Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada
Canada’s Men’s Team fell just short of Shield silverware at the USA Sevens, losing 24-12 to Samoa on Sunday. Earlier Canada beat England 24-7 to progress to the final, but Samoa edged the win as the team earns two Series points. Next week it will be home comforts for Canada when they run out at BC Place, looking to impress in front of a big crowd against Australia, Wales and Russia in
Canada 24-7 England
Canada claimed their first win of the USA Sevens weekend on Sunday as they beat England 24-7 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Victory in the Shield semi-final set up a winner-takes-all fixture against Samoa in the final, with Canada having entered the intriguing match confident after a slick win that saw Nathan Hirayama, John Moonlight (2) and Pat Kay score tries.
Hirayama strolled over after three minutes before Moonlight’s powerful carry meant it was a 12-0 buffer at the interval. England did manage to regroup following the turnaround and closed the gap to just five points when Ruaridh McConnochie crossed near to the posts, setting up a tense final three minutes between two nations hungry for a morale-boosting win.
But it would be Canada who put the contest to bed late on, as Kay’s effort and Moonlight’s second sealed a fine victory.
Canada 12-24 Samoa
Canada came up short in their quest to take home silverware at the USA Sevens as they lost the Shield Final to Samoa. The clash got off to the best possible start for the team when Mike Fuailefau gathered the loose ball from the kick-off and strolled over for the opening try. Unfortunately the extras were not added by Hirayama but it was still a handy 5-0 lead.
Samoa soon hit back though and did so via speedster Samoa Toloa, who raced over from halfway to put his side in front. At 7-5 down the next try was going to be key for Canada but it would go the way of the islanders as Telea Seumanutafa added his name to their timeline. Fortunately for Canada a late Conor Trainor effort levelled matters at the interval.
Coming out of their huddles the Shield finalists were battling for the ascendancy and it was Toloa again who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, with his second try of the contest putting his charges 19-12 up with nine minutes gone. And despite Canada going close to tying things up it was Samoa who had the last say as Alefosio Tapili sealed the prize.
Canada’s Roster for the Las Vegas Sevens (Name, club, hometown):
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Sean Duke – (Unattached) Vancouver, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Pat Kay – (Unattached) Duncan, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Unavailable due to injury:
Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Liam Middleton – Head Coach
Lee Douglas – Assistant Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Canada’s Las Vegas Day 1 Schedule:
Canada 7-33 South Africa
Canada 26-26 USA
Canada’s Las Vegas Day 2 Schedule:
Canada 10-17 Wales
Canada 10-19 Russia
Canada’s Las Vegas Day 3 Schedule:
Canada 24-7 England
Canada 12-24 Samoa
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.
To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.