LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Men’s Under-20 Fifteens side will play in the Junior World Rugby Trophy 2015, as the Canadians earned the right to represent North America after winning their two-match series against the USA Junior All-Americans following a decisive 41-6 victory Friday at Westhills Stadium.
Canada’s U20 Mens Rugby team defeated USA 41-6 at Westhills to qualify for the World Junior Rugby Trophy 2015 later this year. Canada’s Dan Joyce distrubtes the rock here – Erich Eichhorn image (www.alllsportmedia.ca)
Patrick Finlay scored his first of two second-half tries in the 44th minute to spark the Canadian surge and five minute later the route was on after Andrew Coe scored to make it 25-6. With three penalties from Guiseppe du Toit and Finlay’s second try late in the contest, Canada ran away with the win.
Guiseppe du Toit needed help with the ball in rainy and blustery conditions to take advantage of a USA penalty – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
“When we came out at halftime, I thought we were very aggressive in the rucks and our scrummaging was outstanding,” said Canada U-20 head coach Jeff Williams. “With our scrum having so much success, we had good platforms to be able to attack with the ball and move it well. But overall, I thought we just played really well.”
After trailing 23-11 midway through the second half of Monday’s first leg, Canada outscored the USA 54-6 over the final 100 minutes of the series.
Man of the Match #6 Lucas Rumball pushes forward withhis teammates controlling the USA scrum most of the second half – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With the win, Canada will get the chance to play in Portugal in the mid-May Junior World Rugby Trophy with its sights set on bettering last year’s seventh place finish.
“Anytime, you get any victories at the international level it’s quite an achievement,” Williams said. “We’ve got some momentum now and all the hard work is starting to pay off.
“But now our goal is to win the World Junior Trophy, which means there has to be a lot of studying involved and a lot of hard work involved. These guys are totally up for it. We’ll celebrate tonight and it’s a great victory and the boys should be proud, but come tomorrow, it’s back to work and we have to start preparing for the next tournament.”
As the skies opened up so did Canada’s running game. Canada would run away with an impressive 41-6 win, most of the damage done in the second half by a strong front row. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada will join already-confirmed sides from Fiji, Georgia, Hong Kong, Namibia, Portugal, Tonga and Uruguay for the campaign-culminating tournament.
Beyond Finlay’s brace, Canada got tries from Reegan O’Gorman, Luke Bradley and Andrew Coe.
The Americans earned their six points from converted penalties off the boot of Ben Cima.
Canada’s Dan Joyce ries to bring down the USA sprinter in the first half. Canada’s defense would hold the USA from scoring a single try in the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Despite an impressive final result in Canada’s favour, it was the Junior All-Americans who took a 3-0 lead early in Friday’s game. However, shortly thereafter, Canada responded with a sixth-minute try from O’Gorman and, from there, the home team never trailed.
From 10 metres out, O’Gorman took a pass from Dan Joyce and found a seam to tally Canada’s opening try.
After a bit of a back and forth play – including a strong defensive stand by the Canadians that held off a USA push just outside goal – Canada’s pack took over.
Canada’s play deep in there own zone would prevent a try being scored on them. Canada would outscore the USA 54-6 in the last 100 minutes of play between the two sides – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
On the strength of the big boys, the Red and White earned a penalty in the 31st minute, which was promptly converted by Dan Horgan for an 8-3 lead.
With the Americans up a man, following a yellow card to Canada’s Karsten Leitner, Cima converted a 36th-minute penalty to close the gap to two points at 8-6.
However, the power of Canada’s forward unit came through in flying colours late in the half and, after a yellow card to USA’s Darien Pickett evened the playing field at 14 players each, the Canadians plowed over the whitewash just before halftime. Canada’s Bradley took the ball off a five-metre scrum, spun off a tackle and scored to put the Canadians up 13-6 at the break.
UVic’s Ollie Nott brings down the ball for a Canadian posession – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
“Our scrum is good,” Williams said. “They’re big boys. This week, the forwards said that they wanted to completely dominate the Americans in the scrums and that’s what they did. When that’s rolling like that, it makes things a lot easier.”
Island local Luke Bradley (UVic, Port Alberni) pushes forward, holding onto a slick ball under torrential downpour and blustery winds – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With momentum on Canada’s side, the boys wearing black and red piled on in the second half.
Winger Theo Sauder got things rolling for Canada early on as he intercepted an American pass in his own territory and weaved through the Junior All-American defenders before offloading to Finlay just before the goal line for a Canadian score in the 44th minute.
Five minutes later, Canada’s Coe got on the board as he charged an American kick and climbed in the air to grab it on the go before running in untouched for a try.
A trio of penalty converts from du Toit and a second try for Finlay in the 76th minute rounded out the scoring and sent Canada through to the Junior World Rugby Trophy 2015.
Canadian captain Lucas Rumball was named the Man of the Match.
Canada’s Lucas Rumball keeps pace with a USA ball carrier early in the match. USA would run into a stiff Canadian defense all game as USA would only muster six points agaisnt the red and black – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
At last year’s Junior World Rugby Trophy, Canada finished the USA finished third overall.
Canada finished its four-match March series with four wins, as they earned exhibition game victories over Romania U19 earlier this month, winning 21-9 and 36-13.
Canada’s U-20 Roster for Friday’s match against the USA:
1. Cali Martinez – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
2. Patrick Finlay – (Trinity University) Dublin, Ireland
3. Matt Tierney – (James Bay AA/Mississauga Blues) Oakville, ON
4. Paul Cuilini – (Aurora Barbarians) Vaughan, ON
5. Reegan O’Gorman (Vancouver Rowing Club) Vancouver, BC
6. Lucas Rumball – (James Bay AA/Balmy Beach) Scarborough, ON
7. Ollie Nott – (UVIC Vikes) Qualicum, BC
8. Luke Bradley – (UVIC Vikes) Port Alberni, BC
9. Dan Joyce – (Trinity University) Dublin, Ireland
10. Dylan Horgan – (UCC Rugby Club) Cork, Ireland
11. Karsten Leitner – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
12. Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes) Maple Ridge, BC
13. Mitch Santilli – (James Bay AA/Harlequins) Brantford, ON
14. Theo Sauder – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
15. Andrew Coe – (UBC Thunderbirds) Markham, ON
16. John Shaw – (Bytown Blues) Ottawa, ON
17. Brendan Blaikie – (Queen’s University) Markham, ON
18. Conor Young – (Southern Districts RC) Sydney, Australia
19. Mitch Rothman – (Vancouver Rowing Club) Vancouver, BC
20. Tony Pomroy – (Baymen) Conception Bay South, NL
21. Philip Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
22. Brandon Waeyen – (Calgary Hornets RFC) Calgary, AB
Canada’s Under-20 team members not named to Friday’s roster:
Adrian Wadden – (Oakville Crusaders) Mississauga, ON
Bryce Worden – (Burnaby Lake RFC) Sussex, NB
Justin Aylward – (Dogs RFC) St. John’s, NL
Matt Murphy – (Dogs RFC) St. John’s, NL
Dillon Goos – (London St. George’s) London, ON
Owen Brombel – (James Bay AA/Guelph Redcoats) Guelph, ON
Tim Hart – (Brock University) Fall River, NS
Emil Sehic – (Fredericton Loyalists) Fredericton, NB
Canada’s Under-20 Men’s Fifteens Staff:
Jeff Williams – Head Coach
Ken Goodland – Assistant Coach
Todd Silverthorn – Manager
Jessica Smith – Therapist
Abby Galenzoski – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Men’s Under-20 March Series Schedule:
Canada U-20 – 21 Romania U-19 – 9
March 10th – Shawnigan Lake School
Canada U-20 – 36 Romania U-19 – 13
March 14th – Westhills Stadium
Canada U-20 – 24 USA U-20 – 23
March 23rd – Shawnigan Lake School
Canada U-20 – 41 vs. USA U-20 – 6
March 27th – Westhills Stadium