GRENOBLE, FRANCE — Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team concluded its 2016 November Tour with a narrow 25-23 defeat to Samoa in Grenoble, France on Friday night. Canada got two tries from Captain DTH van der Merwe while Evan Olmstead scored his first test try for his country. Victoria’s Connor Braid kicked eight points.

Samoa got 20 points off of the foot of D’Angelo Leuila while Paul Perez had their lone try. Perez opened the scoring in the eighth minute as he touched down in the corner after a swift counter-attack by the Samoans left Canada reeling.

Leuila quickly added to the lead two minutes later as he struck a drop goal to make it 10-0 before making it 13-0 in the 14th minute with his first penalty of the night. Canada got themselves back into the game though as Braid got his side on the board with a 16th minute penalty to make it 13-3 but eight minutes later the Samoan lead was 16-3 as Leuila struck another penalty.

Braid cut the deficit to 10 points before the interval however and despite a positive start to the second half from the Canadians, it was Leuila getting the first points of the second frame as he slotted a 50th minute penalty. A 56th minute yellow card to Taiasina Tuifu’a became the catalyst for Canada as they took the ensuing lineout to just a meter out before Olmstead quickly touched down on the line to make it 19-11.

Veteran Jamie Cudmore was harshly sent to the sin bin in the 62nd minute as he and Samoan centre Winston Stanley had a shoving match but it was only the Canadian who would take a 10 minute breather. Despite losing a man, Canada roared on and two minutes later it was van der Merwe scoring after Phil Mack’s box kick took a favourable bounce and the Canadian winger was in for his 22nd test try.

Leuila would again kick a drop goal to push Samoa’s lead to 22-16 before a 73rd minute penalty extended their advantage but Canada battled on and were rewarded in the 79th minute as van der Merwe collected Braid’s cross-field kick to score. Despite a valiant effort, Canada was unable to muster anything in the closing moments of the match, falling 25-23 to No. 14 ranked Samoa.

With his two tries, van der Merwe is now just one test try behind Winston Stanley’s Canadian record of 24. Canada’s senior men’s team returns to action in February as they host Argentina, Chile and the USA as part of the 2017

Canada’s Roster vs. Samoa (Name, club, hometown):


  1. Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
  2. Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
  3. Jake Ilnicki – (Manawatu Turbos/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
  4. Jamie Cudmore – (Oyonnax) Squamish, BC
  5. Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
  6. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
  7. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
  8. Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
  9. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
  10. Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
  11. Conor Trainor – (RC Vannes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
  12. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
  13. Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish) Conception Bay, NL
  14. DTH van der Merwe – Captain(Scarlets) Victoria, BC
  15. Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
  16. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
  17. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
  18. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
  19. Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
  20. Clay Panga – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
  21. Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
  22. Pat Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
  23. Ben Lesage – (UBC Thunderbirds/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB


Unavailable for selection:


Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON

Kyle Baillie – (Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI

Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK

Aaron Carpenter – Captain (London Welsh/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON

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

Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB

Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

Phil Mackenzie – (Unattached/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON

Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON

Cam Pierce – (Section Paloise/Kelowna Crows) Vernon, BC

Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB

Andrew Tiedemann – (Bourgoin/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON


Men’s Coaching Staff: 


Mark Anscombe – Head Coach

Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach

Mike Shelley – Scrum Coach

Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst

Michael Deasy – Strength and Conditioning

Mallory White – Physiotherapist

Jessica Smith – Physiotherapist

Dr. Peet Du Toit – Doctor

Mark Winokur – Tour Manager

Alana Gattinger – Operations & Logistics Manager


Canada’s November Tour Schedule:


Canada 21-52 Ireland — Nov. 12

Canada 14-21 Romania — Nov. 19

Canada vs. Samoa — Nov. 25 —Stade des Alpes, Grenoble — 2pm ET/11am PT