On the heels of two close and disappointing losses, The Rock earned their first win of the 2012 Canadian Rugby Championship season with a 26-20 win over the Pacific Tyee at the Swilers Rugby Complex in St. John's on Monday evening. The Tyee got on the board first, 10 minutes in as prop Scott Mackay finished off a series of tight bashes up the middle. 5-0 Tyee. Two penalties from Canadian international Ciaran Hearn gave The Rock a 6-5 lead after thirty minutes. In stoppage time near the end of the first half, Rock scrum-half Scott Forrest weighted a beautiful kick to pin the Tyee deep inside their 22m line. The Rock stole the resulting line-out and drove in from 5m with hooker Owen Parfrey scoring the try. Half time score 11-5 for The Rock.
The second half opened with great pressure from The Rock on the opening kick off resulting in turn-over ball and a series of small runs. The Tyee were penalized for an infraction and Hearn once again did the honours with another penalty. 14-5 for The Rock. Continuing pressure resulted in another Tyee penalty four minutes later and Hearn increased the lead to 17-5.
Two penalties against The Rock marched the Tyee up the field from their own 22m line. With The Rock on the back foot and an overlap out right, Tyee scrum half Sean White broke a couple of tackles and scored untouched. It was converted by Connor Braid to make it 17-12 for The Rock.
After a missed attempt, Hearn was good once again with a penalty to bring the score to 20-12. The Rock were reduced to 14 men as Chauncey O'Toole received a yellow card from Referee Brian Arceiro with 25 minutes gone in the half. The Tyee were able to move the ball within striking distance and a Rock infraction led to a successful penalty by Braid reducing the lead to 20-15 for The Rock.
The Tyee fell to two scores back after a Tyee loose forward was called for not maintaining his bind and Hearn slotted yet another penalty from 23m. 23-15 for The Rock. Bouyed by his successful kicking, Hearn attempted an over-ambitious long range drop goal that fell well short giving the Tyee's contingent of Canadian international backs a great counter-attacking opportunity. They made no mistake as Phil Mack freed up Conor Trainor who scored after a long run. With eight minutes left to play The Rock's lead was reduced to 23-20.
The Rock answered back with the 1000+ fans in attendance roaring and urging them on. A huge hit by Chauncey O'Toole from up the middle of a ruck turned the ball over. The Rock moved up field and the pressure resulted in the Tyee giving up a penalty with four minutes to go. Hearn calmly stepped up and slotted the kick from 35m to take the score to 26-20 for The Rock. The Rock recovered the resulting restart kick and ground out the remaining minutes with a series of tight pick and go movements. Replacement scrum half Mike Simpson finally retrieved the ball from the rollicking pack and kicked the ball to touch giving The Rock their first victory of the 2012 CRC campaign.
Coach Simon Blanks was delighted with his side's significant improvement at the contact area which was fundamental to their success. He noted Jon Phelan's work in the lineout was exceptional and disrupted the Tyee's continuity and rythym.
Next up for The Rock is the Prairie Wolf Pack when they travel to Calgary on September 15th.
10 mins Tyee Try - MacKay
14 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
30 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
42 mins Rock Try - Owen Parfrey
43 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
47 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
49 mins Tyee Try - White
50 mins Tyee conversion - Braid
55 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
58 mins Tyee Penalty - Braid
64 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
72 mins Tyee Try - Trainor
76 mins Rock Penalty - Hearn
The Rock Starting Line Up
1.Frank Walsh Vandals RFC
2 Owen Parfrey Swilers RFC
3.Bob Rogers Dogs RFC
4 Brad Lester Dogs RFC
5 Jon Phelan Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC
6.Toni Wodzicki Wanderers RFC
7 Chauncey O'Toole Belle Isle RFC
8 Zac Coughlan Swilers RFC
9 Scott Forrest Tars RFC
10 Patrick Parfrey Swilers RFC
11.Robert Wilson Swilers RFC
12 Tyler Wish Swilers RFC
13 Geoff Warden Swilers RFC
14 Patrick McNicholas Swilers RFC
15 Ciaran Hearn Baymen RFC
16 Steve Cutliffe Dogs RFC
17 Benoit Piffero Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC
18 Shane Stratton Dogs RFC
19 Justin Meyers Swilers RFC
20 Kyle Baillie Mudmen RFC
21 Mike Simpson Swilers RFC
22 Llyr Morris Mudmen RFC
Pacific Tyee Starting Line Up
1. Anthony Luca Burnaby Lake RC Pitt Meadows BC
2. Andrew Lackner Burnaby Lake RC Pitt Meadows BC
3. Scott Mackay Burnaby Lake RC North Vancouver BC
4. Luke Campbell UVIC Vikes Victoria BC
5. Liam Chisholm UVIC Vikes Kenora, ON
6. Alex Boyd Maralomas RC Winnipeg MB
7. Thyssen de Goede James Bay AA Courtenay BC
8. Callum Morrison James Bay AA Victoria BC
9. Sean White James Bay AA Victoria, BC
10. Connor Braid James Bay AA Victoria, BC
11. Sean Duke UVIC Vikes Vancouver, BC
12. Harry Jones Capilano RC Vancouver, BC
13. Conor Trainor Old Boy Ravens Vancouver, BC
14. Mike Fuailefau Castaway Wanderers RC Victoria BC
15. Phil Mack UVIC Vikes Victoria, BC
16. Noah Barker James Bay AA Courtenay BC
17. Micha Govorchin Burnaby Lake RC North Delta, BC
18. Toby Berg Velox RC Denman Island, BC
19. Will Campbell UVIC Vikes Toronto ON
20. Jonathan Hill UBCOB Ravens Edmonton AB
21. Cody Rockson Bayside RC Langley BC