BC Still Tops in ARC
Monday Sep 28, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby NA4 - ARC
After two close ARC matches, the BC Bears finally exhaled and put up a defiant score at the Prairie Wolf Pack’s expense, routing the visitors 52-14.
Outscoring the Wolf Pack by five tries, the BC Bears finish the ARC regular season undefeated and solidify home pitch advantage for the semi-final on October 10.
A slow start by both teams was forgotten when big Mike Burak dotted down for the Bears, opening up an eventual landslide of points.
Bears scrumhalf Ed Fairhurst, who had another outstanding match, combined with wing Sean Duke for the next two BC tries, the first of which came only moments after the opening try of the game. Duke all but solidified number 14 for the post season with his perilous pace.
Flyhalf Nate Hirayama put on a conversion clinic, going 7-for-7 on conversion attempts, most coming from outside the 15m lines.
The Bears tidied up the breakdown and solved their early troubles of losing first phase ball, led by No.8 Glen McKinnon, who was eventually rewarded for his work around the pitch with a try in the second half.
BC’s forward pack has put in a high baseline performance every match, and Brian Erichsen and Adam Van Staveren were no exception today.
Scrum coach Angels Cividanes had to be pleased with the Bears’ efforts. BC set piece shone. The Wolf Pack chose to not even challenge in the air, opting for the extra men on the ground at lineouts.
A momentary lapse by the Bears was pounced on by the Wolf Pack’s flyhalf Steve Woodward. Woodward is proven dangerous in short spaces and only needed 20m after a turnover to score the Pack’s lone first half points.
The Bears led 28 – 7 at halftime.
No two BC tries were alike; the Bears were able to probe for several weaknesses in the Wolf Pack’s game, and found success through the middle and on the outside.
The Wolf Pack’s backs coach Shane Thompson agreed the Bears were a threat all over the park. .
“I was impressed with the entirety of the group and how they are able to attack from everywhere; it made them almost impossible to defend against.”
Bears’ centre Dave Spicer underlined his squad’s versatility with a clever 30m drop goal late in the game.
Almost as an afterthought, the Wolf Pack touched down for the second time with 5 minutes left on the clock, but it would be in vain.
The BC Bears will have a deserved weekend off before the ARC resumes. The location of the semi-final has yet to be announced but after a surprise upset over The Rock, the Ontario Blues will be the visiting opposition for the Bears.
Bears head coach Mike James is happy with the scoreline, and felt it was a long time coming.
“We honestly should have put those numbers up in the first game against Ontario. The only danger is that now after one good result, complacency will creep in. There’s still a lot of work to do in two weeks, and we are far from a finished product, but today’s result was promising.”
The ARC resumes on October 10 with the top two Canadian sides playing off for the right to face the winner of USA ‘A’ and the Argentina Jaguars. USA ‘A’ will host the Jaguars in Colorado on October 10.
BC Bears 52
Tries: Burak, Duke (2), Van Staveren, McKinnon, Spicer, Hirayama
Cons: Hirayama (7)
Prairie Wolf Pack 14
Tries: Woodward, Gilmour
Cons: Woodward (2)
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