by Rugby Canada Communications
(ISB) – Canada suffered a setback to start Day Two of the Hong Kong Sevens as they went down 19-24 to Samoa, with handling errors proving costly for the side.
Liam Middleton’s men, who defeated Belgium in Friday’s pool opener, now need to regroup before facing Fiji in a must-win game if they are to progress into the Cup.
Canada 19-24 Samoa
Canada suffered their first pool defeat of the Hong Kong Sevens on Saturday as they went down 19-24 to Samoa in a game they arguably could well have won.
Despite scoring three wonderful tries, sloppy handling mistakes in and around their own 22 gifted the islanders two second-half scores that took the game beyond the Canadians in what was a critical fixture in their hopes of progressing to the Cup.
The Samoans came out firing and crossed on three minutes when Samoa Toloa went over near the right sideline. An unsuccessful conversion meant it was 0-5.
But Canada struck back with one minute remaining in the first period when after a sustained period of possession on Samoa’s 22, Harry Jones found Mike Scholz with a lovely offload that allowed the latter player to coast over for the converted try.
Samoa weren’t done before the break though and created an important score when Siaosi Asofolau slipped through on halfway before running under the posts for 7-12.
The second-half opened with an unfortunate refereeing call for Canada as Conor Trainor’s try-scoring pass to John Moonlight was adjudged to have been forward, which proved to be a critical decision in the end as Moonlight looked on perplexed.
Samoa pounced and quickly set about capitalizing on two errors in the Canadian game, the first seeing Faalemiga Selesele go in off the back of a loose ruck before Alefosio Tapili gobbled up a stray pass to make it 7-24 after thirteen minutes.
Canada though will take some heart after late tries from Justin Douglas and Liam Underwood brought them within five points but in the end it was too little too late for Middleton’s men, who need to regroup before facing a strong Fiji later in the day.
Canada’s Roster for Hong Kong and Tokyo – (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
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Pat Kay – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Duncan,BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood – (Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Sean Duke – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Players unavailable due to injury:
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack)
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Liam Middleton – Head Coach
Kieran Crowley – Assistant Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Hong Kong Sevens Schedule – March 27-29
Canada 28-12 Belgium
Canada 19-24 Samoa
Canada vs. Fiji at 17:48 local (02:48am PT/05:48am ET)