Canada U20 lost to Tonga U20 by 26-25 in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil at the World Trophy. Nonetheless Canada gained 2 bonus points in the standings for losing by less than 8 points and scoring 4 tries.
In the first 30 minutes Tonga scored 3 tries through excellent broken field having turned over Canada’s possession. As Will Percillier had kicked a penalty after 12 minutes the score was 21-3 and the outlook was ominous. However the Canadian forwards took over the rest of the half and engineered a try by Nick Carson, converted by Percillier just before the break.
Early In the second half Tonga extended their lead by 5 points following a long break and again Canada fought their way back from a deficit of 16 points scoring tries at 48 minutes by Michael McCarthy from a driving line out ,by Reid Davis at 76 minutes following a multi-phase attack from a scrum, and by Will Matthews at 79 minutes following a long and brilliant series of attacks from the restart. All 3 converts were missed leaving Canada deflated despite a strong performance, particularly in the last 10 minutes.
“We played well particularly in the forwards,” commented head coach Jeff Williams. “Tonga’s strong defense and open field running was impressive, but we are disappointed that our wholehearted effort was not rewarded with a win. We are not out of it yet because of the 2 bonus points, but we are now dependent on Portugal beating Tonga on July 17 to advance to the final.”
Canada’s most influential players were Tyler Rowland, whose power scrummaging caused chaos, the Work horse in tight play Tyler Duguid, athletic and active Nick Carson at number 8, accurate kicker and passer Brock Webster, and the elusive wing David Richard.