The Rock made a winning start to the Americas Rugby Championship with a 31-23 defeat of the Prairie Wolf Pack before a crowd of more than 1,000 at Calgary Rugby Park on Monday.
Representing the Altantic region, The Rock ran in five tries through current Canadian internationals Chauncey O'Toole, Jebb Sinclair and Frank Walsh, former Test wing Tyler Wish and Rob Wilson to secure a bonus point win.
The Wolf Pack - drawing players from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba - crossed for three tries themselves through Travis Robertson, wing Jordan Kohn and Dustin MacPherson but ultimately missed out on a losing bonus point.
"Coming from a long distance and playing at altitude I knew we were going to tire in the last few minutes so it was important that we were a fair distance ahead earlier in the game," said The Rock coach Pat Parfrey of their 21-3 half time lead.
"Our forwards played particularly well and Chauncey O'Toole had a blinder. Tyler Wish was able to break the line regularly."
Plenty to come from Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack captain Ryan Smith added: "It was pretty disappointing. We let ourselves down with individual errors. I think we are capable of a lot more. There was a couple of minor mistakes that let us down in the second half.
"Playing with the wind in the second definitely helped but at the same time we need to look within ourselves for some answers."
The Americas Rugby Championship, funded by the International Rugby Board, is seen as a development tool for Tier Two nations looking to bridge the gap between domestic and International Test rugby.
The Rock and Wolf Pack are two of four Canadian provincial sides playing in the Americas Rugby Championship. The other two - British Columbia Bears and Ontario Blues - meet in match two on Saturday.
The top two sides from this round robin section of the competition will then meet in one semi final, with USA Select and Argentina Jaguars facing off in the other on 10 October with the final taking place a week later in Toronto.
The Rock: 1. Frank Walsh 2. Rob Wright 3. Dan King 4. Chris Mooney 5. Simon Pitfield 6. Jebb Sinclair 7. Chauncey O'Toole 8. Kevin Parfrey 9. Adam Paul 10. Dean Blanks 11. Rob Wilson 12. Tyler Wish 13. Ciaran Hearn 14. Simon Pacey 15. Morgan Lovell.
Replacements: 16. Rod Snow 17. Owen Parfrey 18. Phil Alcock 19. Brad Lester 20. Brent Rowney 21. Thomas Kimball 22. Geoff Warden.
Praire Wolf Pack: 1. Thomas Dolezel 2. Tom Malin 3. Andrew Tiedemann 4. Joshua Schlebach 5. Jon Belanger 6. Jeremy Kyne 7. Nanyak Dala 8. Milan Mrdjenovich 9. Kent Plewes 10. Stephen Woodward 11. Chris Thompson 12. Ryan Smith 13. Nick Blevins 14. Jordan Kohn 15. Mozac Samson.
Replacements: 16. Tyler Hawes 17. Travis Robertson 18. Spencer Massiah 19. Russel Meidinger 20. SamVal-Zehan 21. Christen Wulff 22. Dustin MacPherson
7 September - Atlantic (The Rock) 31-23 Prairies (Wolf Pack)
12 September - Ontario (Blues) v BC (Bears)
19 September - BC (Bears) v Atlantic (The Rock)
19 September - Prairies (Wolf Pack) v Ontario (Blues)
26 September - Prairies (Wolf Pack) v BC (Bears)
26 September - Atlantic (The Rock) v Ontario (Blues)
10 October - Canada 2 v Canada 1
10 October - Argentina Jaguars v USA Selects
17 October - Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
17 October - Winner SF1 v Winner SF2
For more information visit www.americasrugbychampionship.com.
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