Canada v Scotland 2014

June 15 2014

Jebb Sinclair gets red for running too hard - Ref Mike Fraser

Canada Sees Red with Referee's Game Changing Decision: Scotland 19 - Canada 17

posted June 15 2014
[ed. comments below]

Canada lost a close match 19-17 to Scotland. Unlike last week, Canada played a strong second half actually outscoring Scotland 9-6 in the second half after conceding a 13-8 half-time lead to the Scots. There weren’t really any heroes and villains - amongst the players anyways. The ref, Mike Fraser, we’ll talk about him later.

Taylor Paris who was MoM last week had a fairly quiet game, knocked on a ball here and there, and finally got his bell rung in the second half and was replaced by DTH. Actually the ball didn’t get outside as much as it should have which was one reason Canada only recorded one try. As the score indicates it was an even contest and could have gone either way. One of the key turning points I thought, and this was before the controversial call by the ref, was when Phil Mack was subbed out around the 70 minute mark. Canada were in the lead at that time and one of the first times replacement Gordon McRorie touched the ball he tried a box kick that went up about 30 feet and forward about 3 feet. As is often the case with those kicking errors it puts your own players offside in the ensuing play and that, in the end, gave Scotland the winning points when they kicked the penalty. Again going back to the issue of strategic subs from last weekend, it was the wrong player, wrong time. Braid coming in for Blevins in the centres, that was the right choice, added a little more zip and width to the attack when they needed it. I’m sure if someone put all this data into the computer and did some statistical analysis they’d come up with a predictive model for using subs correctly, instead of using the coach’s intuition which doesn’t seem to be working for Canada right now.

Then there was that ridiculous call by referee, Mike Fraser, reversing a penalty kick for Canada which would have likely won them the game, and giving Jebb Sinclair a red card. The sequential image is shown below. You can see Jebb’s elbow is pinned to his body by the tacklers head, it’s not extended in an attacking fashion. It’s just poor tackling technique by a smaller man on a larger man. Jebb extended the arm afterwards to push the tackler off which made it look worse than it was, the damage was here when face meets elbow and body. That’s not Jebb’s fault but the tacklers. I’m going to go off on a tangent here because this call is the tip of the iceberg, as they say. Rugby used to be a great teacher, I’m sure that’s why private schools embraced it so. It taught you that if you did foolish things, consequences would happen. Fall on the wrong side of the ruck, guess what, there will be consequences. Tackle with your head up and the wrong body position, guess what, there will be consequences. Not any more, now rugby teaches you that if you do foolish things there’s few consequences for you, someone else will pay. It’s sad to see the core values of the game erode and it’s calls like this that typify the erosion. Brian Habana recently apologized for diving, we’re going to see more of that because of referees like Mike Fraser who react to something that “looks bad” – it’s all about the optics now. Hello Socc-ugby.

While on the subject of referees, it seems that all the little things go in favour of the so called Tier 1 countries in these games, no surprise really, who is going to evaluate the referee and give him a promotion, it won’t be a Tier 2 official, it will be someone from the Tier 1 cabal. You can piss off Tier 2 countries all you want and you’ll climb the referee ladder, piss off a Tier 1 country and down the slide you go. It’s a no brainer and bias is built into the system. An imaginary knock on here, loitering there, offside ignored here, vigilantly enforced there, it’s the little things that add up and tip the scale in favour of the house, or the home nation in this case. Which reminds me, did anyone else notice the fact that a Canadian player had to actually bounce a ball off a loitering Scottish player in order to draw the ref’s attention and get a penalty call. Otherwise all game long Scotland kept bodies on the wrong side of the ruck to slow the ball down without consequence.

Anyway it is what it is, it won’t change until Tier 2 countries get more influence and people into positions of authority.

Next up is USA, a must win for Canada. Two close losses for Canada but they are losses so no points gained in the rankings.

Here are some other reports on the match:

BBC: Sinclair red against Scotland a dangerous precedent


Is this a penalty - certainly not. A red card - definitely not. But kiwi ref Mike Fraser decides yes to both and changes the game outcome.

Canada Announce Lineup for Scotland Match: 3 Changes

posted June 12 2014
[ed. game will be televised on a delayed basis at 5pm PT on TSN]

It's basically the same side that lost to Japan last weekend but this time with Jebb Sinclair really suiting up... hopefully. He was on the game day list last weekend but pulled out at the last minute with a leg/groin injury. It's a big plus if he takes the field for this match.

The other two changes are a shuffle of the bench, Phil Mack replaces Gordon McRorie in the starting #9 role and Aaron Carpenter moves Ray Barkwill to the bench in the hooker spot.

Canada started well last week but fell apart in the second half, it's not the first time that's happened which is worrisome. Against Tonga last year Canada were up 33-10 with a man advantage and 15 minutes left, they just held on to win 36-27. Canada can give up points in a hurry when they lose concentration and that needs to be addressed.

Canada also have the talent to score some points quickly especially when the ball gets outside. This game will likely feature a more robust contest at the breakdown and if Canada can match Scotland there they could come away with the win... if they maintain their focus for 80 minutes.

From Rugby Canada

TORONTO, ON – Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley has made three changes to his starting roster for Saturday’s International Test Match against Scotland at BMO Field in downtown Toronto.

The announcement, which took place on Thursday morning in the team hotel in Oakville ahead of a double training day, comes two days before his side plays their second game of the June International Series.

Canada was defeated 34-25 last Saturday at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC and will also face USA next Saturday in Sacramento, California; both games are part of the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup campaign.

In the forwards, Aaron Carpenter slots into the front row at hooker to join props Hubert Buydens and Jason Marshall. Canada’s engine room stays unchanged with the duo of Tyler Hotson and Jamie Cudmore returning to action on Saturday.

Jebb Sinclair will make his first appearance for Canada this year at blindside flanker after missing the Japan game with a leg strain and will join Japan try-scorer John Moonlight and Captain Tyler Ardron in Canada’s back-row.

“It feels great to be back. I’m thankful to our physiotherapy team for working hard with me over the last week to help me get fit,” said Sinclair following the roster announcement.

Fiery scrumhalf Phil Mack will get the nod on Saturday and provide the link to fellow Canada Sevens stalwart Harry Jones, who will lead the backs at number 10.

The rest of Canada’s backline remains untouched with the duo of Nick Blevins and Ciaran Hearn in the centres and Jeff Hassler, Taylor Paris and James Pritchard rounding out the back three.

Substitutes for Canada include Ray Barkwill, Andrew Tiedemann and Jake Ilnicki in the front row, Kyle Gilmour, Jon Phelan, Gord McRorie, Connor Braid and DTH van der Merwe.

With next year’s Rugby World Cup edging closer by the day, Saturday’s test match will be another big opportunity for Canada to face a similar side to what they will see next year in the UK. Three out of four of Canada’s Pool D World Cup opponents – Ireland, France and Italy – regularly face Scotland in the annual Six Nations competition and play a similar brand of European rugby.

Despite the similarities between Scotland and next year’s opponents, Sinclair isn’t looking beyond this weekend’s challenge.

“None of us are thinking about next year’s World Cup; all our attention is focused on Saturday at 2pm and we’re hoping to replicate our fast start from last weekend against Japan. We need to fix a few defensive errors that let us down in the second half,” said the Fredericton, New Brunswick native.

“I think Scotland’s game plan matches up well with how Canadians like to play – big, direct, hard ball runners – and they have a strong set piece that they’ve turned around recently under (Vern) Cotter,” added Sinclair.

“We’re excited for the challenge and looking forward to playing in front of a packed house at BMO Field on Saturday.”

In order to have success on Saturday, Crowley’s outfit will need to first and foremost establish a physical presence and eliminate costly mistakes. During last weekend’s loss to Japan, Canada gave away 15 points from penalties off the boot of fullback Ayumu Goromaru.

The Scots are fresh off a 24-6 victory over USA in Houston, Texas in newly appointed coach Vern Cotter’s debut. Scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw was good for three conversions and one penalty for nine of Scotland’s points against USA, with tries also coming from fullback Stuart Hogg, winger Tim Visser and one penalty try.


1. Hubert Buydens – (Manawatu Turbos/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
2. Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates RFC) Brantford, ON
3. Jason Marshall – (Atlantique Stade Rochelais) Vancouver, BC
4. Tyler Hotson – (London Scottish RFC) Vancouver, BC
5. Jamie Cudmore – (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
6. Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
7. John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
8. Tyler Ardron – Captain (Ospreys/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
9. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10. Harry Jones – (Capilanos RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
11. Taylor Paris – (SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne) Barrie, ON
12. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13. Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
14. Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
15. James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
16. Ray Barkwill – (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
17. Andrew Tiedemann – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
18. Jake Ilnicki – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
19. Kyle Gilmour – (Saint Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saint Albert, AB
20. Jon Phelan – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
21. Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
22. Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
23. DTH van der Merwe – (Glasgow Warriors) Regina, SK


Saturday, May 31
Klahanie Park, West Vancouver, BC

Saturday, June 7
Pacific Nations Cup
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC

Saturday, June 14
BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Kickoff 2pm Eastern Time (11am PT)
Streamed LIVE on and Delayed on TSN at 8pm ET/5pm PT

Saturday, June 21
Pacific Nations Cup
Bonney Field, Sacramento, CA
Kickoff 3pm Pacific Time (6pm ET) LIVE on TSN

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