Rock out for revenge in final CRC match

John
John Browne
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Will face Ontario Blues today at Swilers Rugby Complex

The only thing left is a bit of revenge, but what’s wrong with that?
Cold comfort perhaps, but that’s all The Rock has to play for as the team finishes out the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) league 3 p.m. Saturday against Ontario Blues at Swilers Complex.

The only thing left is a bit of revenge, but what’s wrong with that?

Cold comfort perhaps, but that’s all The Rock has to play for as the team finishes out the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) league 3 p.m. Saturday against Ontario Blues at Swilers Complex.

Actually, the Blues have nothing left to play for because they’ve already clinched their third straight league championship with four straight wins, the latest a thrashing of B.C. Bears 50-27. They were presented with the MacTier Cup last weekend in Lindsay, Ont.

The Rock will be looking to avenge a 27-25 loss to the Blues last month in Oakville, and they’ll have Canadian national team member Ciaran Hearn in the lineup to help them.

Hearn has been competing and training all year with Canada’s 15s and 7s teams.

The favourite Blues feature Canadian internationals Doug Woolridge, Ray Barkwill and John Moonlight along with a potent backline dominated by capped Liam Underwood and Derek Daypuck.

In the meantime, The Rock have improved somewhat from last year and should have several a number of players back from injury.

They will be expecting to field a fired–up pack, pushed by veterans Frank Walsh, Brad Lester and Kevin Parfrey and a skillful backline led by Canadian internationals Patrick Parfrey and Hearn.

Mike Simpson and Patrick McNicholas are unavailable, while Dean Blanks has retired after sustaining a head injury.

“We are determined to play at our most intense level,” said Rock coach Simon Blanks. “We will need our 16th man (the crowd) on our side if we are to have any chance of prevailing.”

Blanks said although the league crown has been decided, all CRC games are important, especially those against rival Ontario.

The Ontario side agrees its a game both sides want to win to finish off the season.

“The Rock are a proud organization with great respect for the game of rugby,” said Blues manager Mark Winokur. “They are not particularly fond of us, so we know they will be on a mission and we will have to really ramp it up.”

“We want to go unbeaten,” adds Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn. “This is one of our goals for the season.”

The Rock squad for Saturday includes Frank Walsh, Stephen Cutliffe, Owen Parfrey, Jordan Power, Brad Lester, Toni Wodzicki, Justin Meyers, Kevin Parfrey, Zac Coughlan, Kyle Baillie, Matt Heaton, Mike Hamson, Adam Paul, Patrick Parfrey, Robert Wilson, Geoff Warden, Hearn, Jason Picco, Andrew Jamieson and Alex Rogers.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Ontario, Lindsay, Oakville Canada Jordan

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