CALGARY – The Ontario Blues all but secured a spot in the Canadian Rugby Championship final as they moved to 2-0 in the competition with a 45-22 win over the Prairie Wolf Pack Sunday at Calgary Rugby Park.
Kainoa Lloyd put together a first-half hat trick to put the Blues up by a 28-10 margin at the break and then added one more in the second half to help lead the defending CRC champions to a convincing victory.
The Blues extended their lead to as much as 35 points, 45-10, late in match, before Wolf Pack tries from Mozac Samson and Carl Pocock rounded out the scoring.
Along with Lloyds four tries, the Blues Shawn Windsor, Andrew Ferguson and Dan Moor also put up tries for Ontario.
Brandon Baker scored the Wolf Pack’s first try of the competition midway through the first half.
“We started the game really well and got a lot of points on the board,” Lloyd said. “But the last 20 minutes, we really started to let up and let them back in the game. So, we’re disappointed with how we finished off the game. We want to make sure we don’t have that drop off at the end of the game.”
Both teams are back in action Aug. 16 back at Calgary Rugby Park, with the Blues taking on the BC Bears (7pm PT/4pm PT) and the Wolf Pack playing the Atlantic Rock (9pm ET/6pm PT).
The Blues have collected all five points from each of their first two matches, while the Wolf Pack are still without a point in the standings through two outings.
After a strong opening 10 minutes for Ontario, Moor broke through, scoring the first try for the Blues in the 11th minute.
The Wolf Pack slotted a penalty in the 25th minute to narrow the gap to four points. However, five mintues later Lloyd responded with his first try of the afternoon.
With Ontario’s Lucas Rumball in the sin bin, the Wolf Pack found the try line for the first time in this year’s CRC, with Baker thundering down the middle of the park and touching down in the 33rd minute.
However, from there, it was Lloyd taking over, scoring twice before the halftime whistle. The Blues Ferguson tallied all four first-half conversions.
The Blues added to their lead in the 59th minute when Ferguson scored himself to put Ontario up 33-10. Then it was Windsor and Lloyd scoring to put the Blues up 45-10.
“The key for me today was just having good support lines,” Lloyd said. “Against the Rock, I didn’t have a lot of runs throughs and today I looked to get more involved and it worked out well.”
Late tries from Samson and Pocock reeled the Blues in, but only marginally, as Ontario held on for the win.
This year’s CRC format sees each team face each other once, with the two best teams in the standings playing in the MacTier Cup championship game Aug. 19. The other two teams will battle for third place on the same day.
Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule July 14 – BC Bears 43 Prairie Wolf Pack 0 July 22 – Ontario Blues 24 Atlantic Rock 17 August 13 – Ontario Blues 45 Prairie Wolf Pack 22 August 13 – BC Bears vs. Atlantic Rock – 5pm ET/2pm PT August 16 – BC Bears vs. Ontario Blues – 7pm ET/4pm PT August 16 – Atlantic Rock vs. Prairie Wolf Pack – 9pm ET/6pm PT August 19 – 3rd Place Match – 7pm ET/4pm PT August 19 – Championship Game – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Prairie Wolf Pack 1. Hubert Buydens - Saskatoon Wild Oats 2. Robert Blunden - St. Albert RFC 3. Ryan Kotlewski - Calgary Saints 4. Conor Turner - Calgary Hornets 5. Riley Fahlman - Regina Campion Grads 6. Lucas Albornoz - Burnaby Lake 7. Kyle Gilmour - St. Albert RFC (captain) 8. Jeremy Kyne - Strathcona Druids 9. Jake Robinson - St. Albert RFC 10. Gradyn Bowd - Red Deer Titans 11. Conor Desmond – Calgary Canadian Irish 12. Adam Bontus - St. Albert RFC 13. Mozac Samson - Calgary Saints 14. Carl Pocock - Calgary Rams 15. Nick McAuley - Calgary Saints 16. Pete Houlihan - Strathcona Druids 17. Casey Reed - Univ of Victoria 18. Wayde Hodgen - Calgary Hornets 19. Kyle Morrison - Edmonton Nor’Westers 20. Mark Discombe - Regina Rogues 21. Robbie Povey - Calgary Hornets 22. Nicholas Blevins - Calgary Hornets
Staff Col Jeffs - Head Coach Gordon McRorie - Assistant Coach Tyler Hawes - Assistant Coach Melissa Petryna - Therapist Jim Kazakoff - Manager Sean Tindall - Assistant Manager Jo Reinbold - Assistant Manager Colby Westgard - Therapist
Ontario Blues 1. Rob Brouwer, Lindsay RFC (Captain) 2. Eric Howard, Brantford Harlequins 3. Tom Dolezel, London St. Georges 4. Hank McQueen, Balmy Beach RFC 5. Mike Sheppard, Stoney Creek Camels 6. Peter Milazzo, Toronto Saracens 7. Lucas Rumball, Balmy Beach 8. Andrew Wilson, Crusaders 9. Andrew Ferguson, Crusaders 10. Shawn Windsor, Stoney Creek Camels 11. Kainoa Lloyd, Mississauga Blues 12. Josh Campbell, London St. Georges 13. Andrew Coe, Markham Irish 14. Dan Moor, Balmy Beach 15. Rory McDonell, Brantford Harlequins 16. Andrew Quattrin, Aurora Barbarians 17. Pat Lynott, Bytown Blues 18. Ryan Surgenor, Bytown Blues 19. Paul Ciulini, Aurora Barbarians 20. Marcello Wainwright, Toronto Saracens 21. Mario Van Der Westhuizen, Guelph Redcoats 22. Mitch Richardson, Stoney Creek Camels 23. John Sheridan, Markham Irish
Staff Chris Silverthorn - Head Coach Cory Hector - Assistant Coach Mark Winokur - Team Manager Chris Kelly - Athletic Therapist Rodin Lozada - Video Analyst Dr. Chris Gallimore - Team Doctor
Canadian Rugby Championship – Past Champions 2016 - Ontario Blues 2015 - Prairie Wolf Pack 2014 - Ontario Blues 2013 - Ontario Blues 2012 - Ontario Blues 2011 - Ontario Blues 2010 - Atlantic Rock 2009 - BC Bears