Canada Qualifies for World Cup 2019 with 27-10 Win Over Hong Kong
It wasn't pretty but Canada did enough to defeat a combative Hong Kong side in a 3 try to 1 victory. It was DTH's finishing skills that were the difference as he scored two solo tries, first a chase down of a kick he scooped up for a try and then an enormous run down the sideline where he shrugged off several tacklers. Outside of those two events it was an arm wrestle with Hong Kong claiming most of the possession and territory but lacking the finishing touch.
Canada didn't start well when Hearn failed to find 10 metres from the opening kick off, McRorie missed touch from a penalty, and captain Phil Mack had two wobbly box kicks that put his own players offside. It wasn't a confident start and Canada threatened to make this harder than it should have been. Even Canada's scrum was going backwards to start the match. The forwards settled the game down however when they finally got inside the Hong Kong 22 and in very workman-like manner inched the ball forward until Ray Barkwill touched the ball down for the first try of the match. It was a very nervous 20 minutes up to that point with Hong Kong playing most of the rugby.
DTH scored his first try at 32 minutes with the kick block and Canada could finally exhale as they had absorbed the best Hong Kong had to offer and yet were ahead 14-3 at the half. Hong Kong didn't look like they had four tries in them at this point.
A yellow to McRorie before half would make the game interesting and Hong Kong did score their only try of the match but McRorie would kick two penalties to negate that when he came back on and at 70 minutes the final dagger with a man of the match try by DTH to assure victory.
DTH was amazing as usual, Kyle Baillie stood out in the forwards for his strong runs, Barkwill was gritty when needed but was seriously running out of gas in loose play in the second half. Taylor Paris looked very nervous to start the match and wasn't on top form, Theo Sauder looked the veteran out there from fullback and received a lot of deserved praise from the commentators. Buydens surprisingly was having a difficult time against the Hong Kong tighthhead and the Hong Kong scrum was strong when their starting front row were on. The backrow of Ardron, Baillie and Rumball received commendations for their defensive work.
It wasn't pretty and there's the potential for cricket scores when they face NZ and South Africa at the World Cup on current form but they made it and a win over Namibia is definitely a plausible outcome now that they've booked their spot in Japan.
Time to savour the win but lots of work to do in the high performance area of Canadian rugby to avoid the 3rd door entry to the World Cup in 2023. from Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is incredibly pleased that our Men’s Fifteens team has qualified for the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. First and foremost, we want to extend a huge congratulations to the players, coaches, and staff who have been working tirelessly to achieve this important result. All of Canada has been behind this team, and we could not be more pleased for this dedicated group to have achieved this result.
“Indeed, this is a critically important result for Canadian Rugby and we could not be more pleased with the commitment and dedication of these players, coaches and staff under Kingsley’s leadership in delivering this result,” stated Allen Vansen, Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada.
The Men’s Fifteens program was provided a much needed infusion of financial support from the registered members across the country to put in place a robust preparation plan that prepared them for this tournament.
“We extend a heartfelt thank you to the 30,000+ registered members, the 250+ clubs and our 10 Provincial Rugby Unions who supported this team through an increase in their national registration fees earlier in 2018,” noted Tim Powers, Chairman of the Rugby Canada Board of Directors. “This result reflects the passion Canadians have for Rugby. Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be cheering on this team in Japan next fall.”
Rugby Canada has made significant changes in our structure, and our talent pool, to mitigate the chances of having to qualify via this route again. We have world leading staff and coaches that are committed to building from this momentous result to ensure we are better prepared for the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup qualification process.
"While we celebrate today's important achievement we recognize there is much work still ahead to ensure Canadian rugby stays globally competitive. From the establishment of the Al Charron National Training Centre, the new integrated centralized training model with more players, and world leading staff and coaches - we are keenly focused on ensuring the future of Canadian Rugby is strong and that our National Teams remain competitive on the international stage,” continued Vansen.
Rugby Canada’s Men’s Fifteens team will now join defending Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand in Pool B alongside South Africa, Italy, and Namibia for the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup being held in Japan next fall.
A passionate performance, Canada battled through the wet conditions and offensive efforts of Hong Kong to secure a spot in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Ray Barkwill opened up the scoring for Canada followed by DTH van der Merwe who chased down the blocked kick and dotted down for a try. Gordon McRorie made both conversions and put Canada up 14-3 at the half.
McRorie came back from a yellow card in the first to add on six points in penalty kicks for Canada, widening their lead 20-10.
van der Merwe then scored his second of the match in beautiful fashion, beating three defenders to touch down for a try in the corner. Adding on the conversion from McRorie, Canada officially booked their ticket to Japan 2019 with a final score of 27-10.
Kingsley Jones Names Team for Final Repechage Match: One Change as Taylor Paris Joins Team
Kingsley Jones brought 34 players to the UK but only needed 24 players to finish the job. The same team and bench that took care of Germany are lined up to do the same to Hong Kong to close out the tournament. The only exception is Taylor Paris replaces Matt Evans on the wing.
Hong Kong haven't looked that strong at the tournament, they were bullied by Germany in the forwards and Canada should win the game through their first 8 in this match as well. When the ball does go wide there's plenty of finishing power for a team that's regained some of its confidence.
Canada just need a point out of the game but they should walk away with 5 by the time the final whistle blows.
Kickoff is at noon PT on Friday. from Rugby Canada
MARSEILLE, FRANCE (November 22, 2018) – Canada head coach Kingsley Jones has named his starting team for the 2019 Rugby World Cup repechage finale against Hong Kong on Friday.
Hubert Buydens, a 2011 & 2015 Rugby World Cup veteran who hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is set to win his 50th cap at loosehead prop alongside Ray Barkwill and Matt Tierney in the front row. Canada will once again be captained by veteran scrum half Phil Mack.
Friday sees the return of Barrie, Ontario’s Taylor Paris, who last represented Canada against Uruguay in Montevideo in February. The 26-year-old winger replaces Matt Evans, who is unavailable due to injury, and is the only change in the roster that defeated Germany 29-10 last Saturday.
With two bonus point wins from two so far, Canada needs just one competition point to book their spot in Japan next year. However, with a bonus point victory against Kenya last Saturday, Hong Kong’s World cup dream is still alive and will be targeting a bonus point victory Friday night.
“Hong Kong has shown consistently that they’re an excellent team. They came into the tournament as favourites and we see this game as our biggest challenge to date,” said Jones from France.
Canada last won three test matches in a row in 2013 when they defeated USA, Fiji and Tonga as part of their June Summer Series in Edmonton, Ottawa & Kingston.
“It’s another big test for the group, to win three internationals consecutively is a challenge for any national team, this is the challenge we face. We are two from two in this competition and we are fully focused on our goal this Friday,” added Jones.
“The support we have had here in France and back home has been excellent. It’s been a long year for the entire group and we’re looking to end off our campaign with a result the entire nation can be proud of.”
Kick off on Friday is 3pm ET/12pm PT and fans in Canada can watch LIVE via TSN 1 & 4.
Canada’s roster to face Hong Kong:
1. Hubert Buydens – NOLA Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack (Saskatoon, SK)
2. Ray Barkwill – Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues (Niagara Falls, ON)
3. Matt Tierney – Pau/Ontario Blues (Oakville, ON)
4. Mike Sheppard – Stoney Creek Camels/Ontario Blues (Brampton, ON)
5. Evan Olmstead – Auckland/Prairie Wolf Pack (Vancouver, BC)
6. Kyle Baillie – Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock (Summerside, PEI)
7. Lucas Rumball – Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues (Mississauga, ON)
8. Tyler Ardron – Chiefs/Ontario Blues (Lakefield, ON)
9. Phil Mack – Captain,Seattle Seawolves/BC Bears (Victoria, BC)
10. Gordon McRorie – Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
11. DTH van der Merwe – Glasgow Warriors (Victoria, BC)
12. Ciaran Hearn – London Irish/Atlantic Rock (Conception Bay South, NL)
13. Ben LeSage – UBC Thunderbirds/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
14. Taylor Paris – Castres Olympique/Ontario Blues (Barrie, ON
15. Theo Sauder – UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears (Vancouver, BC)
16. Eric Howard – NOLA Gold/Ontario Blues (Ottawa, ON)
17. Djustice Sears-Duru – Unattached/Ontario Blues (Oakville, ON)
18. Jake Ilnicki – Yorkshire Carnegie/BC Bears (Williams Lake, BC)
19. Brett Beukeboom – Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues (Lindsay, ON)
20. Matt Heaton – Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock (Godmanchester, QC)
21. Jamie Mackenzie – Balmy Beach/Atlantic Rock (Oakville, ON)
22. Nick Blevins – Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
23. Conor Trainor – USON Nevers/BC Bears (Vancouver, BC)
Rugby World Cup 2019 Repechage Schedule
Canada 65 - 19 Kenya
Canada 29 - 10 Germany
Canada vs. Hong Kong
Kick off: 3pm ET/12pm PT