Rugby Canada men open HSBC Hong Kong Sevens with victory over Portugal

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rugby canada

by Bryan Kelly

March 28, 2014, HONG KONG (ISN) – Canada’s Men’s side got their Hong Kong Sevens campaign off to a strong start on Friday as they overcame Portugal 35-7, with tougher tests to come on Day Two.

Geraint John’s outfit were impressive as they put five tries past their opponents and will enter that aforementioned pool run-in, against Argentina and England, with good confidence as they look to make a fourth straight Cup appearance on the Series.

Hong Kong rug
Photo credit: Ian Muir/Rugby Canada

Canada 35-7 Portugal
Line-up: 3 Nanyak Dala, 4 John Moonlight, 5 Conor Trainor, 6 Sean Duke, 7 Phil Mack, 9 Nathan Hirayama, 11 Harry Jones

Canada opened their pool account in Hong Kong with a healthy 35-7 victory over Portugal, with a +28 points return a key positive alongside the Day One triumph. It wasn’t easy and in the second-half the game was scoreless for six minutes, but Canada had arguably done enough in the opening stanza to secure the victory.

Tries came via John Moonlight (2), Nanyak Dala and Conor Trainor before Sean White had the final say in the match, scoring in added time to give the scoreline more weight going into Day Two when Canada will take on Argentina and England. Moonlight had got the ball rolling inside a minute when his power and pace came to the fore 25 metres out, with Nathan Hirayama’s successful extras making it 7-0.

Canada’s second try arrived two minutes later as superb phase play led to Dala slipping through Portuguese clutches before running in close to the left upright. It was now 14-0 before the impressive Trainor continued his great form of last week in Tokyo with a crossing of his own, bouncing off several tacklers to make it 21-0. However, Portugal’s Pedro Bettencourt cut the gap to 14 at the half-time break.

Canada regrouped in the interval and it was Moonlight who set them on their way once again, this time using his strength from close range to claim a brace near the posts. Hirayama’s conversion put John’s charges into a comfortable 28-7 lead. Then followed a period whereby neither team could cross the whitewash. That was until the Canadians’ persistence saw reward as replacement White got in on the act with a late try that put the icing on their opening day cake at Hong Kong Stadium.

Canada’s Men’s Hong Kong Sevens
March 28-30
Day One

Canada 35-7 Portugal

Day Two

Canada v Argentina:
Saturday, March 29 – 12:18 local time
Saturday, March 29 – 00:18 ET
Friday, March 28 – 21:18 PT

Canada v England:
Saturday, March 29 – 18:32 local time
Saturday, March 29 – 06:32 ET
Saturday, March 29 – 03:32 PT

All games on the HSBC Sevens World Series can be watched LIVE at www.irbsevens.com!

Canada’s Roster for Hong Kong – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province

Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Sean Duke – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/The Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama, Captain – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Chauncey O’Toole – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Belleisle, NB
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Players Unavailable for Selection:

Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Pat Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL

Senior Men’s Team Staff:

Geraint John – Head Coach
Morgan Williams – Assistant Coach
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Lorna Barry – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager

Canada’s Men’s Sevens Program is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada and Own the Podium. 

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