Media Release – Canada went down to a 21-22 defeat in their Las Vegas Sevens opener against Kenya before beating England 15-12 in an impressive response.
John Moonlight punishes an England tackler as he falls just shy of a try in game two for Canada Friday night.- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Next up for Liam Middleton’s side will be Argentina at 11:24pm local (11:52am PT/2:52pm ET) in their first game of Day Two as the pool stages draw to a close.
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Canada 21-22 Kenya
It was game one heartbreak for Canada as scores in the twelfth and fourteenth minute saw Kenya come from behind to snatch a key 21-22 victory on Friday.
Captain John Moonlight knocks the ball loose only to be retreived by Canada to run in for a quick second try – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada seemed to have the game sewn up with eleven minutes gone – their lead being 21-12 – but then tries from Daniel Sikuta and Billy Odhiambo were converted by Lavin Asego to deny Middleton’s side an ideal start to the closest event to home.
Canadian Mike Fuailefau couldn’t bring down a Kenyan player before they would score a try, coming back from a 14-0 deficit to squeak past Canada late – Erich Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Things had started so positively for Canada when Liam Underwood’s offload found captain John Moonlight, who raced over from 50 plus metres inside the first minute. Harry Jones’ extra two made it 7-0 but more was to come from the fired up side.
Next it was Underwood who turned from provider to try scorer as his elusiveness flummoxed Kenya en route to the whitewash. That doubled the cushion to 14-0.
A large Canadian contingent was on hand to cheer on Canada on the openng day of competition Friday night – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
But then back came Kenya with efforts from Michael Wanjala and Sikuta before the interval, which came either side of Conor Trainor being issued with a yellow card.
Canada began the second stanza in similar fashion to the first, with an early score, as this time Sean White showed excellent pace to go over right from the restart.
Sean White enjoys a clear run to the try line to score for Team Canada. Canada would put #12 ranked Kenya on the heels until late in the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
But unfortunately the Kenyans would grow stronger as the fixture played out and Sikuta’s second was then followed by Odhiambo’s score to deny Canada what would have been a priceless opening pool win in front of their fans at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Canada 15-12 England
Canada re-ignited their Las Vegas challenge with a come-from-behind 15-12 win over England in their second and final fixture of Day One at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Every posession was important for Canada against the 5th ranked sevens team in the world – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Trailing 0-12 after just three minutes, it looked as though the team was in for a difficult game against an English side who had earlier beaten Argentina 19-17.
But, a powerful score from Lucas Hammond offered Canada hope going into the interval before a second-half onslaught left England staggering on the canvas.
A ninth minute try from Jones on the right wing had brought Middleton’s men back to within two points of England at 10-12 before a moment of calm brilliance from replacement Adam Zaruba saw him barge his way over on the opposite touchline.
Canada ultimately prevailed, setting up a pivotal game with Argentina tomorrow that could well decide who progresses into the Cup competition later on Saturday.
Canada celebrates their first win of the tournament with an upset win over England – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada’s Roster for Las Vegas – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
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
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Players unavailable due to injury/studies:
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
Sean Duke – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Liam Middleton – Head Coach
Kieran Crowley – Assistant Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Las Vegas Sevens Schedule – February 13-15
Canada 21-22 Kenya
Canada 15-12 England
Canada vs. Argentina at 11:52am local (11:52am PT/2:52pm ET)
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada and Own the Podium.