Canada’s Men’s Team narrowly missed out on qualification

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phil mack
 
Tie-breaker sees Canada into Cape Town bowl competition after win, loss and draw on day one against New Zealand, Samoa and France 
 
 
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – Canada’s Men’s Team narrowly missed out on qualification to the Cape Town Sevens Cup competition due to points difference as they finished Day One with a victory, draw and defeat.

 

After losing 24-10 to Samoa first up on Saturday, the Canadians hit back against New Zealand, winning brilliantly 24-12. However, a 26-26 result with France meant it would be Bowl rugby for the team on Sunday, ending a dramatic day of action.

 

Canada’s quarter-final will be against Russia and kicks-off at 4:20am ET 1:20am PT. Watch it live on worldrugby.org.

 

Canada 10-24 Samoa

 

Canada were in a game of two halves in their pool opener as a poor first period cost them in a 24-10 defeat to Samoa. The islanders ran out to a 19-0 lead at the break thanks to tries from Francis Ieremia and a double from Samoa Toloa, with Canada finding life tough against a clinical opponent who made the most of the opportunities that came their way.

 

It was a much-improved performance after the break for Liam Middleton’s side though as despite Tila Mealoi crossing in the ninth minute for the Samoans, the closing stages of the contest at Cape Town Stadium was all Canada, with hard-working forward pair Mike Fuailefau and John Moonlight going over to give the squad confidence ahead of game two.

 

Canada 24-12 New Zealand

 

Canada claimed only their second ever victory over New Zealand in game two of their pool campaign as they won 24-12. It was an outstanding performance from the Canadians as Nathan Hirayama, Phil Mack and John Moonlight (2) ran in the tries in a match that the team never looked like losing, such was their confidence and drive in both attack and defence.

 

Hirayama scored the game’s first try before Mack scrambled over to make it 14-0 with four minutes gone in Cape Town. It looked like the New Zealanders would go into the interval trailing by just nine points when Dylan Collier went in for an unconverted try, but Canada scored at the perfect time as Moonlight crashed over late on, making it 19-5 at half-time.

 

The second period was a tense affair but Canada managed the clock well and despite DJ Forbes crossing to make it 19-12, a second from powerful skipper Moonlight sealed the triumph which gives Canada’s hopes of Cup qualification a lift.

 

Canada 26-26 France

 

It was once again a tale of two halves in Canada’s third match as they fought back to draw 26-26 with France. Although it wasn’t enough to see the team progress into the Cup quarter-finals, this was a performance that will give Canada confidence heading into Sunday’s Bowl competition as they had the French on the ropes towards the end of the contest.

 

France had gone into the break leading 19-0 thanks to tries from Virimi Vakatawa, Terry Bouhraoua and Vincent Inigo, which gave Canada a mountain to climb in the second stanza if they were to win. However, they did not go down without a fight. Justin Douglas got the ball rolling on eight minutes before Phil Mack barged over soon after to make it 19-12.

 

Then on twelve minutes Sean Duke used his power to score wide out which handed Nathan Hirayama a difficult conversion to level matters. He did just that before France bounced back with a converted try from Julien Candelon, meaning Hirayama’s extra two points from Admir Cejvanovic’s effort did little to alter Canada’s knockout fate.

 

Canada’s Roster for the Cape Town Sevens

Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK

Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC

Sean Duke – (Unattached/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC

Pat Kay – (Unattached/BC Bears) Duncan, BC

Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

Matt Mullins – (Queens University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON

Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Head Coach – Liam Middleton

Assistant Coach – Lee Douglas

Team Manager – Brian Hunter

Physiotherapist – Danielle Mah

Performance Analyst – Calum Ramsay

Canada’s Cape Town Sevens Day 1 Schedule:

Canada 10-24 Samoa

Canada 24-12 New Zealand

Canada 26-26 France

 

Day 2

 

Canada vs. Russia at 4:20am ET/1:20am PT

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