Canada’s Under-20 Men’s Fifteens side got off to a strong start

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(ISN) – Shawnigan Lake, BC – Canada’s Under-20 Men’s Fifteens side got off to a strong start in its campaign-opening contest, beating Romania U-19 by a 21-9 count Tuesday afternoon at Shawnigan Lake School.

With Canada trailing 9-6 midway through the second half, the Canadian side took advantage of a Romanian yellow card as Dan Joyce scored a try in the 59th minute to put his team up 13-9 and earn a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Karsten Leitner added insurance to the Canadian cause with a 74th minute try and Canada was able to walk off the pitch with a win its in first outing of 2015.

Canadian flyhalf Guiseppe du Toit kicked 11 points in the victory while Romania’s points were kicked on penalties by outside-centre Raoul Paxman.

“It was a bit of a typical first game,” said Canadian U20 head coach Jeff Williams. “There were nerves and, with that, some mistakes, but overall, we are happy with the win. We were especially happy with the way our guys reacted in the second half. The first half had a lots of mistakes, but in the second half the nerves were calm and I thought we took over the game and were really unlucky not to put a few more points on the board.”

Canada and Romania will renew acquaintances in the second of their two-match set Saturday at Westhills Stadium at 6:30 p.m. PT.

The series with Romania is part of Canada’s preparation for a two-match total points series with the USA to determine North America’s representative for the Junior World Rugby Trophy 2015. The Canadians will take on the Americans Mar. 23 at Shawnigan Lake School and Mar. 27 at Westhills Stadium.

After Paxman missed an opportunity to put Romania up early on a penalty, Canada’s du Toit opened the scoring in the 18th minute when he converted his penalty attempt to give the home side a 3-0 lead.

Four minutes later, du Toit slotted his second penalty of the afternoon to push Canada’s lead to six points and give the Red and White early momentum.

However Romania put the game back on even terms by halftime as Paxman found his foot in both the 28th and 33rd minutes.

Early in the second half, Canada pushed for points and looked on the verge of retaking the lead, but was held off by a physical Romanian side. And, shortly thereafter, Paxman turned the tables as he tallied again to give the visitors a 9-6 edge.

With the midway stage of the second half approaching, the match seemed to tilt Canada’s way when Romania’s Vladut Popa was shown yellow in the 58th minute. With the extra man, Canada capitalized as Joyce crossed the line with just over 20 minutes to play.

Over the next 10 minutes, the two teams were each given a yellow card, but the neither side was able to score until Leitner’s game-clinching try inside the final six minutes.

“I thought out physicality was great and our fitness levels were very good,” Williams said. “Once the guys settled in and understood that they didn’t need to force things, we were much sharper. In the second half, we were more successful at the rucks and had a faster ball and good presentation and that made a huge difference for us.”

Canada’s U-20 Roster for Tuesday’s match against Romania:

1. Brendan Blaikie – (Queen’s University) Markham, ON
2. John Shaw – (Bytown Blues) Ottawa, ON
3. Matt Tierney – (James Bay AA/Mississauga Blues) Oakville, ON
4. Paul Cuilini – (Aurara Barbarians) Vaughan, ON
5. Adrian Wadden – (Oakville Crusaders) Mississauga, ON
6. Ollie Nott – (UVIC Vikes) Qualicum, BC
7. Alex Colborne – (Queen’s) Bristol, England
8. Luke Bradley – (UVIC Vikes) Port Alberni, BC
9. Dan Joyce – (Trinity University) Dublin, Ireland
10. Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes) Maple Ridge, BC
11. Tim Hart – (Brock University) Fall River, NS
12. Andrew Coe – (UBC Thunderbirds) Markham, ON
13. Mitch Santilli – (James Bay AA/Harlequins) Brantford, ON
14. Karsten Leitner – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
15. Owen Brombal – (James Bay AA/Guelph Redcoats) Guelph, ON
16. Mitch Rothman – (Vancouver Rowing Club) Vancouver, BC
17. Bryce Worden – Burnaby Lake RFC) Sussex, NB
18. Cali Martinez – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
19. Justin Aylward – (Dogs RFC) St. John’s, NL
20. Dillon Goos – (London St. George’s) London, ON
21. Nate Thomas – (Castaway Wanderers RFC) Red Deer, AB
22. Tony Pomroy – (Baymen) Conception Bay South, NL

Canada’s Under-20 team members not named to Tuesday’s roster:

Paddy Finlay – (Trinity University) Dublin, Ireland
Harjun Gill – (UBC Thunderbirds) Richmond, BC
Dylan Horgan – (UCC Rugby Club) Cork, Ireland
Matt Murphy – (Dogs RFC) St. John’s, NL
Tony Pomroy – (Baymen) Conception Bay South, NL
Lucas Rumball – (James Bay AA/Balmy Beach) Scarborough, ON
Emil Sehic – (Fredericton Loyalists) Fredericton, NB
Brandon Waeyen – (Calgary Hornets RFC) Calgary, AB
Conor Young – (Southern Districts RC) Sydney, Australia

Canada’s Under-20 Men’s Fifteens Coaching Staff:

Jeff Williams – Head Coach
Ken Goodland – Assistant Coach
Todd Silverthorn – Manager

TICKETS

Both games at Shawnigan Lake School will be FREE of charge.

For the games at Westhills Stadium, tickets will be as follows:
$10 for Youth (Under 12) and Students for 1 Game
$15 for Youth (Under 12) and Students for 2 Games

$15 for Adults for 1 Game
$25 for Adults for 2 Games

Men’s Under-20 March Series Schedule:

Canada U-20 vs. Romania U-20

March 10th – Shawnigan Lake School
Kick off at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT

Canada U-20 vs. Romania U-20

March 14th – Westhills Stadium
Kick off at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT

Canada U-20 vs. USA U-20

March 23rd – Shawnigan Lake School
Kick off at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT

Canada U-20 vs. USA U-20

March 27th – Westhills Stadium
Kick off at 10pm ET/7pm PT

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