Canada collected its second win of the Americas Rugby Championship after a 52-25 win over Brazil Saturday night at Westhills Stadium.
Canada ran in seven tries as Lucas Rumball (2), Clay Panga (2), Michael Hamson, Paul Ciulini and captain Ray Barkwill all touched down while Andrew Ferguson kicked 13 points in front of 1,865 fans.
“To get one try was amazing but to get two was just a bonus,” Panga said. “It was an unreal feeling. It’s a great testament to how hard the boys worked.”
After building a 31-13 lead at the break, it took Canada 25 minutes to break through in the second half as Panga went over for his second try of the night. Joao Luiz da Ros got Brazil a consolation try before Ciulini and Hamson each grabbed their first test tries in the final five minutes with Brock Staller, who made his test debut at outside centre, adding both conversions.
“We have to give credit to the forwards,” attack coach Graeme Moffat said. “They took it to Brazil and scored all seven tries. That will definitely rile the backs up and will hopefully make training interesting next week.”
Canada exploded for four tries in the first half as they came storming out of the gates. Rumball grabbed the first test try of his career as the Scarborough, Ont., native crashed over after collecting the ball at the back of the breakdown.
Brazil got on the board in the ninth minute as centre Moises Duque kicked a penalty before Panga notched the first test try of his career in the 12th minute with Ferguson again converting for a 14-3 lead.
Duncan Maguire was sinbinned in the 21st minute for a late and high tackle with Duque taking advantage again before Brazil grabbed their first try of the night as scrum half Johannes Beukes Cremer snuck out the back of the scrum and beat a tackler before diving over in the corner.
With Maguire back in the fold, Canada hit back as Captain Barkwill overlapped on the wing before swan diving in for just the second test try of his career to give Canada a 22-13 advantage.
Canada would bundle over one last time in the opening 40. With Brazil No. 8 Nicholas Smith in the sin bin for a cynical side entry penalty, Rumball again drove over from the breakdown for his second try of the night.
In addition to Staller, Brett Johnson, Joe Dolesau, Eric Howard, Jake Robinson, Rob Brouwer and Hamson all made their test debuts Saturday, coming on as replacements.
“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Johnson said. “To come from a small town like Truro and get my test debut is a wonderful moment.”
Canada will head to South America for the final two games of their ARC campaign as they will first face Argentina XV in one week before concluding against Chile on March 5. Canada opened with a 33-17 win over Uruguay before a narrow 30-22 loss to the USA in Texas last weekend.
“The coaches have put an emphasis on not losing at home,” Panga said. “To be able to come out here and perform in front of our home crowd is just the icing on the cake. Now we have to take that on the road.”
Canada’s Team to face Brazil (Name, club, hometown):
1. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
2. Ray Barkwill – Captain (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Jake Ilnicki – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
4. Paul Ciulini – (Aurora Barbarians/Ontario Blues) Vaughan, ON
5. Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes) Kenora, ON
6. Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
7. Alistair Clark – (Bay Street Pigs/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
8. Clay Panga – (Westshore Valhallians/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
9. Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
10. Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
11. Duncan Maguire – (St. Albert RFCC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
12. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13. Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
14. Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
15. Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
16. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
17. Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
18. Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
19. Kyle Baillie – (St. Albert RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
20. Michael Hamson – (Halifax Tars/Atlantic Rock) Halifax, NS
21. Jacob Robinson – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
22. Joe Dolesau – (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
23. Brett Johnson – (Truro Saints/Atlantic Rock) Truro, NS