VANCOUVER, BC - The Castaway Wanderers (7-6-1) wrapped up the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League regular season with a dominant four-try performance on Saturday, recording a bonus point 26-10 win over Meraloma (7-7) to qualify for the playoffs. The result left Meraloma with no points to show for today's effort as they wrap up their season one point back of CW in the standings with 38.
The Castaway Wanderers are through to the postseason along with no.1 Burnaby Lake (10-4), no.2 James Bay (10-4) and no.3 Capilano RFC (10-4).
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League - Sat. April 20th:
Castaway Wanderers 26(+1) - 10 Meraloma
UVic Vikes 24(+1) - 57(+1) James Bay
Bayside Sharks 5 - 76(+1) Burnaby Lake
UBCOB Ravens 16 - 35(+1) Capilano RFC
"We are obviously pleased to get the bonus and the win. We knew what we needed to do," said a relieved Castaway Wanderers head coach Ian Hyde-Lay. "To be honest we probably should have had the bonus at half time as we left several tries on the field."
The win was CW's third straight in Premier League play as the Oak Bay outfit appears to be hitting their stride ahead of a semifinal matchup with top-ranked Burnaby Lake on May 4th.
CW led 12-3 at the half through tries from Mike Fuailefau and Clayton Thornber with a conversion from Canadian Sevens National Team standout Ciaran Hearn.
In the second half, frustrations boiled over for possession-starved Meraloma as prop Alex Boyd was sent to the bin for striking and CW capitalized on the advantage with two tries.
The first saw Dylan Jones go over in the far corner and then Fuailefau darted through for his second and secured CW's crucial bonus point. Hearn kicked a long range conversion from the touch line and then one from in front of the sticks and put the visitors up 26-3.
Meraloma were able to build some momentum in the final 10 minutes but after being denied several times inside CW's 22, could only muster one try when Shawn Mercier barrelled through for the score. Mike Hall tacked on the conversion and with his first half penalty saw the 'Lomas trailing 10-26.
In the final minutes the 'Lomas were again pressing but needed at least a converted try and a penalty or drop goal to win the standings tie-breaker. They were unable to provide either and for the second straight season will miss the playoffs.
Elsewhere in Premier League play, Burnaby Lake wrapped up the top seed with a thorough 76-5 dismantling of no.8 Bayside (2-12) and will now host a semifinal match up on May 4th. No.2 James Bay downed no.6 UVic Vikes 57-24 and locked up the second seed and will now host no. 3 Capilano in a rematch of last year's Rounsefell Cup Final. Capilano also moved to 10-4 with a bonus point 25-16 win over the no. 7 UBCOB Ravens (3-9-2) but finish two points back in the standings of a home playoff match.
The semifinals are slated for May 4th and the Rounsefell Cup Final will be played on May 11th.