The Bears couldn’t have asked for a better response following their dismal performances against the Wolf Pack, as they decimated the Rock at Klahanie Park. Maybe it was jetlag, or perhaps it was the injection of several internationals into the BC backline, but the result was the second highest points total, and by far the greatest points differential in CRC history. For whatever reason, the visitors looked like they hadn’t yet gotten off the plane.
Head coach Jim Dixon had kept the faith in his forwards but had the luxury of bringing in Sean White, Pat Kay, Mike Fuailefau, Conor Trainor, and Justin Douglas into the backline. Their presence was always going to be a positive impact, and it was made painfully apparent within seconds of the kickoff that these boys were there to play. Fuailefau went over with barely two minutes on the clock, and aside from a couple Patrick McNicholas kicks it was virtually one way traffic right through to the final whistle.
If it hadn’t happened already, the death blow came at the half hour, when White crossed for his first of two tries, and Patrick Parfrey trudged off injured. With the game out of reach the deflation in the visitors was palpable. One wondered how the Rock might respond after such an early hammering.
The answer was not at all. White scored his second and the hits kept on coming. It was tough to watch the proud side look so hapless. Zac Coughlan had numerous charges from the back of the scrum and can certainly hold his head high, but for the rest this game is best forgotten.
Obviously the BC backs stood out, almost to a man. Fuailefau was strong and direct, and Trainor looks to be edging back towards some form. Kay looks physically ready for the next level and his goal kicking was for the most part excellent. Up front Callum Morrison was outstanding and Admir Cejvanovic looked hugely impressive with ball in hand.
That said it wasn’t perfection for the Bears. Their lineout was a shambles, with both Micha Govorchin and Andrew Lackner struggling badly to find their targets. At scrumhalf White looked lively and dangerous on the ball, but still seems to suffer from 7s syndrome, that is his core skills – passing and kicking from the base – are just not in the same league as his main competitor, Gordon McRorie of the Wolf Pack.
It’s a hugely satisfying win for the Bears, who have turned their season around in one swift stroke. It also sets the stage for a classic battle on Sunday with the Ontario Blues arriving in Vancouver fresh off a dominating win over the Wolf Pack in Edmonton. The Rock limp into Calgary in the hopes of salvaging something, anything at all really, before they return home Sunday evening.
BC BEARS 63 vs 6 ATLANTIC ROCK
Thursday, September 4, 18:00 PST, Vancouver
02 mins – M. Fuailefau try 5-0
03 mins – P. Kay con 7-0
11 mins – P. McNicholas pen 7-3
13 mins – P. Kay pen 10-3
21 mins – C. Hansen try 15-3
24 mins – A. Cejvanovic try 20-3
29 mins – P. McNicholas pen 20-6
31 mins – S. White try 25-6
32 mins – P. Kay con 27-6
38 mins – P. Kay pen 30-6
50 mins – S. White try 35-6
51 mins – P. Kay con 37-6
57 mins – P. Kay try 42-6
58 mins – P. Kay con 44-6
71 mins – S. Ferguson try 49-6
72 mins – B. Tyrer con 51-6
75 mins – C. Hansen try 56-6
76 mins – B. Tyrer con 58-6
80 mins – J. Douglas try 63-6
65 mins – G. Kehoe yellow (professional foul)
S. Ferguson; C. Hansen, C. Trainor, M. Fuailefau (B. Staller 59), J. Douglas; P. Kay (B. Tyrer 69), S. White (C. Rockson 59); N. Barker (G. Garbe 52), M. Govorchin (A. Lackner 52), S. MacKay (C. McClary 52); C. Morrison (capt.) (G. Kalar 63), S. Wakefield; L. Campbell (G. Kehoe 59), C. Kelliher, A. Cejvanovic.
R. Wilson; P. McNicholas, C. Alexander, A. Rogers, C. DeBove (A. Jamieson 59); P. Parfrey (E. Sehic 32), T. Pomeroy (M. Sweeney HT); F. Walsh (A. Forrest 59), J. Power (Z. Fitch HT), B. Rogers (S. Cutcliffe 25-32, HT); T. Wodzicki (G. Crowell 59), B. Lester; O. Parfrey (capt.) (J. Power 76), M. Hamson (M. Murphy 59), Z. Coughlan.
Referee: S. Trumball (RC)
Assistants: H. Mason (RC) & M. Jones (RC)