U19 Blues: Ontario places second at 2017 CRCs
The Ontario Under-19 Blues finished off a tremendous Canadian Rugby Championship with a tough defeat at the hands of the British Columbia Bears. The Bears got on the board early in the Gold Medal match, as the Blues found themselves digging themselves out of a 12-0 hole. The Blues did come back within one converted try, but the British Columbia took the match 29-17.
In Game 1 of the CRCs, the Blues kicked off their tournament with a decisive 36-14 win over the Voyageurs. A team with many Quebec and Eastern Ontario players, the Voyageurs had an early lead on the Blues, but the Ontario side dominated in set pieces. As a result, the Ontario U19 Blues defeated the Voyageurs by a score of 36-14.
In their second game, the Blues met the Wolf Pack from Alberta and found themselves in a close contest vs. their Prairie opponents. The Blues did not let the Wolf Pack's early offense phase them and continued to dominate in scrums and lineouts. They went on to defeat the Pack in a close match by a score of 26-19.
The semifinals saw the Blues match up with a tough Atlantic Rock side. Ontario was down early in this one, as the Rock took a 7-0 lead in the first ten minutes. In typical Ontario fashion, the Blues did not allow the margin to get them down, as they climbed back into the game and triumphed offensively. The teams traded scores for most of the match, but the Blues added insurance points in the second half to win the match 38-26.
In the finals, the Blues ran into some troubles early against a strong British Columbia side. The BC Bears used their fast-paced offense to their advantage, scoring points early and often. In the Blues’ only try of the first half, Josh Engelbrecht had a strong run into the right corner, followed by a late offload to Aidan Foley for the score. At half, the Blues were down 19-5. Ontario came out flying in the second half, scoring ten minutes in with a beautiful team try finished by captain Jack McRogers, but BC’s momentum also continued, as they added another try. In a last-ditch effort to tie the game up, Gabe Casey made a tremendous play at the touch line, just saving the ball from going out of bounds. He corralled the ball and passed it right into the hands of a streaking James Hammond who completed the play. Unfortunately, it was not enough to win the game and the Ontario U19 Blues would have to settle for a Silver medal win after a tough 29-17 loss to British Columbia.
Rugby Ontario would like to congratulate all of our U19 players and coaching staff on a great tournament and a well-deserved Silver medal.
Congratulations are also in order for British Columbia who won Gold, Atlantic Rock on their Bronze medal and the Voyageurs, Alberta Wolf Pack and Prairie Blizzard on a great tournament.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO BLUES
The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male and female rugby players in Ontario. Rugby Ontario is represented at the provincial level by the Ontario Blues High Performance program. The program includes representative teams from Under-15 to Senior in both Women’s and Men’s Fifteens. Specifically, the program is designed to develop and showcase rugby players for Canadian representative national teams.
ABOUT RUGBY ONTARIO
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to establish a stronger identity for rugby in Ontario by promoting the sport’s core values and by fostering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence on and off the field of play.
To learn more, visit https://www.rugbyontario.com/
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Communications Coordinator - Rugby Ontario