic Rock 26-23 in St. John’s, Newfoundland on Saturday afternoon.
Having already clinched their third consecutive Canadian Rugby Championship title with a 50-27 rout of British Columbia Bears on Sept. 14th, the Blues travelled to Newfoundland in search of a perfect season, and would not leave disappointed.
The match was a back-and-forth affair: the Rock led 8-0 after 15 minutes, but a Blues resurgence gave Ontario a 14-8 lead at halftime. The Rock would claw back in the second half, leading 23-19 with eight minutes to play, but a last-gasp try by Blues substitute Mike Sheppard, combined with a Derek Daypuck conversion, sealed a 26-23 victory for Ontario.
“We came to Newfoundland with one goal in mind – to get the perfect season,” said Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn. “And although it was a very close match, we are coming back home as the undefeated champions of the CRC.”
Earlier in the match, Ontario saw tries from number eight Cam Stones, flanker Alistair Clark, and fly half Matt Alexander, while Daypuck, the Blues captain, made three conversions.
Hampered with injuries and national team commitments, Ontario fielded a lineup that featured six changes from the squad that won the Blues the MacTier Cup in Lindsay, ON just a week earlier. The moves allowed some young Blues players an opportunity to slot in to gain some vital CRC experience. Notably, Canadian U20 national player and Belleville Bulldogs product Matt Mullins earned his first CRC cap with the senior provincial team, after competing with the U19 Blues squad that earned Bronze at this year’s CRC U19.
“We had a lot of banged-up guys who couldn’t make the trip for us this weekend,” says Blues manager Mark Winokur, “but everyone stepped up like we knew they could, and we showed why Ontario has the best rugby program in the country.”
Later on Saturday, the British Columbia Bears defeated the Prairie Wolf Pack 36-19 to secure a second-place finish in the CRC standings.
Ontario Blues Score Report
Tries: Matt Alexander, Alistair Clark, Mike Sheppard, Cam Stones
Conversions: Derek Daypuck (3)
Ontario Blues Roster for CRC Match vs. Atlantic Rock – Name (Club)
1- Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC)
2- Judson Rowbotham (Lindsay RFC)
3- Jacob Rumball (Balmy Beach)
4- Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach)
5- Haddon Murray (Balmy Beach)
6- Pat Richardson (Markham Irish)
7- Alistair Clark (Bay Street)
8- Cam Stones (Stoney Creek)
9- Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders)
10- Matt Alexander (Oshawa Vikings)
11- Dan Moor (Balmy Beach)
12- Derek Daypuck, Captain, (London St. George’s)
13- Jordan Wilson-Ross (Barrie RFC)
14- Ryan MacSween (Balmy Beach)
15- Jesse Lofthouse (Markham Irish)
16- Dave Neill (Brantford Harlequins)
17- Rob Brouwer (Lindsay RFC)
18- Mike Sheppard (Stoney Creek)
19- Matt Mullins (Belleville Bulldogs)
20- Tim Richardson (Markham Irish)
21- Chris Gladney (Oshawa Vikings)
22- Kainoa Lloyd (Mississauga Blues)
Ontario Blues Team Staff
Head Coach - Chris Silverthorn
Manager - Mark Winokur
Assistant Coaches - Paul Connelly, Paul Ambrose
Video Analyst - Rodin Lozada
Athletic Therapist - Chris Kelly
Team Doctor - Dr. Chris Gallimore
Ontario Blues 2013 Match Schedule:
BLUES 38 @ NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB 23
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Kick off: 3:00 p.m.
Travers Island, New York, New York
ATLANTIC ROCK 25 @ BLUES 27
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Kick off: 4:30 p.m.
Sherwood Forest Park, Burlington, Ontario
LIFE UNIVERSITY RUNNING EAGLES 20 @ BLUES 36
Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Kick off: 6 p.m.
Crusaders Park, Oakville, Ontario
BLUES 11 @ BRITISH COLUMBIA 7
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Kick off: 7:30 p.m. PDT, 10:30 p.m. EDT
Westhills Stadium, Langford, British Columbia
BLUES 53 @ PRAIRIE WOLF PACK 23
Monday, September 2nd, 2013
Kick off: 1:00 p.m. MDT, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Calgary Rugby Park, Calgary, Alberta
BRITISH COLUMBIA 27 @ BLUES 50
Saturday, September 14th, 2013
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m.
Lindsay Rugby Park, Lindsay, Ontario
BLUES 26 @ ATLANTIC ROCK 23
Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Kick off: 3:30 p.m. NDT, 2:00 p.m. EDT
Swilers Rugby Complex, St. John's, Newfoundland
2013 Canadian Rugby Championship Standings:
1. Ontario Blues 5-0, 23 pts (3 BPs)
2. BC Bears 2-3, 12 pts (4 BPs)
3. Prairie Wolf Pack 2-3, 10 pts (2 BPs)
4. Atlantic Rock 1-4, 6 pts (2 BPs)
NOTE: Bonus points for four or more tries or a loss by less than seven pts
About Rugby Ontario:
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to promote, govern, and develop rugby at all levels in a safe, affordable and enjoyable environment within the province of Ontario.
For more information, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
About Ontario Blues:
The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male rugby players in Ontario. It is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for Rugby Canada teams.
The senior team represents Ontario in the annual Canadian Rugby Championship, and has won three straight titles, having won the championship’s MacTier Cup in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
For more information, please contact:
Office: 416 426-7049
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