Ontario Blues Stay Undefeated
Video of Lucas Hammond's tally after he sought work from his "off wing" when McKenzie had worked the blind side twice in the opening moments in last night's 11 - 7 Ontario win over hosts, BC Bears.
This was a game that failed to meet any pre-match hype. Ontario's dominance at the set scrum and general ownership of the breakdown, combined with a smothering defence did the job. There were only moments of anything resembling good rugby throughout the eighty minutes. It was unbelievable to see players so often give the ball to a team mate in a worse position than themself - a principle instilled in youth.
Ontario opened from the kickoff with two lengthy driving mauls and probes of the blindside, the second of these producing their lone tally. BC replied with a gem when Dolesau ran a great line shattering the defensive line and when the cover closed, he fed to Buckley who had a twenty meter finish. The try was converted by Braid. After just 12 minutes, it looked like the game could be special but really that was all the fan was to witness as the rest was rather droll.
Connor Braid did produce some clever skill with three diagonal punts that were caught by Meeres and a try might have been on, except for the cover of Scholtz or Wilson-Ross or Underwood. Braid also made an exciting break after a pin-point pass from Barkwill but again the threat was snuffed out by scurrying defence.
The second stanza saw a couple of yellow cards in a match that was somewhat "over officiated".....technically correct perhaps but the stoppages and scrum issues were punctuations of player errors that caused the second forty to be quite the yawner. The scrums will ultimately be better for the new law when all (players and officials), become more familiar. Last night it was apparent that at the point of connection and the lull between feeding, the FRF with the superior technique had their way.
Final observations include; Onatario's FRF was far superior; Aaron Flagg needs to use stickum, Connor Braid was very unfortunate to receive a solid knock and he looks like he'll be out of Monday's mix. He did try hard in this one. Captain Morrison was good value with a high work rate and lauding his troops by example, one which Shea Wakefield worked hard to follow. The backs were explosive but uncohesive, running some plays, particularly in dire defensive situations that were nightmarish. Dolesau is always dangerous and Buckley apart from one dropped ball and one errant pass did as much as they could. Meeres' pace is electrifying. Ontario's Hammond and Underwood also have great wheels.
B.C. now has to regroup for a quick turnaround when they play The (Atlantic) Rock tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., same location. There would be a lot of bumps and bruises after last night and it is pretty easy to read the game plan at this stage. Again, Go, Grizz, go! The fan support was pretty good last night, filling the stand but probably short of the 1,000 at the Grizz's first match in Vancouver.
Seen in passing.......CW Juniors on both sidelines serving as ballboys.....'onya, guys!