Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team picked up the Shield


Bryan Kelly

Photo credit Martin Seras Lima

(ISN) – LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team picked up the Shield at the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand on Saturday after battling past Samoa 26-10 in the final, capping a tough two days on a positive note. After a 26-0 defeat to Portugal in the Bowl quarters, Canada hit back by beating Japan 28-21 to move into the final where they were too strong for the islanders.

Next week they return to the scene of 2014’s impressive showing at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, where last year they finished the tournament in an exciting third place finish.

What head coach Liam Middleton said…

“We are pleased with the performance in the final game, it was our best all round display. Clearly we would like to be competing in the Cup competition but we have made progress through the tournament and the squad experience has increased.”

“We now turn our attentions to next week.”

“There are parts of our game which we have worked hard on which were very good, our breakdown work improved with more match experience. Our defence organization needs work and we will continue to push that going to Las Vegas.”

john moonlight

Photo credit Martin Seras Lima

Day Two

Canada 0-26 Portugal

Canada endured a torrid first game on Day Two at the Wellington Sevens as they suffered a disappointing 26-0 defeat to Portugal in Saturday’s Bowl quarter-final. Four tries were amassed by the Portuguese in a game Canada had entered as favourites due to their opponents having been winless during the pool stages.

Aderito Esteves went over first inside one minute with a converted score that immediately had the Canadians on the trailing foot at Westpac Trust Stadium. Portugal’s speed and fine offloading game – coupled with Canada’s unconvincing defence – led to Carl Murray making it a 12-0 lead going into the turnaround.

And despite an improvement in intensity, a comeback did not come to fruition for Middleton’s men as Esteves and then Nuno Guedes sealed the one-sided contest.

Canada 28-21 Japan

Canada survived a second-half scare as they managed to see off Japan 28-21 to book their place in the Shield final at the Wellington Sevens event on Saturday. First-half tries from Mike Fuailefau (2) and Sean White had sent the Canadians into a 21-0 advantage with only five minutes played before Katsuyuki Sakai scored.

And after the break it was worryingly all Japan as they moved through the gears and notched further tries through Yoshikazu Fujita (2) that locked up the scoreline at 21 apiece in a pulsating semi-final contest between two willing rugby outfits.

But fortunately for Canada they showed enough maturity to settle and when Liam Underwood crossed in the twelfth minute, Harry Jones’ superb touchline conversion proved enough to end the Japanese challenge and seal Canada’s place in the final.

Canada 26-10 Samoa

Canada will head to Las Vegas with some silverware in their travel bag after they outclassed Samoa 26-10 to claim Shield glory at the Wellington Sevens event. It was another improved performance from the squad as tries from Jones, John Moonlight, Justin Douglas and Admir Cejvanovic saw them to a welcome victory.

Canada were only 7-5 up at half-time after Jones’ effort came in reply to Gregory Foe’s fifth minute try, but after the break they asserted their domiance with further scores from the latter trio giving the squad a boost ahead of the USA tournament.

Canada’s Roster for Wellington and Las Vegas – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province

Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
*Sean Duke – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
(Will miss Las Vegas due to medical school interviews)
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Pat Kay – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Duncan,BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Pat Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood – (Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Players Unavailable due to injury:

Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack)
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

Senior Men’s Team Staff:

Liam Middleton – Head Coach
Kieran Crowley – Assistant Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst

Wellington Sevens Schedule February 6-7

Day One

Canada 5-26 New Zealand
Canada 5-27 England
Canada 41-0 Papua New Guinea

Day Two

Canada 0-26 Portugal
Canada 28-21 Japan
Canada 26-10 Samoa

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