July 24 2006

BC Wave notch first win against Tide and Prairie Fire scorch Edmonton Gold

[ed. comments below]
posted July 24 2006

It's been a strange RCSL season for the BC based teams. The Vancouver Island Tide who are used to winning the Western Title finished a dismal last in the standings this year. The BC Wave, a predominantly U21 team, notched their first win of the abbreviated season against their cross channel rivals on Saturday. The score was 23 to 7 in the Wave's favour with a 2 try to 1 victory.

The Prairie Fire continued their dominance of the summer league as they scorched the visiting Edmonton Gold 58-12. The Fire will represent the West in the RCSL final in St. John's on August 5th. The Rock from Newfoundland will be the Eastern representative.

Crimson Tide vs. Praire Fire, Saturday July 8, 2006 @ Cowichan RFC

posted July 3 2006

The venue for the only Super League game to played on the Island this season has been changed. Cowichan RFC will now host the very anticipated match against the undefeated Saskatchewan Prairie Fire on Saturday, July 8th with a kick off at 2:00 pm.

The Fire are currently undefeated and anticipate a tough game from the Tide.
The Crimson Tide are in a position where if they can defeat the Praire Fire on their terms, the Island squad can vault themselves into the RCSL finals.

The game had to be moved from the original location at Windsor Park in Oak Bay due to the construction of the new sports pavillion there. Apparently the construction is behind schedule and would have interfered with rugby.

Cowichan RFC, which never closes for rugby, welcomes the opportunity to host another high calibre game and expects a good crowd.

Super League starts this weekend in the East, a tentative look at the West teams and schedules for the BC teams: UPDATE Manitoba Buffalo widthdraw from 2006 Rugby Canada Super League

updated June 5 2006
We've found out today that the Manitoba Buffalo have withdrawn from the 2006 RCSL citing the inability to field a competitive team as the reason. This leaves five teams in the RCSL West: Saskatchewan Prairie Fire, Vancouver Island Crimson Tide, Edmonton Gold, Calgary Mavericks and Vancouver Wave.

[ed. comments below]
posted June 2 2006

It's that time of year again, the Super League kicks off its ninth season this Saturday with two eastern games, Ottawa @ Niagara and the Rock @ New Brunswick. The West gets on track next Friday with Manitoba visiting Edmonton.

BC teams have won six of the eight championships, Vancouver Island Crimson Tide have won four titles and the Valley Venom two. Last year the Newfoundland Rock won the title and Calgary in 2003. So who looks hot in the west this year.

Prairie Fire
The Fire won the western title last year and look to be the favourites this year. Karl Fix has put together a top management team and brought in some key players. Velox's Murray Smith returns from last year at #8, as does the Bay's Jared Kirkland at flanker. The Fire have brought in Scottish flyhalf Scott Kennedy and second row David Marwick from England. The two van der Merwe will play for the Fire, national team member DTH and younger brother Peiter. Hubert Buydens toured with the Canada 'A' team to New Zealand and will play prop for the Fire. Shane Thompson will coach the team and may lace up the boots at his familiar centre position [just speculation]. As returning western champions with a few enhancements, the Fire are pre-season favourites.

Crimson Tide
As four time champions, the Tide have to be next in line. The big question is how many of the James Bay squad will play this year? Traditionally the Bays have made up the core of the team along with Castaway Wanderers. This year winning the National Club Championship after a grueling BC Premier championship has left many of the veteran James Bay players 'rugby weary'. The key to the team's success may be in their recruitment effort. There won't be any imports from England or Scotland but if the James Bay forward pack can be convinced to suit up for the summer season then the Tide has another shot at the championship. Otherwise it will be a wait and see scenario when they make their western swing against Edmonton and Calgary on June 16th and 18th.

Edmonton Gold
The Gold will be under the capable tutelage of player/coach Winston Stanley along with some Velox teammates such as Kent Plewes and Milan Mrjdenovich. Edmonton produce some quality players and there is always a steady stream from Edmonton to the BC Premier League. Whether they will have the consistency at all positiions is the big question. Again the first few matches will shed some light on the matter.

Calgary Mavericks
The Mavericks won the Super League title in 2003. Unfortunately their website seems to be stuck on that year with the player profile page last updated on October 7, 2003. Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the Mavericks. In 2003 four members of the Mavericks were named to the World Cup squad: Sean Fauth; Quentin Fyffe; Matt King; David Lougheed. So will the Mavs return to the heady days of 2003, not likely, but a good indication of how competitive they are will be answered after their first two games against Manitoba on June 11th and the Crimson Tide on June 18th.

Vancouver Wave
This is an Under 21 side, also called the BC Wave. Since this is their first year in the competition as an U21 side not much is known about their roster or their capabilities. Their game style will probably focus on fitness and speed, qualities inherent with youth. Other teams will likely use their forwards to dominate, while the Wave will likely play a style to favour quick ball and running rugby. Good luck to the U21 side in their inaugural year.

Manitoba Buffalo
The perrenial wooden spoon holders, the Buffalo will likely remain grazing on the grassy low areas unless they've added some fire power to their lineup. They start off the season with games against Edmonton and Calgary on the 9th and 11th. An upset in either of these games could be the turn around event the Buffalo need.

[ed. we at BC Rugby News like to inform our readers about all customs relating to rugby terminology. Hence the following information.]

The academic wooden spoon at Cambridge University

from wikipedia.com

The wooden spoon at Cambridge, England was originally associated with the Cambridge University Mathematical Tripos exams, and was a kind of booby prize awarded by students to their fellow student ranked lowest in the final exams.

The custom dates back at least to the early 19th century, if not before, and continued until 1909. From 1910 onwards the results have been given in alphabetical rather than score order, and so it is now impossible to tell who has come last, unless there is only one person in the lowest class.

There were actual wooden spoons which became increasingly large, and in latter years measured up to 1.5 metres long. By tradition they were dangled in a teasing way from the upstairs balcony in the Senate House in front of the lowest-ranked recipient when he came before the Vice Chancellor to receive his degree.

Schedules for Crimson Tide and Vancouver Wave


Fri, Jun. 16 7:00P @ Edmonton Gold | - Ellerslie Rugby Park
Sun, Jun. 18 TBA @ Calgary Mavericks | - Calgary Rugby Park
Sat, Jul. 1 3:00P Manitoba Buffalo @ HOME | - Vancouver Island
Sat, Jul. 8 3:00P Saskatchewan Prairie Fire @ HOME | - Vancouver Island
Sat, Jul. 22 2:30P @ Vancouver Wave | - Burnaby Lake RFC


Sat, Jun. 24 2:30P Edmonton Gold @ HOME | - Brockton Oval
Sat, Jul. 8 2:30P Calgary Mavericks @ HOME - Burnaby Lake RFC
Fri, Jul. 14 7:00P @ Manitoba Buffalo | - Maple Grove Rugby Park
Sun, Jul. 16 2:00P @ Saskatchewan Prairie Fire | - Regina Rugby Park
Sat, Jul. 22 2:30P Vancouver Island Crimson Tide @ HOME | - Burnaby Lake RFC

Can you feel the heat? Karl Fix basks in the warmth of a Prairie Fire Western Championship...background info on the Fire

Posted July 9 2005
original article by Karl Fix

First-year coach Murray Archibald and his long shot Prairie Fire team
accomplished what could only be described as a "Miracle on the Pitch". The
Fire put their final stamp on their fairy tale regular season today with a
convincing 45-7 victory over the Vancouver Island Raiders in Duncan, BC.
The Fire's unblemished 6-0 regular season record in the seven-team Western
Division of the Rugby Canada Super League was a dramatic turnaround from
last year's 1-5 result, considering that all but four of the team of 25 were
home-grown Saskatchewan players.

It was especially a sweet season for original Prairie Fire players prop Dave
Wilson and scrum-half Aaron Baier, along with six year veterans Jason Carson
and Tryan Sapergia, considering the often challenging road they have
traveled over the years. The bulk of the rest of the team is made up of
players (Jered Kirkland, Preston Petrovich, Andrew Welham, Nathan Perkins,
Lee Moffat, Steve Fairbairn, Jon Lichtenwald, Bret Benson, Canadian Under-21
Jon Benson, Hugh Buydens, Jon Clifford, Drew Kendal, Jeff Crone, Stefan
Ludik, Matt Bathgate, recent LeBoldus High School graduate DTH Van Der
Merwe) who over the years have come through the Fire's Under-21 program.

Bolstering the confidence of this year's team were four "import" players.
Shayne "Tugboat" Thompson, Canada's most capped seven-aside player, anchored
a solid Fire backline with bullocking runs and devastating tackles.
Second-year Fire player, New Zealand-born flanker Murray Smith's nose for
the tryline and high work rate epitomized the Fire forwards hard-nosed and
consistent domination of their opponents. Matt "Hollywood" Schiebel, who
hails from Australia, was a constant outside threat and always had
opposition defenders on their back feet. Flyhalf Mark Sherwood, also from
Australia, kicked steadily and quarterbacked the potent Fire offense, which
outscored its opposition 207-80 over the course of the season.

The team gained another star player when Nigeria-born Nanyak Dala, who
arrived in North Battleford, Saskatchewan two years ago, showed up at Fire
training camp unannounced. Nanyak went on to be a regular starter for the
Fire at both the centre and flanker positions.

The Fire will face off against the Eastern Division champions, yet to be
determined, in the Super League Final on Saturday, August 6, in Regina.


RCSL Commissioner, Kevin Blanchette, talks about the 2005 Super League

posted March 3 2005
by Mark Bryant

I had a chance to talk to Kevin Blanchette, the Rugby Canada Super League commissioner, while watching the Ireland-England match on large screen TV at the Strathcona last Sunday. Ireland won by the way. At half time while nursing a pint of Guinness I had a chance to scribble some notes.

There will be seven teams in the West this year and the same number in the East. The Fraser Valley Venom will not be entering a team but Vancouver Island will enter a second team, the Raiders, centred in Cowichan. The team originally were going to be called the Warriors but the Raiders eventually won out. [I suppose other teams might hope that they might RAID some of the talent from last year's championship team, the Crimson Tide].

The championship will be held in Burnaby the weekend of Aug 5-6 to held in conjuction with the national championship festival. Last year the national championship festival was held in Hamilton and the RCSL championship was also to be held in conjuction with the event. However the RCSL championship ended up in St. John's, NF, home of the Eastern champions, The Rock. Nobody is expecting a similar hijacking this year. Although Kevin doesn't have any regrets on that decision, noting that the St. John's final attracted close to 4,000 fans. If memory serves me correctly the year before that the final was held in Calgary and the gate may have been around the 5,000 mark.

This year they won't be co-hosting the gate with Churchill Cup events although the Edmonton Gold vs. Vancouver Island Crimson Tide match will take place the day before the Churchill Cup final.

As for expansion there have been talks with the U.S. Super League but nothing concrete has emerged. Kevin indicated he would entertain a super league showdown, where the winners of each Super League would face off for North American bragging rights. There's also talk of a Continental championship that may involve four teams but whether this would be at the regional or club level is not known.

Finally Kevin reminded me that this is the eighth year of the RCSL, it doesn't seem that long ago. I remember creating the first RCSL website, it was hosted on the Rugby Canada server and Liz Ferguson was in charge of organizing the league, and John Billingsley, now with Soccer Canada, was the president of Rugby Canada. I think the Crimson Tide won that year as well, as a matter of fact a BC team has won it every year...except two years ago when Calgary took the title.

Draft Schedule - Western Conference

Venom out, Wave wavering, VIRU plans two teams for 2005 RCSL season

Dec 10, 2005

Word is out that the Fraser Valley aren't interested in entering the Venom in the 2005 RCSL season. Also the VRU is wavering about entering the Wave in the 2005 competition, even though IRB money has been allocated to help RCSL teams financially this year. The VIRU has stepped up and proposed entering two teams if the other BC teams don't participate.

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