2 June, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ONTARIO BLUES DEFEAT NEW YORK RHINOS IN FRONT OF 8,000 FANS AT INAUGURAL SUPER SEVENS EXHIBITION MATCH
Blues tap into their northern roots, use “hockey-style” substitutions to defeat American rivals at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa. on May 31.
(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario Blues may have been venturing into uncharted waters when taking part in the inaugural Super Sevens exhibition match at Philadelphia’s PPL Park on Saturday, but the young side emerged looking like veterans of the sport. Going up against a strongly assembled New York Rhinos sevens side, Ontario Blues ensured they would be returning back to Canada with silverware, after laying down a 79-43 victory over their cross-border rivals.
Ontario’s youthful squad was up to the task in their first taste of Super Sevens. The modified sport, differing from the traditional rules of rugby sevens, featured four 12-minute quarters, with each side using a 16-man squad with rolling substitutions, and any Ontario uneasiness was quelled in the early stages of the match, with the up-and-coming Blues thriving in the physically-demanding conditions.
After jumping to a 19-5 lead after the first quarter, Ontario kept up their fast-paced tempo throughout the remainder of the first half, with their lead ballooning to 43-19 at halftime.
New York proved to be the better side at the restart, cutting into Ontario’s lead with 24 third-quarter points, but the American side’s successes would be short-lived.
Ontario’s superior fitness shone in the final frame, with the Blues putting 31 points on the board, while allowing zero, en route to a 79-43 victory.
With the sport of Super Sevens so new to the rugby world, Blues manager Mark Winokur wasn’t sure of what to expect of the match coming in, but he was extremely impressed by what he saw.
“It was a fantastic event, in a beautiful stadium, with a real festival atmosphere,” said Winokur. “It was a great opportunity for our guys to play elite rugby in front of a big crowd with big pressure, and they performed incredibly.”
The New York Rhinos squad was made up of players from the Northeast Olympic Development Academy, and features athletes from top-tier American sides that include New York Athletic Club, Old Blue RFC, White Plains RFC, and Mystic River Rugby Club.
On top of being a younger side than New York, Winokur added that one of the keys to victory was his side’s grasp of effective substituting.
“Coming into Super Sevens, which is more physically grueling than our guys are used to, it was important to get our substitutions right,” he said. “We played hockey-style – our guys came off after playing hard, and after a rest they went on again – instead of making our subs based on the minutes left on the clock.”
The match was played as part of the annual American Collegiate Rugby Championship – the highest profile college rugby tournament in the United States – and was organized by the United World Sports organization, which operates the USA Sevens program, the Varsity Cup, as well as the Collegiate Rugby Championship.
“Whether Super Sevens has traction as a pro league, that’s not for us to decide, but from a high-performance standpoint, it was a top-quality event,” said Winokur. “United World Sports and the Collegiate Rugby Championship gave us a chance showcase some of Ontario’s best young rugby players on an international stage.”
Ontario Blues vs. New York Rhinos – Name (Club)
2. Alistair Clark (Bay Street)
6. Tim Richardson (Toronto Scottish)
7. Pat Richardson (Toronto Scottish)
8. Cam Stones (Ajax Wanderers)
9. Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders)
10. Rich Lebel (Waterloo County)
11. Jesse Lofthouse (Markham Irish)
12. Derek Daypuck (London St. George’s), Captain
13. Dan Moor (Balmy Beach)
14. Dave Worsley (Markham Irish)
15. Dan Mathie (Oakville Crusaders)
19. Haddon Murray (Balmy Beach)
20. Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach)
21. Justin Tota (Toronto Scottish)
22. Josh Campbell (London St. George’s)
23. Matt Alexander (Oshawa Vikings)
Ontario Blues Sevens Team Staff
Mark Winokur – Manager
Rob Doyle – Assistant Coach
Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist
Ontario Blues 2014 Match Schedule:
*NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB 22 @ ONTARIO BLUES 34
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Kick off: 4:00 p.m.
Bill Crothers Secondary School Field, Unionville, Ont.
*ATLANTIC ROCK 'A' SIDE 33 @ ONTARIO BLUES 'A' SIDE 38
Monday, May 19, 2014
Kick off: 1:00 p.m.
Crusaders Park, Oakville, Ont.
*ONTARIO BLUES SEVENS 79 @ NEW YORK RHINOS SEVENS 43
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Kick off: 12:30 p.m.
PPL Park, Phildelphia, Pa.
*ONTARIO BLUES @ USA U23 XV (COLLEGIATE ALL-AMERICANS)
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Kick off: 2:30 p.m.
Irish Cultural Centre, Canton. Mass.
ATLANTIC ROCK @ ONTARIO BLUES
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Kick off: 4:30 p.m.
Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa, Ont.
ONTARIO BLUES @ PRAIRIE WOLFPACK
Thursday, September 4, 2014
ONTARIO BLUES @ BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS
Sunday, September 7, 2014
BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS @ ONTARIO BLUES (RECHARGE WITH MILK CUP)
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Kick off: 8:00 p.m.
Alumni Field, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont.
PRAIRIE WOLF PACK @ ONTARIO BLUES
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Kick off: 1:00 p.m.
Nicholls Oval Park, Peterborough, Ont.
ONTARIO BLUES @ ATLANTIC ROCK
Saturday, September 27, 2014
* denotes pre-season match
About Rugby Ontario:
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to promote, govern, and develop rugby at all levels in a safe, affordable and enjoyable environment within the province of Ontario.
For more information, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
About Ontario Blues:
The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male rugby players in Ontario. It is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for Rugby Canada teams.
The senior team represents Ontario in the annual Canadian Rugby Championship, and has won three straight titles, having won the championship’s MacTier Cup in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
-30-For more information, please contact:
Office: 416 426-7049
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