In early September, the newest piece to the International Rugby Board’s Strategic Investment Program began competition. Replacing the IRB North America 4, this competition is intended to provide a venue for domestic and international rugby to do battle.
For the inaugural year there will be a total of six teams competing, four from different Canadian provinces along with the USA Select XV and the Argentina Jaguars. So far the only teams to play have been Canadian with The Rock from Newfoundland taking on the Prairie Wolf Pack and the Bears from British Columbia taking on the Ontario Blues.
The Rock came out strong in the first half as they built up a 21-3 lead, but the Wolf Pack made it interesting in the second half as they scored 20 points only to fall to The Rock, 31-23 on September 7. A few days later the Bears dominated the Blues in a 29-24 win. The game was dominated by the Bears, but complacent play (by the Bears) allowed the Blues to make the game look much closer than it was.
The match schedule for the tournament is as follows:
7 September – Atlantic (The Rock) v 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
The best two Canadian teams will meet in one semifinal on October 10th with the winner to play the victor of the Argentina/ USA match a week later on October 17th.
In honor of the first victorious team of the Americas Championship it is only appropriate that beer from their neck of the woods be reviewed.
I’m sure members of The Rock have turned back a few beers made by the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company. Formed in 1996, it is the third largest brewery in the province behind the better known national brands, Molson and Labatt. In respect to the history of the land in which it is brewed, the company named one of their brews 1892. A major fire destroyed over 1500 buildings, leaving over 12000 people homeless as it caused an estimated 13 million in damages in downtown St. John’s. The picture on the label is one of the last ones taken of the downtown area prior to the fire.
This traditional amber ale is made with the best two row malt along with hops from North America and Europe. With a full bodied taste this sweet smelling beer has a smooth, clean finish making it very refreshing. With 5% ABV this brew will not kick you in the *ss before your ready, but it will definitely help ease the tension of the day.