Photo from Rugby Canada

© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News

Canada men’s rugby sevens finished seventh in the 2018 HSBC London Seven tournament. The winning team was Fiji, who defeated South Africa 21-17 on Sunday to win the tournament. It was the team’s fourth straight tournament title and fifth in the last six HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, this year.

With the win, Fiji extends their lead on the season standings with 167 points, seven ahead off second-place South Africa. New Zealand, which finished fifth here in London is in third place with 133 points

With the good showing, Canada moved up two positions from 11th to ninth in the standings.

Fiji is looking for their third World Series title in four years before taking aim at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in July. The World Series season ends next weekend in Paris.

Canada went 2-1 on the opening day, defeating Samoa and Russia and losing to South Africa.

Harry Jones and Mike Fuailefau both scored milestone tries Saturday, with Jones touching down for his 100th World Series try while Fuailefau scored his 50th.

Opening the scoring for Fiji (vs Canada) was Semi Radradra he went through three Canadian defenders to run 75 metres for the try. Radradra plays club rugby in France for Toulon.

Fiji scored again right after the restart. Sevuloni Mocenacagi burst through defence when Canada gave up the ball on the play.

Canada cut the lead to 14-7 in the dying seconds of the half.

Fiji immediately went on the offence to start the second half. With 25 seconds showing on the clock Dranisinukula ran in for the try. Fiji then ran away with it as Kalione Nasoko, Veremalua and Vatemo Ravouvou added late tries.

From Rugby Canada:

Day 1:
Canada 14-0 Samoa
A strong performance in defence set the tone for Canada to claim a well-deserved opening win at Twickenham Stadium in London. Patience was key for Canada on attack and it paid off when Isaac Kaay scored just before the break to give Canada a seven-point advantage at half-time.

The second-half progressed in similar fashion to the first with Canada holding on to the ball and playing most of the rugby. With one minute left on the clock, Canada all but sealed the game with one minute to go when more patient build-up in the Samoa half lead to Justin Douglas going over for the second try of the game. Nate Hirayama added the extras to give Canada a crucial victory in pool D.

FT: Canada 14-0 Samoa

Tries: Isaac Kaay, Justin Douglas
Conversions: Nathan Hirayama (2)

Canada 7-17 South Africa
A tough test for Canada against one of the best sevens teams in the world. The game was highlighted by massive hits and tackles throughout, as both teams tried to win the physical battle. It would be the second-ranked South Africans to open the scoring at Twickenham midway through the first-half – courtesy of Ryan Oosthuizen.

The second-half started with South Africa being reduced to six men, after Dylan Sage received a yellow card. Canada could however not capitalize on the one-man advantage, the ‘Blitzboks’ extending their lead to twelve points shortly after getting back to full strength.

Harry Jones hit a major milestone and gave Canada hope of a comeback when he crossed the line for his 100th try on the World Series with two minutes to go. But with time running out, former World Sevens player of the year, Werner Kok ended those hopes with a late score to give South Africa the win.

FT: Canada 7-17 South Africa

Tries: Harry Jones
Conversions: Nate Hirayama (1)

South Africa:
Tries: Ryan Oosthuizen, Phillip Snyman, Werner Kok
Conversions: Branco du Preez (1)

Canada 29-10 Russia
Canada quickly established a twelve-point lead in the first-half thanks to Nate Hirayama and a great finish from Mike Fuailefau. Russia fought back and reduced Canada’s lead to two points at the break, after scoring two late tries of their own.

The second-half was all Canada, as first Mike Fuailefau crossed for his second of the game and 50th on the HSBC World Sevens Series, before big Matt Mullins rubbed further salt in the wounds.

FT: Canada 29-10 Russia

Tries: Hirayama, Douglas, Fuailefau (2), Mullins
Conversions: Hirayama (2)

Day 2:
Canada 7-40 Fiji (Cup Quarterfinals)
Fiji were in unstoppable form on the day as they ran in six tries to Canada’s one. Justin Douglas gave Canada hope when he scored just before the break to reduce the World Series leaders lead to only seven points at half-time. But Fiji dashed all hopes of a major upset when they scored two quick-fire tries in the second-half and showed exactly why they are on top of the standings.

FT: Canada 7-40 Fiji

Tries: Justin Douglas
Conversions: Nate Hirayama

Canada 19-27 USA (5th Place Semi-final)
A seesaw affair between two evenly matched sides. USA opened the scoring, before a couple of stunning offloads lead to Canada’s first try, courtesy of Lucas Hammond. Carlin Isles was next to score to give USA a 10-7 lead. A late Harry Jones try looked to have given Canada the advantage at the break but USA had different plans and managed to score one more before the half-time whistle.

A beautifully worked set-piece move lead to Canada scoring the first try of the second-half. Justin Douglas going over to give Canada a 19-15 lead. USA quickly hit-back with a try of their own, before adding another five-pointer to seal the win and progress to the 5th place final.

FT: Canada 19-27 USA

Tries: Hammond, Jones, Douglas
Conversions: Hirayama (2)

Roster:
Luke Bradley – Port Alberni Black Sheep (Port Alberni, BC)
Connor Braid – James Bay AA (Victoria, BC)
Andrew Coe – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
Justin Douglas – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Mike Fuailefau – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Lucas Hammond – Toronto Nomads (Toronto, ON)
Nathan Hirayama, Captain – Unattached (Richmond, BC)
Harry Jones – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
Pat Kay – Castaway Wanderers (Duncan, BC)
Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Matt Mullins – Queen’s University (Belleville, ON)

Unavailable:
Phil Berna
Jake Thiel
Liam Underwood

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Standings:

Fiji – 145
South Africa – 141
New Zealand – 120
Australia – 108
USA – 93
Kenya – 93
Argentina – 92
England – 88
Samoa – 55
Scotland – 51
Canada – 51
France – 47
Spain – 45
Wales – 35
Russia – 20

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