Niagara Thunder, Newfoundland Rock to decide Eastern Canadian rugby title

Get ready for the Rumble on the Rock. Next Saturday’s (July 8) Canada Rugby Super League game between the visiting Niagara Thunder and the Newfoundland Rock will decide the Eastern Division champion, with the winner advancing to the national final against the Western Division champion.

With only two games remaining in regular season play, none of the five other Eastern Division teams can challenge for the crown. The Thunder and the Rock met in a showdown last year and Newfoundland came away with the title.

The two teams set the stage for the title game in St. John’s with weekend wins. The Thunder completed a two-win weekend on Sunday with a 60-19 trouncing of visiting Nova Scotia Keltics at Burlington. That win followed Friday’s 47-10 win over the New Brunswick Black Spruce and left the Thunder with a 4-0 record and 20 points. The Rock also show a 4-0 record but are one point back with 19 points.

On Sunday, it was a road weary Keltics that found themselves trailing 29-5 at half-time. The winless Nova Scotia team was playing its second road game in three days but managed to score twice in the second half on a very hot Sherwood Forest Park field.

Aaron Carpenter (Brantford) and Steve Piatek (Brantford) had three tries each to lead the Thunder, who also got scores from David Jones (Stoney Creek), Matt Lindsay (Brantford), Kyle McCabe (Stoney Creek) and Luke Veldman. Piatek added five conversions for a 25-point afternoon.

Tom Kimble, Manuel Ciera and Tim Keddy, and two conversions from Colin McLean accounted for the Keltics scoring.

Meanwhile, Newfoundland won at Montreal, with a 53-3 score over Quebec Caribou.