Canada Blinks – Drop Las Vegas Sevens Opener To South Africa

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Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

March 4, 2016  Las Vegas, NV (ISN) – Playing the number two world-ranked South Africa might be daunting at the best of times for any HSBC World Sevens team, but to play them in a series opening match may not have been what the Canadian Sevens team was hoping for, falling to the South Africans  convincingly by a  33-7 score.

Canada’s Mike Fauilefau dishes off the ball before being taken down by a South African defender – Erich Eichhorn image (

After a solid performance in the Sydney Sevens Canada would is surely looking to build on their successes from downunder, but would be stymied by some  unfortunate ball handling that would result in turnovers and ultimately trys for South Africa. Despite beating South Africa 32-17 in competed passes, it was the turnovers that would give Canada a notable disadvantage.  Abeit, South Africa was bitten by the same turnover over bug the Canada suffered from (10-8 turnovers ), it was what was done wth the advantage that seemed to seal the loss for Canada. Canada, unable to match pace to beat the South Africans on the foot, the Canadian side noteably slower to break away from the defensive wingers, would prove problematic in the try statistic.


Team Canada’s Sean Duke gets a hand to the ball before SA can take possesion – Erich Eichhorn (

South Africa would jump out to a 26-0 score at the half and add another try in the second in the win. Canada would break the nil score when Phil Mack, playing in his 50th Sevens World Series, would break two tackles and carry a third in from five metres to put a mark on the board late for Canada.


Phil Mack gave his team a try late in a 33-7 loss in the opener of the Las Vegas Sevens – Erich Eichhorn image (

Next up Canada plays USA (7:36 pm) and the closes the night with a match against Wales.  Play continues Saturday and Sunday. Canada will return home after the Las Vegas series to play in the inaugural Canada Sevens at BC Place March 12-13.