VICTORIA, BC - Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (11-4) will look to cap off an impressive season with a Rounsefell Cup on Saturday as they gear up for the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League provincial final against playoff-proven James Bay Athletic Association (11-4).
Burnaby Lake will be well represented in the Wallace Field triple-header with their Women's Premiership side battling Velox for a Gordon Harris Memorial Cup and their men's First Division squad taking on the UVic Norsemen for the Ceili's Cup.
Rounsefell Cup Match Details:
4:00pm Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League Final
James Bay Athletic Association vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (at Wallace Field, UVic)
Years of an intensive rebuild are paying off for the Burnaby men's premier program that has been in the midst of a three-season revamp. In 2010, Burnaby finished in the Premier League table cellar; 2011 saw them bounced in the quarterfinals; and 2012 ended in a crushing two-point semifinal defeat at the hands of James Bay at MacDonald Park. After nearly two decades, the club has finally returned to the big dance and will look to hoist the coveted Rounsefell Cup at UVic's Wallace Field on Saturday.
"Three years ago before [head coach] Kris de Scossa got here we were down and out," said Burnaby Lake captain Mike Gough. "We had a core group of players who were taking 70-point hammerings week in and week out. But Kris came in and has built a club atmosphere and with more players involved and the recent success at all levels of the club, it shows we are doing something right."
After years of watching their women's premier side contest for provincial titles (2011, 2009, 2007, 2006 champs), the men's side appear to be on the same track.
"The women's program have been a dominant force in BC for years now and it's great to see the men's program living up to the standards they have set," added Gough.
After a slow 1-3 start this past Fall, Burnaby went on an eight-game winning streak and led the league offensively producing 35.64 ppg and boast the toughest defence with just 15 ppg against. A key victory was their March 23rd 42-19 dismantling of the Bays, having previously lost 20-19 on October 21st to their Island rivals. The winning streak came to an abrupt end on April 13th when they fell 23-16 to the Castaway Wanderers at Windsor Park, just in time for the squad to retool for the playoffs according to Gough.
"We came crashing home against CW a couple weeks ago which really wasn't a bad thing as we were probably feeling a little bit untouchable at that time," Gough added.
Burnaby bounced back with a 76-5 win over Bayside and then downed CW 26-10 in the semifinals two weeks later. Now a side with plenty of scoring threats and veteran forwards will look to defeat perennial finalists James Bay.
The Bays have won 22 Rounsefell Cups and narrowly missed out on their 23rd last May against Capilano RFC. The club hasn't lifted a premier league title since their 2006-2008 three-peat but have plenty of tested veterans in their roster including former national team players Morgan and Jeff Williams, Dave Moonlight and Neil Meechan.
"We have lots of experience in this team and if you look at someone like our MVP this year Spencer Dalziel, he has probably played in at least six Rounsefell Cup finals," said James Bay head coach Peter Rushton. "The experience factor for us will be huge."
James Bay will be making a second straight appearance in the provincial final, having eliminated defending champs Capilano in an over-time semifinal thriller last Saturday at MacDonald Park.
"Spencer scored in the final two minutes of over time which is a pretty good indication of the type of athlete he is," Rushton added about his captain. "He leads with his chest and is all about making the team go forward."
The Bays will have their hands full against a team boasting a cohesive forward pack and lethal back line.
"They have an advantage of consistency in their group where the same core players have been together all season," added Rushton. "Their strength will be in the forwards and we will look to counter that on Saturday."
Kick off for the Premier League final is set for 4:00pm with the Women's Adidas Premiership match set for 12:00pm and the Ceili's Cup Div One game at 2:00pm.
Quick Stats - Burnaby Lake vs James Bay:
Head to head: 1-1
Burnaby 2012-13: 10-4 (1st)
Burnaby Offence: 35.64 ppg (1st)
Burnaby Defence: 15 ppg (1st)
Burnaby Top Scorer: James Reekie, 139 pts (1st)
Burnaby Top Try Scorer: Joe Dolesau, 14 tries
James Bay 2012-13: 10-4 (2nd)
James Bay Offence: 29.21 ppg (2nd)
James Bay Defence: 21.5 ppg (2nd)
James Bay Top Scorer: Dan Kilpatrick, 54 pts (7th)
James Bay Top Try Scorer: John Moonlight, 5 tries
Burnaby Lake (Prems)
1 Anthony Luca; 2 Benoit Piffero; 3 Micha Govorchin; 4 Ryan McHollister; 5 Mike Gough; 6 Doug Breadon; 7 Scott Plummer; 8 Admir Cejvanovic; 9 Geoff Ryan; 10 James Reekie; 11 Javier Valle; 12 Cole McQueen; 13 Joe Dolesau; 14 Matt Alexander; 15 Evan Thomas
Head Coach Kris de Scossa; Manager Jone Gauna; Director of Rugby Simon Smoldon; President Mike Devlin
James Bay (Prems)
1 Peter Gillespie; 2 Francis Yoon; 3 Russ Ward; 4 Nolan Miles; 5 Jim de Goede; 6 Ben Johnson; 7 Neil Meechan; 8 Pat Fraser; 9 Spence Dalziel; 10 Jeff Williams; 11 Brandon Harrison; 12 Morgan Williams; 13 Dave Moonlight; 14 Jordan Wilson-Ross; 15 Sean White
Tom McArthur; Sterling Vidalin; Andrew de Goede; Rain Slavica; Monty Tichkowski; Jimmy Blomberg; Bancroft
Head Coach Pete Rushton; Scrum Coach Pat Dunkley; Technical Advisor Gary Johnston; Manager Mike de Goede; Assistant Manager Rhyno Mckay; Game Sheet Manager Phil Meyer
Rounsefell Cup - Recent Winners
2010-2011 Castaway Wanderers
2009-2010 University of Victoria
2007-2008 James Bay
2005-2006 James Bay
2002-2003 University of Victoria
2001-2002 Castaway Wanderers
2000-2001 Castaway Wanderers
1999-2000 Castaway Wanderers
1998-1999 James Bay
1995-1996 James Bay
1994-1995 Vancouver Rowing Club
1993-1994 UBC Old Boys
1992-1993 James Bay
1991-1992 James Bay
FINALS AT WALLACE FIELD, UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA
General Admission Tickets: $15, $10 for Youth (Under 15 or students with valid ID)
12:00pm Women's Adidas Premiership - Gordon Harris Memorial Cup
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs Velox Valkyries
2:00pm Ceili's Cup Men's First Division Final
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club vs UVic Norsemen
4:00pm Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League Final - Rounsefell Cup
James Bay Athletic Association vs Burnaby Lake Rugby Club