November 29, 2013 (ISN) – Canada ended their opening day at the Dubai Sevens with a resounding 41-7 win over the USA that sets up a Bowl quarter-final showdown with Spain tomorrow.
The team had earlier fallen to back-to-back defeats on Day One, going down 7-47 and 19-26 to England and Fiji respectively in Dubai, the second leg of the series.
In a tough first match Canada were immediately playing catch-up and struggled to back up their impressive Gold Coast Sevens form against a rampant England side.
Their second group game saw the squad come painfully close to winning against the islanders, as two late Fijian tries ultimately made it a very difficult loss to swallow.
However, Canada saved their best form until last on Friday as they ran seven tries past their neighbors in an impressive effort that saw Harry Jones claim a hat-trick.
What head coach Geraint John said…
“It was a tough day but a fantastic way to finish, beating USA and so convincingly. To score seven tries showed what we can do with the ball when we keep hold of it.”
“We turned the ball over all the time against England, which was unacceptable plus we missed tackles. Against Fiji I thought we did enough to win. We went down by two tries early on when they won the restarts but we came back to lead. To lose by them scoring two tries at the end was hard to take. Also to have the knock-on missed and to have the penalty go to them at the end which should have been to us was also disappointing. We did receive an apology for those errors after the match.”
“It was a very long day. We were up at 6.30am in the pool and we will be having early morning calls at 5.45am for a pool session tomorrow. The key thing tonight has been rest, relax, treatments and sleep. We have some injuries, the main worry being Lucas with his hamstring but hopefully the majority will be fine to play.”
“Spain have some of their key Sevens players back for this tournament and they were very unlucky against Scotland. They played well and aggressively in contact.”
Canada 7-47 England
Line-up: 3 Nanyak Dala, 4 John Moonlight, 5 Conor Trainor, 6 Lucas Hammond, 10 Ciaran Hearn, 11 Harry Jones, 12 Mike Scholtz
Canada went down to a disappointing defeat to England in their opening pool game of the Dubai Sevens, with the effects of a long year possibly evident on Friday.
England were 7-26 up at half-time and kicked on in the second period as their pace and movement caused captain John Moonlight and his men problems throughout.
Ciaran Hearn was Canada’s lone try-scorer with an effort in the fourth minute of the game but it was already an uphill task for the squad after the powerful Mike Ellery had given England the lead with barely a minute on the clock. Phil Burgess doubled Simon Amor’s side’s advantage before Hearn’s breakaway try down the right side.
Canada were giving Mike Scholz his first start of the 2013/14 series as the likes of Phil Mack and Adam Kleeberger came off the replacement bench after the break.
But by the time half-time arrived in Dubai it was England whose changes made the impact, with speedsters Dan Norton and Marcus Watson causing Canada problems.
James Rodwell made it 7-33 early in the second stanza before Norton’s pace saw him win a mismatch against Nanyak Dala and then Jeff Williams added the final try, with Canada now needing to recover before facing Fiji, who eased past the USA.
Canada 19-26 Fiji
Line-up: 3 Nanyak Dala, 4 John Moonlight, 5 Conor Trainor, 6 Lucas Hammond, 9 Justin Douglas, 10 Ciaran Hearn, 11 Harry Jones.
Canada will be feeling heartbroken after falling to a 19-26 defeat to Fiji, with two late tries condemning the team to a second group defeat at the Dubai Sevens.
With Canada having clawed their way back from 0-14 down to lead with a couple of minutes to go, it looked like their turnaround was set to end with a win. However, two questionable calls from the officials unfortunately led to two key tries from Fiji.
Much like the opening game, Canada were guilty of a slow start as their opponents raced out of the blocks, scoring through Waisea Nacuqu and Samisoni Viriviri. Osea Kolinisau’s extras left Geraint John’s men with something of a mountain to climb.
Fortunately Canada regrouped and enjoyed plenty of possession before the break, which ultimately led to Conor Trainor powering his way over. Replacement Phil Mack, who came on with less than a minute remaining of the half, kicked the extras.
Canada were in the ascendancy and continued their excellent form when Nanyak Dala and John Moonlight crossed in the ninth and eleventh minute respectively. The latter’s unconverted score meant the lead was five points as they looked to hold on.
But it wasn’t meant to be as Fiji recovered and went over twice in the dying embers to deny Canada a win that would have done their Cup chances a power of good.
Canada 41-7 USA
Line-up: 3 Nanyak Dala, 4 John Moonlight, 5 Conor Trainor, 7 Phil Mack, 9 Justin Douglas, 10 Ciaran Hearn, 11 Harry Jones.
Canada ended the opening day of the Dubai tournament with one of their strongest performances in many a year as they put seven tries past the USA, winning 41-7.
Jones went over for three scores while Mack grabbed a try brace as the duo stood out against their rivals, constantly shifting the point of attack in workmanlike shifts.
It took two minutes for Canada to open their account when scrum-half Mack’s busy work led to Trainor stepping before crashing over the try-line to make it a 5-0 lead.
That soon became 12-0 after Jones showed his dynamism when taking contact, powering his legs to go over, with Mack this time successful with his conversion.
Canada weren’t done there, however, and added to their lead before half-time as Jones struck again, this time from 30 meters out as USA struggled to keep pace.
Head coach John was clearly positive about the team’s performance and got more of the same after the break when Justin Douglas backed his pace in going around a defender close to the touchline and duly racing over. Despite a missed conversion from the influential Mack, Canada were now in a handsome position at 24-0 ahead.
USA did hit back through Folau Niua with five minutes remaining but it proved only to be a blip on Canada’s continued dominance as Mack went over twice – one being a soccer style try – before Jones had the final say with a smart finish down the left.
Dubai Sevens – November 29 – 30, 2013
Canada 7-47 England
Canada 19-26 Fiji
Canada 41-7 USA
Canada v Spain at 09:42 local (12:42am ET/9:42pm PT)
Canada’s Roster for Dubai and Port Elizabeth – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province:
Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/The Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Adam Kleeberger – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears) White Rock, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/The Rock) St. Johns, NL
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Players Unavailable due to injury or overseas commitments:
Sean Duke – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON
Jake Webster – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Geraint John – Head Coach
Kieran Crowley – Assistant Coach
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Lorna Barry – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager