CALGARY – The Prairie Wolf Pack earned the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) bronze medal with a 41-19 win over the Atlantic Rock in the third-place match Saturday at Calgary Rugby Park.
After holding just a five-point lead, 12-7, at halftime, the second half was all Wolf Pack as they outscored the Rock 29-12 en route to a convincing 22-point win. The victory was the first for the Prairie team in this year’s competition, but sees the hometown team capture third place just days after a loss to the very same Rock side.
The Wolf Pack had five different try-scorers, with Carl Pocock leading the way with a pair of second-half tallies, while Mozac Samson, Jake Bentley, Lucas Albornoz and Jeremy Kyne each touched down once.
Graham Barry, Jack McCarthy and Liam Carter put up tries for the Rock.
“It’s been a rough tournament for us, but I think the boys really answered the call today,” said Wolf Pack captain Kyle Gilmour, who was the Man of the Match. “I am really proud of everyone who played a part in the win. It was a real squad effort today. At halftime, we had a chat about not letting off the gas because that’s something we did on Wednesday when we played them and we came out and played attacking rugby to start the second half and went from there.”
In the second half, Samson sparked the Wolf Pack’s surge, scoring his team’s third try of the afternoon to help the Prairie boys to a 12-point edge through 50 minutes. Ten minutes later, Samson then sent Kyne in for a try with a nifty offload that all but sealed the contest in the Wolf Pack’s favour.
Veteran fullback Pocock tallied the Wolf Pack’s final two tries of the match, crossing the line in the 63rd and 78th minutes.
The Rock added pair of late tries, with Jack touching down in the 74th minute and Carter scoring just before the full-time whistle.
After 25 scoreless minutes to start the contest, Bentley finally opened the scoring. Less than five minutes late, Albornoz tallied to extend the Wolf Pack’s lead to 12-0.
In the 33rd minute, the Rock struck back with Barry scoring to make it a five-point game at the break.
Both team’s finished the CRC with a 1-3 record. Earlier in the week, the Rock beat the Wolf Pack 33-29.
“We have never finished last in the competition, so it wasn’t something we were going to accept lightly,” Gilmour said. “We knew the Rock were going to be a tough challenge, but it’s always good to finish on top.”
The Wolf Pack and Rock have each won the CRC once, with Atlantic side winning in 2010 and the Prairie outfit taking the title in 2015.
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 20 Atlantic Rock 13 August 16 – BC Bears 34 Ontario Blues 31 August 16 – Atlantic Rock 33 Prairie Wolf Pack 29 August 19 – 3rd Place Match – Prairie Wolf Pack 41 Atlantic Rock 19 August 19 – Championship Game – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Prairie Wolf Pack 1. Hubert Buydens - Saskatoon Wild Oats 2. Casey Reed - Univ of Victoria 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. Robbie Povey - Calgary Hornets 11. Evan Thomas - Edmonton Lep/Tigers 12. Adam Bontus - St. Albert RFC 13. Mozac Samson - Calgary Saints 14. Jake Bentley - Calgary Canucks 15. Carl Pocock - Calgary Rams 16. Nick McAuley - Calgary Saints 17. Pete Houlihan - Strathcona Druids 18. Robert Blunden - St. Albert RFC 19. Wayde Hodgen - Calgary Hornets 20. Kyle Morrison - Edmonton Nor’Westers 21. Gradyn Bowd - Red Deer Titans 22. Cam Hall - Strathcona Druids 23. Brandon Baker - Regina Campion Grads
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
Atlantic Rock 1. Forrest, Alex - PEI Mudmen 2. Lagain, Martial - Ste. Anne de Bellevue 3. Power, Jordon - Dogs RFC 4. Phelan, Jon 5. Lester, Brad - Dogs RFC 6. Keys, Connor - Ottawa Indians 7. Abdelmonen, Moe - Halifax Tars 8. Hamson. Michael - Halifax Tars 9. Barry, Graham - Halifax Tars 10. Parfrey, Patrick Jr. - Swilers RFC (captain) 11. Coats, Cooper - Halifax Tars 12. Sehic, Emil - Loyalists RFC 13. Debove, Charles - Ste. Anne de Bellevue 14. McNicholas, Patrick– Swilers RFC 15. Johnson, Brett - Truro Saints 16. Parfrey, Owen - Swilers RFC 17. Walsh, Frank - Vandals RFC 18. Chahwan, Jake - Ottawa Irish 19. O'Sullivan, Carson 20. Carter, Liam - Balmy Beach 21. Paul, Adam – Swilers RFC 22. Alexander, Colin - Balmy Beach 23. McCarthy, Jack - Baymen RFC
Staff Blanks, Simon - Coach Hanratty, Jack - Coach Graham, Rick – Hon. Manager Parfrey, Patrick Sr. - Director of Rugby Parfrrey, Kevin - Therapist
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