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Canada Sevens 2017

Canada Finish 7th After Loss to Argentina: England Win Gold


posted March 13 2017
[ed. comments below]

Canada improved on their performance from last year with a final 8 appearance this year. Their first win against Scotland on Day 1 ensured their placement in the top group. The team picked up some injuries during the tournament and by the end against Argentina they were subbing on the wounded. Phil Berna when he subbed on against Argentina had a heavily bandaged leg and could barely run. Zaruba didn't dress due to concussion concerns and Moonlight and Douglas were carrying injuries as well.

When Canada can field their best 7 players in a healthy state they can make the Cup round consistently but the talent pool drops off sharply after that. It's no doubt one of the focuses of the coaching staff, to build up the depth chart in the reserves.

There was a slight improvement in that area as the Maple Leafs won the invitational tournament this year, last year they came second to the regional team from the Prairies, the Wolfpack. One of the reasons they won this year is they looked at a wider base than just carded players, UBC players Theo Sauder and Andrew Coe made a difference this year. There is the talent out there and the development side needs to be playing competitive 7s rugby week in and week out.

The tournament itself was a huge success and is getting plaudits from many sources including local media, world rugby, and Vancouver tourism.

Next is Hong Kong in April, Canada picked up the toughest pool unfortunately. They'll face South Africa, France and Kenya.

Here is World Rugby's top 7 tries from the tournament, and one of them is by Harry Jones after some hard work from Pat Kay and Adam Zaruba.


from Rugby Canada

VANCOUVER, CANADA – Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team finished seventh at the HSBC Canada Sevens after defeat to Argentina in the fifth place semi-final on Sunday at BC Place.

With wins against Scotland and Russia on Day one, Canada advanced to their third cup quarter in their past four HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament but were beaten by South Africa earlier in the day. This weekend was Canada’s third Cup round appearance in the last four tournaments, moving them to 10th place on the World Series through six tournaments.
Adam Zaruba was ruled out of Day two due to injury and was replaced by Luke Bradley. Nathan Hirayama also tied Phil Mack's all-time scoring record for Canada as both men now sit on 973 career HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series points.

England would eventually defeat South Africa 19-7 to capture the Cup Final to close out the tournament.

What Head Coach Damian McGrath said:

"We've got three weeks now until we play again. It's all hands on deck now. I thought when we were healthy I hope we gave a glimpse of what this group is capable of. We appreciated every minute of support the crowd gave us and I hope they appreciate what we did."

What Captain Harry Jones said:

"It's tough. We didn't finish the chances we had. Not making any excuses. I'm proud of the boys. The boys put their hands up and put in a gutsy effort. You don't play the game to come seventh, you play to win. There's a lot of disappointed guys on the team. We went 5-1 last year but we're a much better team this year and we showed that. Damian has done a lot of work with us, simple stuff, but the team's really gelling and it's paying dividends."

CANADA 7-36 SOUTH AFRICA

It was a masterful performance from Neil Powell's men as they powered to a convincing win over Canada.

Tries from Rosko Specman and Siviwe Soyizwapi gave the Blitzboks a quick 12-0 lead before Canada found life through a Justin Douglas try. Nathan Hirayam's conversion gave him 973 career points, tying him with Phil Mack for Canada's all-time points scoring record.

However, it was all South Africa from there on out. Chris Dry's try pushed the lead to 17-7 at the break before Cecil Afrika, Soyizwapi and Sandile Ngcobo completed the win.

CANADA 5-12 ARGENTINA

It was heartbreak for Canada as they narrowly lost 12-5 in Argentina in their fifth place semi-final. After sustained pressure, Canada finally opened the scoring as Justin Douglas touched down in the corner for a 5-0 lead that they took into the break.

Frano Sabato's try tied things at 5-5 after he gathered his own kick ahead before Nicolas Menendez scored the eventual game-winner for a 12-5 victory.



Canada Start Day 2 With 36-7 Loss to South Africa: Face Argentina Next


posted March 12 2017
[ed. comments below]

Canada played their worst match of the tournament and South Africa had too many scoring options. The tone of the match was set early when Rosko Specman simply ran through most of the Canadian defenders, that was 43 seconds in. Canada just doesn't have anyone who is fast enough or who can play defence well enough to stop Specman. Cecil Afrika did the same with his evasive speed as did Siviewe Soyizwapi, twice. With the clear advantage in speed and greater intensity at the breakdowns it was soon no contest. Canada got one first half try from Justin Douglas. Canada are missing Adam Zaruba for the rest of the tournament. He apparently had delayed concussion symptoms and safety protocols dictated he sit out the rest of the tournament. Moonlight and Douglas are carrying injures but started in the match. Luke Bradley was brought into the roster for Day 2.

Canada face Argentina in the 5th place semi-final at 14:24, the winner goes on to the 5th place match, the loser is done for the tournament.



Canada Into Cup Round After Wins Over Scotland and Russia


posted March 11 2017
[ed. comments below]

Canada looked good in their first match taking down Scotland 28-10. Justin Douglas, Adam Zaruba, and Harry Jones scored first half tries. Isaac Kaay scored Canada's lone second half try. Hirayama was perfect on the conversions. It was one of Canada's better opening matches this season.

Russia gave Canada a bit of a scare early on when Eduard Filatov found lead footed defenders and skirted in for a 7-0 lead. It looked like Phil Berna limped off and Lucas Hammond came on. Also worrying is that John Moonlight and Justin Douglas didn't start with questions about injuries being heard in the press box. Canada's answer was Adam Zaruba who scored three tries in the match, Isaac Kaay added one more. Two Russian yellow cards made Canada's job a little easier.

Canada face NZ to close out Day 1 but both teams advance to the Cup round regardless of the result.

from Rugby Canada

Canada secured a place in the HSBC Canada Sevens cup quarterfinals after staring the tournament 2-0.

In front of more than 35,000 fans at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada beat Scotland and Russia to advance.

Canada will conclude Day 1 against New Zealand. The tournament can be seen LIVE on www.worldrugby.org and on TSN 4 from 9:30pm-11pm ET/6:30pm-8pm PT.

CANADA 28-10 SCOTLAND

In front of a passionate home crowd, Canada got its HSBC Canada Sevens campaign off to a thunderous start.

Justin Douglas, who was the odd man out last year, opened the scoring for Canada after a heavy wave of pressure before Adam Zaruba extended the lead to 14-0.

After Dougie Fife got Scotland on the board, Canada pushed their lead to 21-5 at the break as captain Harry Jones got in on the scoring.

Isaac Kayy had Canada's lone second half try either side of scores from Scott Wight and Ally Miller but Canada were rarely threatened late on to open the day with a win.

CANADA 26-5 RUSSIA

Canada marched into the cup quarterfinals after Adam Zaruba's hat-trick.

In a tight first half, Canada took a 7-5 lead into the break after Zaruba's try cancelled out Eduard Filatov's opening try.

However, Canada dominated the second half with Isaac Kaay pushing Canada's lead to 14-5 before Zaruba's two tries sealed himself a hat-trick and a place in the cup quarters.



Canada Name Team for Home Stop of World Rugby Series: FULL SCHEDULE


posted March 10 2017
from Rugby Canada

VANCOUVER — Canada men’s sevens head coach Damian McGrath has named his team for the HSBC Canada Sevens at Vancouver’s BC Place this weekend.

Harry Jones will once again captain a side that sees one change as Matt Mullins replaces Caleb Jordan.

“I’m really excited to play in front of friends and family,” Phil Berna said. “It’s going to be awesome. I was here watching last year and I’m excited to be out there playing this time.

“Obviously the atmosphere is going to be a factor but I feel like once we run out onto the field you kind of forget about that and just focus on playing.”

Berna, Luke Bradley, Justin Douglas, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond, Nathan Hirayama, Isaac Kaay, Pat Kay, Luke McCloskey, John Moonlight and Adam Zaruba complete McGrath’s squad.

Canada has been drawn into Pool D where they will meet New Zealand, Scotland and Russia on Day 1. Canada drew in their lone match against New Zealand this year and is 1-1 against Scotland, who they faced off against twice at the Wellington Sevens. Canada is 3-0 against Russia having being drawn into their pool in three of the first five tournaments of the season.

“We had a lot of excitement in Vegas thinking we need a good pool, we need to play well, and we got that,” Fuailefau said. “It’s a good pool to be in and we’re excited to play those games.”

Canada is 17-12 all-time against Scotland while they have won just twice in 34 matches against New Zealand. Canada has won 18 of 26 match-ups with Russia.

Canada enters the tournament 12th in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings at the halfway point of the season. Canada finished fourth in Wellington, seventh in Las Vegas and 13th in the three other tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town and Sydney.

Hirayama has a chance to become Canada’s all-time HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series points leader as he needs just 21 points to pass Phil Mack’s record of 973 series points. Moonlight needs just four tries to become only the third Canadian to score 100 series tries.

The Canada Sevens can be seen LIVE in its entirety on www.worldrugby.org . The tournament will also be shown LIVE on TSN 4 on Saturday from 9:30pm-11pm ET/6:30pm-8pm PT and from 5pm-10pm ET/2pm-7pm PT on Sunday on TSN 2.

To view the complete Canada Sevens schedule, please click here.

Canada’s Men’s Sevens Squad for Canada Sevens (Name, club, hometown):

Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
Luke Bradley – UVic Vikes/Port Alberni Black Sheep (Port Alberni, BC)
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (UVIC Vikes) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – Captain (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
Isaac Kaay – (UVic Vikes) Kamloops, BC
Pat Kay – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Matt Mullins – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Canada’s Canada Sevens Day 1 Schedule:

Canada vs. Scotland — 2:42pm ET/11:42am PT
Canada vs. Russia — 6:18pm ET/3:18pm PT
Canada vs. New Zealand — 10:20pm ET/7:20pm PT





 
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