March 2nd, 2018 Las Vegas (ISN) – The Canada Sevens MEN’s team returned North American play with a weekend stop in Las Vegas during HSBC World Ruby Seven Series play at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium.
After going winless in pool play in their last tournament leg in New Zealand, Canada looked to start off the Las Vegas Sevens on a winning foot in preparation to host the world March 10-11 in Vancouver, BC. Sitting one point behind 10th place France, Canada will hope to gain ground and crack the top ten in the standings.
Back in the line up are Connor Braid and Admir Cejvanovic, making their return to seven’s play after joining the XV’s side briefly for the two game, World Cup qualifier series against Uruguay. Braid was sidelined with an ankle injury sustained in game one against Los Teros.
Canada got pool play underway Friday with matches against England and HSBC World Seven Series top rankd South African team.
Canada would drop their first match against England in stiff fashion, losing 40-12. Poor tackling, penalties conceded, and ball give aways would work against the red and white.
Canada would start strong with a stolen ball by Connor Braid on the opening kickoff to give good field position near the try line, but a turnover in favour of England would result in the British putting the seven points on the board in the first minute of play.
Canada would trade trys with England on two occasions. Nate Hirayama and Harry Jones would score for Canada, both coming in the first half of play.
Canada’s apparent tackling woes would result in three unanswered trys by England in the second half of play, sinking hopes of an all-important, opening game win for the Canadians.
Canada would draw South Africa in their second match, losing a close contest against the first place team 19-12, falling just short of a comeback, upset victory.
After two South African trys early in the first half, Canada would go into half time only down 14-5 on a Canadian try by Tevaughn Campbell, who would put the ball down smartly in the corner beating his Springbok defender across the try line.
Canada would make it only a two-point, 14-12 deficit on a second half try by John Moonlight, his 108th career try for Canada. After taking a Nathan Hirayama pass deep in the South African zone Moonlight would break Springbok’s Zain Davids attempt at a tackle to put the ball down between the uprights early in the 2nd half of play.
South Africa would reply one minute later to seal the 19-12 loss for Canada.
Canada now looks to day two action, finishing pool play against a Wales team that is also without a win so far in weekend play.