The Canada Wolverines win the 2015 Colonial Cup series 2-0 after defeating the USA Hawks 34 – 28 in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Wolverines went into the match leading the series 1 – 0 and a 8pt head start after winning the first game by a similar score of 36 – 28.
The game started as a physical encounter with both teams content to play the ball up the middle of the field. The first points came after 22 minutes when Timpano successfully kicked a penalty for the Hawks. It wasn’t long before the Hawks were on the board again when Casey Clark connected with speedy fullback Ryan Burroughs on the right side who ran 60 meters to score for the first try of the match. The successful conversion made it 8 – 0 to the Hawks.
Canada’s first penalty came in the 25th minute which provided them with their best attacking opportunity of the match. Some slick handling created enough space for Eddie Bilborough to score in the left corner. The missed conversion made the score 8 – 4. Minutes later, the Wolverines were at it again with a replay of the first try sent Bilborough in for his second. This time Piatek was successful with the conversion, bringing the score to 10 – 8.
Another penalty in Canada’s favor, again sent them upfield, this time it was Steve Piatek that took advantage of some sliding defense with a sly show and go taking him straight through the USA defense to score under the posts. Piatek converting his own try and Canada now lead 16 – 8.
With half-time quickly approaching, out of nowhere, a USA 3rd tackle kick fell into the arms of USA’s flying Burroughs who danced around the cover defense to bring the Hawks within two and a score of 16 – 12 at the halfway mark.
The Wolverines quickly gained the upper hand with some strong hit ups from the forwards supported by great kicking from Steve Piatek that saw the USA Hawks forced into dropping out from under their posts or having to run out from their own line. This pressure finally told when after a good offload from Christian Miller, saw Eddie Bilborough run through a huge gap to score beside the posts. Piatek successful with the conversion again. The Wolverines extending their lead to 22-12.
Billborough’s try was followed a few minutes later when on the back of a strong Alex Boyd run, Wolverines Captain Matt Wyles caught the Hawks defence napping and went over from dummy half. Piatek again successful with the conversion. Wolverines 28 – Hawks 12.
The USA Hawks were next to score with a try to substitute winger Roman Lowery of a Luke Baron kick. Timpano converted and the Wolverines now lead 28 – 18. The Wolverines quickly replied when Wamalwa picked up a Matt Wyles offload and scored beside the uprights. Piatek converted and the Wolverines extended their lead to 34 – 18. The game finished with two consolation tries to the USA Hawks, Roman Lowery with the last try as time expired. Mike Timpano converting the first.
The final score 34-28 and a well deserved victory for the Team Canada Wolverines who created history by taking both games in the series and retaining the Colonial Cup trophy for the second year in a row.
Coach Peter Illfield had this to say about the team’s effort, “The Hawks had an improved and solid performance by our forwards for the most part with better penetration and control around the ruck area while in possession. Our outside backs showed the most improvement in new recruits and wingers Roman Lowery and Mike Timpano and Fullback Ryan Burroughs continued with his feats from game 1, scoring 2 tries.”
The Hawks must regroup and focus their efforts on the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers, Americas, held in Jacksonville and Deland, Florida from December 4th to 12th.
Team Canada Wolverines 34
Tries (6): Eddie Billborough (3), Steve Piatek, Matt Wyles, Enoch Wamalwa Goals (5): Steve Piatek (5 from 6)
USA Hawks 28
Tries (5): Roman Lowery (3), Ryan Burroughs (2) Goals (5): Mike Timpano (4 from 6)
Team Canada Wolverines
Robin Legault (Toronto Centurions), Tony Felix (Toronto Centurions), Jonathan Cregg (Toronto Centurions), Eddie Billborough (Toronto City Saints), Billy Gemmell (Brantford Broncos), Matt Wyles (Toronto Centurions), Steve Piatek (Brantford Broncos), Enoch Wamalwa (Toronto City Saints), Michael Cregg (Toronto Centurions), Antoine Blanc (Toronto City Saints), Alex Boyd (Capilano Cougars), Christian Miller (Brantford Broncos), Jamie Kelly (Surrey Beavers), Denny McCarthy (Oakville Crusaders), Eric Moyer (Brantford Broncos), JT Rowbotham (Toronto Centurions), Lawrence Ross (Alberta Broncos)
Ryan Burroughs (NOVA Eagles), Jared Frymoyer (Philadelphia Fight), Taylor Alley (Central FL Warriors), Luke Barron (Connecticut Wildcats), Mike Timpano (Philadelphia Fight), Rich Henson (Philadelphia Fight), Shain Singleton (Rhode Is Rebellion), Andrew Kneisley (Philadelphia Fight), Gareth Walker (Central FL Warriors), Kevin Wiggins (Delaware Black Foxes), Abe Cohen (New York Knights), Casey Clark (Philadelphia Fight), Jon Purnell (Jacksonville Axemen), Terrance Williams (Atlanta Rhinos), Roman Lowery (Philadelphia Fight), Bart Longchamp (Central FL Warriors), Zack Reichenbach (Philadelphia Fight)