BURNABY, BC - Two clubs on the rise are set to collide in week 10 of the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League when no.5 Castaway Wanderers (5-4) travel to no.1 Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (8-1) on Saturday. The two sides have arguably the top forward packs in the league with both rosters boasting numerous national team and representative level players.
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League - Sat. March 8th:
Capilano RFC at Vancouver Rowing Club (Brockton Oval) 2:45pm
Castaway Wanderers RFC at Burnaby Lake (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 2:45pm
UBCOB Ravens at Meraloma (Connaught Park) 2:45pm
The Oak Bay-based Castaway Wanderers have rallied from a disappointing first half and have now won three straight matches after reenforcing their lineup with a number of Canada-capped and rep level additions. CW dispatched their local rivals James Bay by a score of 24-15 in week eight and have posted back-to-back wins over Vancouver Rowing Club in recent weeks.
Their roster in February and early March featured the likes of Canada stars Hubert Buydens, Jake Ilnicki, John Phelan and Chauncey O'Toole. The return of Canada stalwart Ciaran Hearn made a noticeable impact last week against Rowers when the Newfoundland product ran in four tries and tallied a pair of conversions.
"They are a very strong, very talented and well-coached team," said Burnaby Lake Director of Rugby Simon Smoldon. "Their opponents of the last three weeks have described them as the best opposition they have faced all season so we are without a doubt going into this game as the underdog."
Burnaby have their fair share of fire power with several BC Bears forwards including Scott MacKay, Andrew Lackner, Anthony Luca and Canada U20 grad Admir Cejvanovic. Add in BC Bears-capped scrum half Cody Rockson and a strong centre pairing in Joe Dolesau and Jeke Gotegote and Burnaby has multiple threats from 1-15. Youngster Brian Murphy who played for Vancouver's U20 team has proven to be a force with seven tries to his credit.
"Our BC rep players will be looking to rise to the challenge of playing against a Canada level pack," added Smoldon. "Every game is a challenge for us but if we compete and perform in all areas and keep the unforced errors to a minimum and most importantly look after the ball, the result should take care of itself."
Hearn currently leads CW in scoring despite only playing two games with a total of 38 points. Burnaby's kicker Geoff Ryan is second in overall league scoring with 65 points and Dolesau is tied for top try scorer with eight.
Around the league
No.3 Capilano RFC (6-3) will face local rivals no.7 Vancouver Rowing Club (4-5) at Brockton Oval in a game that could prove crucial to Capilano securing a playoff berth. The Vancouver West Side derby will see no.6 UBCOB Ravens (4-5) away to no.8 Meraloma (0-9) at Connaught Park. The fourth match of the CDI Premier League week 10 schedule which was to feature UVic against James Bay, has been cancelled due to player availability and scheduling conflicts.
68 pts - Fergus Hall (UVic Vikes)
65 pts - Geoff Ryan (Burnaby Lake)
50 pts - Mike Hall (Meraloma)
44 pts - Matt Sims (Capilano RFC)
40 pts - Taylor Dalziel (James Bay AA)
40 pts - Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake)
38 pts - Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers)
35 pts - Brian Murphy (Burnaby Lake)
33 pts - Matt Yanagiya (Capilano RFC)
30 pts - Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA)