Canada U20 downs BC U23 Selects in Junior World Rugby Trophy tune up


Andrew Smith

May 17, 2013, Vancouver, BC (ISN) – The Canadian men’s under-20 national team won their third straight exhibition match ahead of their Junior World Rugby Trophy campaign, posting a convincing 59-26 victory against British Columbia’s Under-23 President’s Selects.

Displaying plenty of skill and pace as they wore down BC with their fitness, Canada backed up last week’s two-game sweep over the USA Junior All-Americans with a nine try effort at Klahanie Park.

“[Canada] played a wide open expansive game and had a great 10-12-13 combination,” said BC’s Brock Staller. “I think we matched them up front physically but they had some really strong runners in the centres.”

Canadian outside centre Nathan Yanagiya was the first to open the scoring, shedding multiple tacklers to go over for a 5-0 lead in front of his home club Capilano RFC supporters. Fly half Connor McCann added the extras to go up 7-0.

BC’s first score came courtesy of Clayton Thornber nine minutes in as he thundered through to see his side trail 5-7.

Canada then scored two quick tries through full back Daniel Mathie at the 17 minute mark and winger Justin Douglas tallied two minutes later. With McCann’s convert Canada led 19-5 at the break.

“Canada were extremely strong off their set plays and I would say Yanagiya, Douglas and McCann were their three players who had the biggest impact on the game,” said BC U23 coach Dave Brown. “I was pleased with our effort despite the lack of time we had for preparation but we played with plenty of support and I have no complaints.”

The second frame opened with former Canada U20-forward-turned-winger Adam Zaruba bursting through for BC’s second try. Staller tacked on the conversion as the hosts trailed 19-12.

Canada responded again with two tries inside two minutes as Leicester Academy prop Djustice Sears-Duru barrelled over in the 49th and winger Charles Debove crossing over in the 51st. With a convert from McCann, Canada jumped out to a 33-12 lead.

BC’s next try came courtesy of Luke Campbell and a convert from Liam Murphy-Burke saw the score 19-33. As BC’s defence began to tire, Canada ran in three straight tries as Young Munster product Shane O’Leary, Matt Heaton and Connor Hamilton each went over. O’Leary converted twice and it was 52-19.

BC’s Campbell would pull back a late try and Canada’s Debove would notch his second in the final play of the game to see the match wrap 59-26.

“Today was great because all the players had minutes on the field. Some of the guys didn’t get a lot of time playing in the States last week so it’s important that we have more games together like this,” said Canadian U20 head coach Mike Shelley. “We really appreciate our partner unions like BC helping out as we always need more games heading into an international tournament.”

Canada’s U20s will now head back to Langford for a final run out against some of the senior national team players based at the centre of excellence before departing for Chile on May 23rd.

“We’ve been together for about three weeks now so after Tuesday it will be about the players having some time to themselves before we regroup and have some analysis and fun team building exercises,” Shelley added.

Canada opens their 2013 Junior World Rugby Trophy campaign against Tonga on May 28th at Estadio Municipal Freire in Temuco, Chile. The team then plays Japan on June 1st and Uruguay on June 5th.

Box Score:

’04: (7-0) Canada Try – Nathan Yanagiya, Conversion – Connor McCann

’09: (7-5) BC Try – Clayton Thornber

’17: (12-5) Canada Try – Daniel Mathie

’19: (19-5) Canada Try – Justin Douglas, Conversion – Connor McCann

’44: (19-12) BC Try – Adam Zaruba, Conversion – Brock Staller

’49: (26-12) Canada Try – Djustice Sears-Duru, Conversion – Connor McCann

’51: (33-12) Canada Try – Charles Debove, Conversion – Connor McCann

’56: (33-19) BC Try – Luke Campbell, Conversion – Liam Murphy-Burke

’62: (38-19) Canada Try – Shane O’Leary

’67: (43-19) Canada Try – Matt Heaton, Conversion – Shane O’Leary

’74: (52-19) Canada Try – Connor Hamilton, Conversion – Shane O’Leary

’77: (52-26) BC Try – Luke Campbell, Conversion – Liam Murphy-Burke

’79: (59-26) Canada Try – Charles Debove, Conversion – Shane O’Leary