Arrows Academy Claim 2023 Coast to Coast Cup on Strong Backline Play: Stan Blazkowski Selected Man of the Match
The Toronto Arrows Academy took home the Coast to Coast Cup for 2023 with some talented backline play, and some weak outside defending from the home team. The forwards advantage the Atlantic Selects had in the first half disappeared when the subs came on in the second half. It was the play of the outside backs for Toronto that won them the match. Stanislas Blazkowski, the fullback from the Arrows Academy, was selected Man of the Match. Stan is from Marseille, France but moved to Montreal when he was young with his family. He went back to France to play for the Racing Academy and then returned to Canada to play with the Concordia Stingers. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more of him in the future.
Credit has to go to the Arrows Academy coaching staff, Cory Hector has upped his coaching reputation with his program’s win. For BC it’s wait and see what they can do next year, will the successful Canada West program return, or will they try to improve the senior Bears program?
The Arrows Academy are ahead 17-11 at the half due to their advantage out wide. The Atlantic Selects maul in their second try to start the second half and take the lead 18-17. As expected the Atlantic Selects have an advantage in the forwards and the Arrows Academy in the backs. Jack McCarthy intercepts a floated skip pass on the wing and scores a solo try to put the home side up 25-17 with 15 minutes remaining. Jamin Hodgkins the Atlantic fullback hits a drop goal to go ahead 28-17. The Arrows score a try with 5 minutes left and it’s a 28-22 match. The Arrows add another long range try from the backline and go ahead with the conversion, 29-28. The Atlantic Selects have one last shot and are setting up for a drop goal, Elliot Ryan, the hero of game one for Atlantic, completely botches the pass and goes from hero to zero, such is the nature of rugby sometimes. The Arrows Academy are the 2023 Coast to Coast Cup winners. It was good to hear Jamie Cudmore on the live stream commentary, hopefully we’ll see him involved in some way with Canadian rugby in the future.
*Coast to Coast Cup Final: Rosters and Live Stream*
The Coast to Coast Cup final between hosts Atlantic Selects and the Toronto Arrows Academy kicks off today at 3pm. The rosters are below and the live stream link is here.
Both teams defeated the BC Bears, the Atlantic Selects win was more emphatic 38-14, while the Arrows Academy was a more even match 32-27. We’re expecting the Atlantic forwards will have the upper hand, led by tighthead prop Marc Antoine Ouellet. The talented Irish scrum half, Elliot Ryan, will likely have an impact on the match. For the Arrows Academy, we expect their backline will have some success out wide, led by Pacific Pride player AJ Kosempel. We’re predicting a +12 win for the home side, Atlantic Selects.