Canada Capture Shield InTokyo

rugby canada

Adam Kyriacou – Rugby Canada Communications

March 31, 2013, Tokyo, Japan (ISN) –  Canada lifted the Shield at the Tokyo Sevens after recording an impressive 27-14 victory over host nation Japan in a result that saw Sean Duke rack up four tries.

Game One: Canada 5-17 Kenya

Line-up: 3 Nanyak Dala, 4 John Moonlight, 6 Sean Duke, 7 Taylor Paris, 9 Nathan Hirayama, 11 Harry Jones, 12 Chauncey O’Toole

Canada were determined to hit back after a disappointing first day in Tokyo but unfortunately fell into the Shield competition despite a bright start in wet conditions.

The two teams last met in Las Vegas earlier this year when the Canadians won 19-12 but with the rain falling in Asia, it was to be Kenya’s day in the Sunday fixture.

Canada started the game in good form when Taylor Paris opening the scoring on the right wing, showing pace to get round his man following solid initial breakdown work from Harry Jones and Chauncey O’Toole. Nathan Hirayama couldn’t convert.

Kenya are a dangerous side however – sitting fifth in the current IRB World Series standings proves that – so it was vital that Nanyak Dala halted an ominous looking attack with a fine diving tackle 30 meters from his own try-line. It was noticeable that Canada were looking assured and well organized early on in the contest.

Unfortunately the Kenyans managed to break their deadlock with two minutes of the half to go when Willy Ambaka’s counter from his 22 led to Sidney Ashioya spotting a gap on the blindside for a try wide out. Biko Adema also missed so it stayed at 5-5.

Kenya were not finished there though as Oscar Ouma then scored after Dala had the ball pinched in the Kenyan 22. That turnover saw Dennis Ombachi find Ouma who finished the move under the posts. This time Adema was on target off the tee.

The second-half began with Canada losing Jones to injury after he suffered a head clash amid a strong passage of play from Geraint John’s men. Sean Duke was one player to finally get an opportunity to run but he was brought down five meters out.

Still the Canadians were pressing hard and it looked like being only a matter of time before Kenya’s defensive wall was to be breached. That proved not to be the case however as Paris was denied a score when his grubber through was hacked from his grasp, leading to the Kenyans intelligently running down the matchday clock.

Kenya continued to frustrate the hungry Canadian defense as time ticked on and eventually the gap opened up for them, this time Andrew Amonde was the man to get through a hole for the game’s final score to make it a disappointing 5-17 finish.

Game Two: Canada 38-0 Spain

Line-up: 2 Thyssen de Goede, 4 John Moonlight, 6 Sean Duke, 7 Taylor Paris, 9 Nathan Hirayama, 10 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Chauncey O’Toole

Canada put in their strongest performance of the weekend thus far against Spain as they dominated the Europeans in a six-try 38-0 victory in the Shield semi-finals.

John made two changes to his starting side that lost out to Kenya as Thyssen de Goede and Ciaran Hearn came in for Dala and Jones (injured) respectively. But it was mainstays who stood out in the win as Moonlight, Paris and Hirayama shone.

Tries were scored by the aforementioned trio, Duke, Mike Fuailefau and Tyler Ardon as Spain simply had no answer to Canada’s drive and consistent hunger to score.

Moonlight it was who opened the account with his 25th IRB Series try as he broke from halfway, going through a hole before beating Angel Lopez in a foot race for the corner. Hirayama’s difficult kick was missed so it was 5-0 with three minutes gone.

Spain managed to restrict Canada to just one further try before the break but had moments of their own to keep their spirits high, Matias Tudela getting through to the 22 before Paris did well to earn a breakdown penalty being one notable occasion.

From fine defense to attack, Paris was rewarded for his good work with a long-range try that saw him step a tackler on his 22 before racing 80 meters to score.

At half-time the lead was 12-0 which made the next points key to how the contest could possibly go. And following a break-out from his own in-goal area from Nil Baro, Canada knew they would have to be on their game if they were to prevail.

John’s men demonstrated just that as soon began a period of impressive Sevens rugby that saw Spain struggling to cope with the Canadian runners. First Duke and Hirayama combined to allow the latter to stroll over on the left wing before Paris was the provider for Duke after patience was shown on the opposite side.

The scoreline was now 24-0 with a minute and a half remaining when many a team would possibly choose to slow down matters. Canada though viewed this as an opportunity to turn the screw as the floodgates opened via tries for replacements Mike Fuailefau and finally Ardron that sealed their passage to the Shield Final.

Game Three: Canada 27-14 Japan

Line-up: 2 Thyssen de Goede, 4 John Moonlight, 6 Sean Duke, 7 Taylor Paris, 9 Nathan Hirayama, 10 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Chauncey O’Toole

Canada lifted the Shield at the Tokyo Sevens after recording an impressive 27-14 victory over host nation Japan in a result that saw wing Duke rack up four tries.

That personal showing pushed Duke provisionally joint second in the tournament try standings while he remains very much in the frame in the overall IRB World Series.

Victory and some silverware to take from Tokyo was a positive end to a weekend that will no doubt leave the squad frustrated as they will know that had they beaten Japan on Day 1, healthier points would have been accrued in the Cup competition.

But they couldn’t do anything about that fact in their competition finale and made sure to leave nothing in the tank when they faced the home side, who started in a sprightly fashion when Katsuyuki Sakai slipped Hirayama en route to the line. Sakai’s conversion extended the arrears to seven points with barely a minute gone.

The onslaught was to continue and things could have become worse for Canada had Moonlight not forced a spillage when a second Japanese score looked on the cards.

Three minutes had been played before Canada managed to get their hands on possession but patience was needed as they were 65 meters from the opposition line. They showed just that to create space for Duke on the left as he raced over.

Canada remained adrift on the scoreboard but crucially had settled into the game and gone some way to lower the supporter volume at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground. The sounds decrease continued when Duke scored almost a replica of his first try soon after, sprinting down the wing from 50 out. Hirayama made it 12-5.

John’s men were now in full swing and when Paris scored from a breakout to increase the Canadians’ lead to twelve points at half-time, the morale was much more positive going into the team-talk than it would have been two minutes earlier.

Credit to Japan as they gave everything at the opening of the second-half, with Kosuke Hashino’s converted try bringing the hosts back to within three points.

However, then began a period of concerted Canadian pressure as Duke found his straps again. He added two more tries to his tally to take him to six in Tokyo as Canada ended the tournament holding the Shield aloft with three points claimed.

Japan Sevens

March 30 – March 31, 2013

Day 1

Canada 10 – 14 Japan

Canada 22 – 19 France

Canada 22 – 12 New Zealand

Day 2

Canada 5 – 17 Kenya

Canada 38 – 0 Spain

Canada 27 – 14 Japan

Canada’s Roster for Japan – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown

Tyler Ardron – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON

Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK (captain)

Thyssen de Goede – Japan Only (James Bay Athletic Association/BC Bears) Courtenay, BC

Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC

Sean Duke – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/Pacific Tyee) Victoria, BC

Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL

Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC

Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC

John Moonlight – (James Bay Athletic Association/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

Chauncey O’Toole – (Brigend Ravens/Atlantic Rock) Belleisle, NB

Taylor Paris – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON

Head Coach: Geraint John

Assistant Coach: Kieran Crowley

Manager: Brian Hunter

Therapist: Isabel Grondin

Canada’s National Senior Men’s Sevens Team is proudly sponsored by Macquarie Financial, Trafigura and Own the Podium with Support from Sport Canada.