America’s Rugby Championship (ARC)

October 15 2010

BC Bears - Jason Marshall
© Pamela Smortchevsky

Canada Takes 2nd in ARC for Second Year in a Row: UPDATED with Photos

[ed. BC Bears took 2nd last year, this year a CRC Select team was chosen. Photos from Lucho Vidales can be found here.]
posted Oct 15 2010

Canada has taken the silver medal at the 2010 Americas Rugby Championship with a 17-6 win over the USA Selects in Cordoba, Argentina.

After great weather in the opening two rounds, the closing day of the ARC brought cold temperatures and an uncomfortable drizzle that upset the four team’s plans. Having played and trained on firm pitches for almost two weeks, everybody had to readjust. Despite the discomfort, this was also an important aspect of the player’s development, the key goals for the tournament.

The resulting conditions proved to be difficult for both sides with the USA Selects managing a lone penalty to account for first half scoring..

Flyhalf Valanesa Malifeo, after Canada was penalized for killing the ball, kicked a long range, angled penalty to settle the 3-0 halftime score.

In the second frame Canada had more purpose - and USA transgressions equaled two Connor Braid penalty kicks and a 6-3 lead for the Canucks.

The USA struck back to equalize but it was penalties on both sides of the ball that became the the focal point of the game.

Three players - two Canadian and one American - were shown the door at one point - but despite Canada being short -handed 14 on 13 - Captain Pat Riordan drove to the US line before stopping just short. He then off-loaded to replacement front row Jason Marshall who fell across the line for the first try of the match and an 11-6 Canadian lead.

Braid missed the conversion but hit for another penalty a few minutes later to stretch his team's lead to 14-6 after 77 minutes. Just prior to the final whistle he hit for his fourth of the game and a 17-6 final score.

Derek Daypuck - fullback for the Canadian Selects - said he was pleased with the second half rally that saw his team overcome the tough conditions and being a man down to take the win.

"I thought it was a good rally for the guys for the win," the London, ON native said. "It was a very sloppy day, but we kept good composure through the whole game.

"The weather was wet so it was important for us to maintain our go forward and our structure and also keep (the USA) under pressure by putting the ball behind them," he continued.

"The big thing is when we had two guys in the bin and we put a try home that was the nail in the coffin," he said.

Canada opened the 2010 ARC tournament with a 49-14 loss to the host Jaguars, but rebounded for a 32-16 win over Tonga A to set up the silver medal finish against the USA.

Canada Selects: 17 (Canada 0 – USA 3)
Try: Jason Marshall?
Penalties: Connor Braid (4)

USA Selects 6 (USA 3 – Canada 0)?
Penalties: Valanese Malifa (2)

Canada Selects: Frank Walsh, Pat Riordan (captain), Scott Franklin; Brian Erichsen, Brett Beukeboom; Jebb Sinclair, Kevin Parfrey, Jeremy Kyne; Sean White, Connor Braid; Ryan Tomlinson, Ryan Smith, Tyler Wish, Nick Blevins; Derek Daypuck.

Substitutions Jason Marshall for Scott Franklin; 64', Hubert Buydens for Frank Walsh.
Replacements: Mike Pletch, Jon Phelan, Mark Macsween, Eric Wilson, Sean Ferguson.

Yellow Cards: Jeremy Kyne 50 ‘, Nick Blevins 54’

Coach: Kieran Crowley.

USA Select XV: Phillip Thiel, Chris Biller, Eric Fry; Samu Manoa, Brian Doyle; Patrick Danahy, Matthew Hawkins, Nic Johnson (capitán); Shalom Suniula, Valanese Malifa; Zach Test, Andrew Suniula, Milemoti Pulu, Duncan Kelm; Taivalu Enosa.

Substitutions: 6', blood sub: Gareth Jones for Milemoti Pulu; 22', front row sub: Anthony Purpura for Mattheew Hawkins; 72', Mark Bokhoven for Brian Doyle; 77', Anthony Purpura for Phillip Thiel.

Substitutions: Ross Silverman, Tom Katzfey, Benny Mateialona, Volney Rouse.

Yellow Card: Chris Biller 21’

Coach: Eddie O'Sullivan.

Results to date:

October 5th, 2010
USA Select 20-15 Tonga A?
Argentina Jaguars 49-14 Canada Select

October 10th, 2010
Argentina Jaguars 45-12 USA Select
Canada Select 32-16 Tonga A

October 15th, 2010
Canada Select 17 USA Select 6
Argentina Jaguars Tonga A

Canada Selects Defeat Tonga A in Argentina 32-16: UPDATED with photos

[ed. Canada meet USA on Friday. You can view Lucho Vidales' photos of the game at the following link: Click Here]
posted Oct 10 2010

Canada has won the second match of the Americas Rugby Championship downing Tonga A 32-16 in Cordoba, Argentina on Sunday afternoon.

This win follows a 49-14 tournament opening loss to the host Jaguars last Tuesday. The USA plays Argentina in the second of a double header day of the tournament in South America.

The opening forty minutes was error-ridden to the point where despite the clear skies and dry conditions sixteen scrums were set for either forward-passes or knock-ons by both teams.

The Tongans drew first blood in the second minute when outside-half Mahe Fangupo kicked from forty yards a neat penalty. He missed a second, more angled, kick in the only two opportunities the Tongans had in attack.

Canada involved winger Nick Blevins a lot in the opening twenty minutes but could not penetrate the Tongan defence that was efficiently set around rucks and mauls and ensured that options wider out were canceled.

Having missed a sitter in the tenth minute, Connor Braid converted his second penalty opportunity to temporarily draw on the 20th minute mark. Teams’ defences canceled attacks and the half’s only try was scored when Tonga was reduced to fourteen men after captain Petuliki Charles Mateo was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.

Canada waited until the last second of that sin-bin to score from a rolling maul initiated in a lineout. Hooker Mike Pletch scored to leave the score-board, in the 36th minute 8-3 after Braid missed the conversion.

Canadian Coach Kieran Crowley said the first half was not the best for his team but in the second frame a new focus helped them out of the performance malaise.

"In the first half we had too many mistakes and as a result we couldn't build momentum," explained the coach. -"That was the focus of our half time talk.

"In the second half we were able to build pressure and that netted us some good results.
"We were also very pleased with our defense," he continued. After the Argentina (loss) we had worked hard on (defense) and I think that showed today.

Crowley also noted that everyone in the Canadian Selects squad has played after two games - an important aspect of a development tour such as this.

"We are happy that after two games everyone has played," confirmed Crowley.

It seems that whatever was said in the changing rooms worked because the second half was far more enjoyable. As the crowds started to march in for the second game, they were greeted with four tries in the opening twenty minutes.

Canada scored first: number eight Mark MacSween benefited from his side not going for a three-pointer and was at the end of a passing movement; captain Ryan Smith led from the front in touching down in the left corner – Braid added a magnificent goal.

Winger Ryan Tomlinson was held up when a try seemed in the offing. He only waited until the next move to score after a set move from a scrum involving Braid and Smith. At 27-6, it seemed as if Canada would keep racking in points.

Tonga thought otherwise. Replacement halfback Soane Havea gave them more intent and soon the took control of the game, scoring a great try when a penalty was ran and fullback Fine Vea Mesui Lemoto was at the end of the passing movement to score in the right touch. Again, a superb kick – this time by replacement Fangatapu Apikotoa – added two more points. Tonga would kick a third penalty.

Canada, with two minutes to go, secured possession and Braid beautifully kicked for position, Tonga was forced to touch and from the lineout, replacement prop Hubert Buydens crashed to stretch the score to 32-16.

Canada wraps the three match tournament next Friday against the USA in Cordoba, Argentina.

Canada Selects:
Tries: Mike Pletch, Ryan Smith, Ryan Tomlinson, Mark MacSween, Hubert Buydens
Conversions: Connor Braid (1)
Penalties: Connor Braid (2)

Tonga A
Tries:Fine Vea Mesui Lemoto
Conversions: Fangatapu Apikotoa
Penalties: Fangatapu Apikotoa (2) Mahe Fangupo (1)

Canada Selects vs Tonga 'A'
1. Frank Walsh Atlantic Rock
2. Mike Pletch Ontario Blues
3. Jason Marshall BC Bears
4. Brian Erichsen BC Bears
5. Brett Beukeboom Ontario Blues
6 Jebb Sinclair Atlantic Rock
7. Kevin Parfrey Atlantic Rock
8. Mark MacSween Ontario Blues
9. Sean White BC Bears
10. Connor Braid BC Bears
11. Ryan Tomlinson Ontario Blues
12. Ryan Smith Captain Prairie Wolfpack
13. Tyler Wish Atlantic Rock
14. Nick Blevins Prairie Wolfpack
15. Sean Ferguson BC Bears

16. Pat Riordan BC Bears
17. Hubert Buydens Prairie Wolfpack
18. Jon Phelan Atlantic Rock
19. Mitch Gudgeon BC Bears
20. Jeremy Kyne Prairie Wolf Pack
21. Jamie MacKenzie Ontario Blues
22. Eric Wilson BC Bears

Argentina Jaguars Defeat Canada Selects in ARC: 49-14

posted October 6 2010
[ed. some Canadian fans will see the irony in Kieran Crowley's statement below as there is every opportunity to make the BC Premier League a "set up" to prepare players for top level competition by keeping our top domestic players in the league while encouraging top level imports. It's no excuse!]

The Argentina Jaguars downed the Canada Selects 49-14 in Cordoba, Argentina to top the Americas Rugby Championship opening round.

The USA opened the 2010 Americas Rugby Championship tournament with a 20-15 win over Tonga A - the first of a double header day in the central Argentine city of Córdoba.

Canada Coach Kieran Crowley, while disappointed at the result was realistic about the amount of preparation time his squad had vs that of the host Jaguars.

"Argentina have got the kind of set up with players very well prepared - and having some time together," he offered. "The pace our players saw tonight was very new to some of them - but in the long run this kind of competition is going pay dividends to our development."

Crowley said that Argentina "was great at applying pressure right from the start of the game - and Canada had relatively few chances with the ball in hand in the first half."

"We will get ready for Tonga now and reset."

From the start, the home team, spurred by the support of 3,000 spectators, were on the attack and managed to control the ball efficiently to unsettle the Canadian defense. It took ten minutes to break them when fullback Joaquin Tuculet, after a couple of strong attacks through the backs, was put in the clear after swift passing.

Canada, who seldom had ventured beyond the halfway line, took their first points with a Connor Braid penalty when the Argentine backs were penalized. He would kick two more in a first half that was dominated by the home side.

Flyhalf Ignacio Mieres kicked two consecutive penalties in the 15th and 21st penalty – the second would cost dear to the Canadians as lock Brian Erichsen was sin-binned for a shoulder charge prior to those three points. Argentina took advantage and scored their second try through capped winger Mauro Comuzzi thanks to good work by his forwards.

With Erichsen back on the field only one minute, it was again through the forwards that the third try started. From a lineout after a penalty, a rolling maul saw prop Mauricio Guidone score close to the posts.

The bonus-point try was very much celebrated, scored by local boy Genaro Fessia in the 40th minute. The final points of the first half Braid’s third penalty for the partial 30-9 score.

Back from the changing rooms, the Canadians attacked the Argentines but it would be the home side that scored when winger Agustín Gosio showed his speed after a good inside pass from centro Juan Pablo Estellés.

Great skills were involved in the next try as winger Comuzzi twice kicked on the right hand touch for flanker Leonardo Senatore to score; Miere added the goal to stretch the lead to 44-9.

With both teams using their subs, the game produced no points for the next 25 minutes. Canada tried to break the Argentine defensive wall but despite having possession it was not possible until the 77th minute when replacement Stanley McKeen was at the bottom of a drive.

The Jaguars felt aggrieved and from the next play, after a great run from fullback Joaquín Tuculet, the game’s last try was scored with winger Gosio getting his brace.

Canada takes on Tonga on October 10th, while the USA will play the Jaguars.


Rugby Canada Press Release
posted Oct 4 2010

The Canada Selects team is on the ground in Cordoba, Argentina and with the opening match of the four team tournament on Tuesday evening, Kieran Crowley has selected the starting twenty-two that will take on the Argentina Jaguars. With balmy 24 C temperatures in the Central Argentine industrial city the team has shaken off the jet lag of the nearly 16 hour journey and gotten down to the task at hand.

With such a short preparation period last week, the selections will be heavily based on what Crowley and other national selectors saw when looking at the players involved in the four team Canadian Rugby Championship. With a liberal amount of Canadian team talent in the side mixed with some fresh faces from the CRC - Crowley's approach has been pragmatic in terms of preparation for the Jaguars.

"It's been a pretty rush job in terms of getting systems into place but they have worked hard over the last couple of days and we had two runs on Sunday - with a couple of more sessions before the game," admitted Crowley. Despite that pressure he is confident that the goal of creating stable platforms from scrums and lineouts will give the team a chance to incorporate some of the open rugby he hopes to put on the pitch.

"As far as the team goes there is a little bit of experience in some areas but you're only as strong as your 26 man squad so I expect anyone to front up and play."

The schedule perhaps has not been kind to Canada - having to take on the host Jaguars first up, but Crowley is stoic about the draw.

"You've got to play them all - we got Argentina first up," he explains. "I know they had a trial three or four weeks ago and they have been together a little bit since then.

"We've worked hard as well but haven't had a game to test our systems. That is the hand you are dealt but you have just got to go with it."

In terms of what style of game the Selects will bring to the pitch with just a handful of training sessions together - it is all about the basics.

"The approach is a simple one. You have to get the basics right and you have got to execute there and get the platform and try and play the game we want to play," said Crowley. "It's also about getting the defensive structures right and putting the pressure back on (Argentina)."

Canada plays Argentina at 7PM on Tuesday (6 PM EDT - 3 PM PDT) while the USA Selects open the tournament against Tonga A - a 5 PM local time kick-off.

Canada Select Team vs Argentina Jaguars
1 Frank Walsh, Atlantic Rock
2 Pat Riordan, (C) BC Bears
3 Scott Franklin, Prairie Wolfpack
4 Mitch Gudgeon BC Bears
5 Brian Erichsen, BC Bears
6 Jeb Sinclair, Atlantic Rock
7 Kevin Parfrey, Atlantic Rock
8 Jeremy Kyne, Prairie Wolfpack
9 Sean White, BC Bears
10 Connor Braid, BC Bears
11 Nick Blevins, Prairie Wolfpack
12 Ryan Smith, Prairie Wolfpack
13 Tyler Wish, Atlantic Rock
14 Shawn Mercier, BC Bears
15 Derek Daypuck, Ontario Blues

16 Mike Pletch, Ontario Blues
17 Jason Marshall, BC Bears
18 Jon Phelan, Atlantic Rock
19 Stan Mckeen, Oxford University
20 Jamie Mackenzie, Ontario Blues
21 Eric Wilson, BC Bears
22 Ryan Tomlinson, Ontario Blues
Coach: Kieran Crowley
Manager: Brent Johnston

Canada Final at MacDonald Park on Oct 10th (BC-Ontario): Velox v JBAA Curtain Raiser

by Phil Meyer (with files from BCRU)
posted Oct 2 2009

The British Columbia Rugby Union, in affiliation with Rugby Canada and the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced this afternoon that the Canada Championship game in the IRB Americas Rugby Championship will be held at MacDonald Park in Victoria on Saturday, October 10 at 3:30 PM.

British Columbia Bears will host Ontario Blues, with the winner going on to play for the Americas Rugby Championship against the winner of USA vs. Argentina.

The Bears beat Ontario in earlier round robin play, edged Newfoundland on The Rock, and rolled over Prairie Wolfpack last week to earn the right to host this national event.

Island backfielders Nathan Hirayama (U Vic Vikes) and Sean White (JBAA) are expected to combine with UBC's Harry Jones to lead coach Mike James' scorers against the Blues. The Bears forwards are expected to be anchored by a cadre of players from the Meraloma Rugby Club - last second winners over JBAA in May, in the BC Championship game.

In a VIRU curtain raiser, JBAA will host Velox Valhallians in a 12:00 PM game.

General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Youth under the age of 15 are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate. To reserve your spot at MacDonald, avoid line ups at the gate and save money, order your tickets online today by clicking:

If you have any questions with the online ticketing application, please contact Alex at 604-737-3070 /

Follow, and the ARC website ( for much more information leading up to the big day.

BC Senior Men's Trial Match: Blue vs Gold Team Lineups

[ed. comments below]
posted July 31 2009

The trial match takes place at Klahanie park at 1pm this Saturday. Coach Mike James will no doubt use the ocassion to make his mind up about the final roster selections for the BC team. The first game for BC in the ARC competion is September 12th with British Columbia at home to Ontario.

The trial game is followed by the National U20 title match between BC and Ontario.

America Rugby Championships (Formerly NA8) BC Men's Try Outs

[ed. there is also a facebook page dedicated to the BC Men's team, check it by following this link.]

posted June 19, 2009
BCRU Press Release

The Amercia’s Rugby Championships is replacing the original NA4 and there is an opportunity to be a part of them! This competition will be a chance for players to go on to play in front of National Senior Men's Team coaches and a chance to represent Canada.

BC Rugby is holding open try outs for Senior Men who would like to try out to make the team. Please read the following on dates, times and location of all tryouts and information on the entire competition. If you are interested then please attend one of the Informational Meet and Greet Sessions listed below and reply accordingly to our office.

The new ARC Competition will see fixtures applicable to our franchise as follows:

· September 12 - British Columbia at home to Ontario

· September 19 - Atlantic at home to British Columbia

· September 26 - British Columbia at home to Prairies

· October 10 - Canada Seed 1 at home to Canada Seed 2 (Semi-Final 1)

· October 10 - United States vs Argentina (Semi-Final 2)

· October 17 - Winner Semi-Final 1 vs Winner Semi-Final 2 (Title Match - Toronto)

· October 17 - Loser Semi-Final 1 vs Loser Semi-Final 2 (Bronze Medal Match - Toronto)

Prior to the competition structure, BC Men will be starting its preparation in July and August. This preparation period will provide the opportunity for players to be observed and evaluated, and ultimately selected to represent BC in this International Competition. All of which will be presented at the Vancouver and Victoria “meet and greet” sessions. The competition will serve as a pathway to the National Senior Men’s Team and we will be working closely with the National Coaches.


Monday, June 22nd @ 8:00 PM
Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence - Room 329
4371 Interurban Road, Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2C5

Tuesday, June 23rd @ 8:00 PM
Burnaby Lake Rugby Club - Mohawk Room
3760 Sperling Street, Burnaby, British Columbia

At these sessions, we will clearly define the commitment required to be part of the BC squad. We will also ask that players willing and able to commit sign an expression of interest form and confirm their availability to attend an introductory camp to be held at UBC on Saturday June 27th from Noon – 3.00pm.

At this time we are asking that you confirm if you are able to be at either of the “meet and greet” sessions, and if you are which one? Responses are to be sent via email to Alex Cameron at

It is out strong preference that you are at one of the meetings. However, if you are not able to make either session, but interested in the program please also respond to

Also, please confirm if you are able to attend the introductory camp to be held at UBC on Saturday June 27th from Noon – 3.00pm by responding to

Hans de Goede named Manager of BC Senior Men

BCRU Press Release
posted June 4 2009

Victoria, BC – The British Columbia Rugby Union today announced Hans de Goede as Manager of the BC Men’s Provincial team who will compete in the new America’s Rugby Championship (ARC).

De Goede is regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game of rugby in Canada. During his illustrious career de Goede captained his club, sub union, provincial and national sides and was twice selected to the International XV. A member of the Victoria, BC Rugby and BC Sports halls of fame, de Goede’s reputation as a leader who competes with integrity and honour is well documented.

“Having Hans involved adds instant credibility to our Senior Men’s program”, said Mike James, BC Men’s Head Coach. “He will revive the luster of the traditional rugby manager role for one of the province’s most storied programs. Hans understands the ingredients to rugby success, and his leadership will be invaluable to British Columbia.”

De Goede brings his winning attitude to the administrative side of rugby. He is the manager of James Bay Athletic Association in Victoria and continues to be involved with the Crimson Tide and Rising Tide programs.

“I am honoured to be appointed to this position,” explained de Goede. “I have been fortune to wear my provincial jersey on several occasions and I intend to work with Coach James to impart on these young men what it means to compete for British Columbia.”

About the Americas Rugby Championship

The Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) is new in 2009. It is an expansion of the North America 4 competition which allows provincial unions (British Columbia and Ontario) and regions (Atlantic and Prairies) to operate under an amateur franchise model. In addition to the four teams in Canada there are teams in the United States and one in Argentina.

Players who are eligible to play for Canada at the following Rugby World Cup are eligible for the ARC. Player selection to the Canadian franchises is based upon Place of Origin, which is defined as either where the player was born or where the player competed in their first senior game in Canada.

The ARC is primarily funded by the International Rugby Board (IRB), the body responsible for the global development of the game. The ARC is focused on supporting the National Senior Men’s Program and is an integral pathway for players with aspirations to play for Canada.

The British Columbia franchise will be lead by Head Coach Mike James and Manager Hans de Goede. The remainder of the management team will be announced in the near future, but the plan for selecting the team and preparing the squad are now in operation.

Ninety-eight players have been long-listed for British Columbia. There will also be an opportunity for those not on the long-list to attend initial sessions in Vancouver and Victoria. Players making themselves available for the ARC program will be required to commit to a summer fitness program that will include testing at regular intervals by the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Training sessions, including a selection game will lead up to the important date of August 1st. At that time, all Canadian franchises are required to submit their Protected Player List. This protected list can include up to 42 players, 12 of which must be Under 20 players (i.e. those currently competing in Japan at the U20 World Cup). Players not on the protected list can be picked up by other Canadian franchises after August 1st.

The focus in August will be preparing the squad for BC’s first game on September 12 in British Columbia versus traditional rivals from Ontario. BC will travel to St. John’s, Newfoundland the following weekend to take on the Atlantic franchise on September 19. The Prairies will travel to British Columbia for a fixture on September 26.

On October 10, the top place finisher out of the head-to-head Canadian fixtures will host the second place finisher. On the same date in Miami, the United States and Argentina will play their semi-finals.

The winner of both semi-finals will play for the ARC title, while the losers of the semi-finals will play in a bronze medal match. These two games will be played in Toronto on October 17.

• September 12 - British Columbia vs Ontario
• September 19 - Atlantic vs British Columbia
• September 26 – British Columbia vs Prairies
• October 10 – Canada Seed 1 vs Canada Seed 2 (Semi-Final 1)
• October 10 – United States vs Argentina (Semi-Final 2)
• October 17 – Winner Semi-Final 1 vs Winner Semi-Final 2 (ARC Championship Match)
• October 17 – Loser Semi-Final 1 vs Loser Semi-Final 2 (ARC Bronze Medal Match)

More information will be released soon on BC’s team in the Americas Rugby Championship.

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