Glad to be a piece of the Rock

John
John Browne
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Sinclair one of three New Brunswickers who'll help Atlantic reps in battle with Bears

Rugby coach Pat Parfrey believes you'd have to be a "village idiot" not to want to play for The Rock.

And Jebb Sinclair isn't a village idiot, at least not by Parfrey's standard.

The New Brunswick native was delighted to hook up with Atlantic Canada's team in a competition that will lead to an international final.

The Rock senior rugby team members Ciaran Hearn (left) and Jebb Sinclair are shown Thursday during a team workout at the Swilers Rugby pitch on Crosbie Road, in preparation for Saturday afternoon's Americas Rugby Championship game against the British Colu

Rugby coach Pat Parfrey believes you'd have to be a "village idiot" not to want to play for The Rock.

And Jebb Sinclair isn't a village idiot, at least not by Parfrey's standard.

The New Brunswick native was delighted to hook up with Atlantic Canada's team in a competition that will lead to an international final.

Sinclair and fellow New Brunswickers Chauncey O'Toole and Simon Pacey are expected to start for The Rock in Saturday's America's Rugby Championship (ARC) league game against British Columbia Bears.

"I'm fitting in great," said Sinclair at Thursday's news conference. "I know a lot of the guys on the (Rock) team. I've played with and against them before.

A resident of Chez Parfrey

"I'm staying at Pat's place - Chez Parfrey's - which is the Ritz-Carlton of Newfoundland, and I'm just really excited to play in front of a huge crowd," added Sinclair. "Usually when I'm here, the fans are cheering against me and this time they'll be cheering for me."

The six-foot, 238 pound blindside flanker from Fredericton, who has played with or against most of the players on the Bears, is looking forward to going up against those players at Swilers Complex.

Ciaran Hearn - like Sinclair, a member of Canada's national squad - also knows several of the Bears players very well from his time playing in B.C., with Canada's national team and with East Canada in the former North American 4 League.

He expects a tough match Saturday.

"We played Vancouver Island Crimson Tide a few times in the early years of Rugby Canada Super League (RCSL) final and those games were close," said Hearn. "We've got more experience now throughout the whole team and we feel we can put some points on them."

When asked if he was forecasting victory, Hearn laughed and said, "Ah, I'm not going to predict a win, but it's going to be a great game for everyone to come out and watch and a great game for us." (Sinclair was less equivocal - at this point, he interjected and said the Rock would win.)

While The Rock has three RCSL titles, a Newfoundland-based team has never beaten a team from British Columbia - The Rock's three RCSL wins came against teams based in Saskatchewan (twice) and Alberta. The Rock lost 6-3 to Vancouver Island's Crimson Tide in the 2002 RCSL final and 14-8 to the Tide in the 2004 championship game. The new ARC format, which replaces the former RCSL and the NA 4 Canada-America setup, is rated as a higher calibre of play by Parfrey.

Hearn says the B.C. teams always bring a lot of skill and The Rock will have to be at their best on game day.

"They are well known for spinning the ball, moving the ball, using space really well," explained Hearn "We've worked on that this week because we know they are going to keep the ball moving. That's why we've got to put them down and slow them down."

In terms of specific advantages, Hearn figures, "They probably have the advantage in size in the second row, but I think we'll have the advantage in big hits."

Helpful hostility

The six-foot-three, 220-pound fullback from Conception Bay South also says The Rock will have another advantage with a "hostile" home crowd on its side.

The inaugural ARC competition includes four regional Canadian teams - the Rock, Ontario Blues, Prairie Wolf Pack and B.C. - along with the Argentina Jaguars and the United States Eagles. The round-robin pool competition among the Canadian teams will send the top two to a semifinal scheduled for next month at the home of the higher place team. The team coming out of the Canadian semifinal will play the winner of the Argentina-U.S. match in the final, set for Oct. 17 in Toronto.

Tickets for Saturday's game, which starts 3 p.m., are $20 for adults and $10 for students. They can be picked up as Swilers clubhouse on Crosbie Road or at the game.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Rugby Canada Super League, North American, Crimson Tide NA 4 Canada-America

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, U.S., British Columbia New Brunswick Newfoundland Fredericton Saskatchewan Alberta Vancouver Island Argentina Toronto Crosbie Road

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  • nerves
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    LETS GO THE ROCK!!!

  • nerves
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    LETS GO THE ROCK!!!