Adam Kleeberger

Bears split Canadian Rugby Championship games at Westhills

Pat Kay kicked 20 points and led the B.C. Bears to 40-18 over the Atlantic Rock at Westhills Stadium on Monday (Sept. 2)

Pat Kay kicked 20 points and led the B.C. Bears to its first win of the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship, 40-18 over the Atlantic Rock at Westhills Stadium on Monday (Sept. 2).

Kay, a UVic Vikes standout and captain of Canada’s 2013 under-20 national team, went eight-for-eight, converting all four tries, three penalties and a drop goal.

The win gave the Bears a split of its two-game weekend at Westhills, having lost 11-7 to the Ontario Blues on Friday. However, the Bears have just one win in three CRC games while the Blues are first, the only undefeated team through three games. The Bears and Wolf Pack (2-2) can still catch the Bears and win the CRC while the Rock (1-3) are mathematically eliminated.

Scoring the Bears’ tries on Monday were Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds), Clayton Meeres (James Bay Athletic Association), substitute Luke Campbell of Oak Bay (UVic Vikes) and Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake).

Monday night’s Bears squad was revamped from Friday. Among the changes was former UVic Vike Adam Kleeberger at No. 7 and Castaway Wanderer Jonny Morris, who helped the team set up its attack at scrum half.

“During the break between games we focused a lot on our aggression and technique at the breakdown,” B.C. Bears head coach Jim Dixon said. “We wanted a better platform to attack from and I think we achieved that today.”

Friday’s match was a tightly played affair.

Ontario scored first with 2013 Canadian youth player of the year Lucas Hammond (Castaway Wanderers) getting a try.

B.C. then took the lead on a try by Matt Buckley (Castaway Wanderers) in the 12th minute. Oak Bay product Connor Braid (James Bay), playing fly half, hit the conversion for a 7-5 lead.

That was it for tries, as Blues kicker Liam Underwood managed two more penalties to put the Blues up 11-7.

“We just need to crease out a few mistakes and build our phases,” said BC try-scorer Matt Buckley. “It’s almost there and we need to just not panic when we have those opportunities.”

The Bears play its final two games of the CRC on the road against the Ontario Blues in Lindsay on Sept. 14 and against the Prairie Wolf Pack (2-2) in Edmonton on Sept. 21.

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