Canada 0-3 on Day 2 of Punta del Este to finish 8th
Canada had two blowout losses to Chile and Uruguay but ran South Africa close in their second match.
Chile 31 - Canada 10 South Africa 12 - Canada 5 Uruguay 31 - Canada 14
The try scoring machine at the tournament for Canada, Cole Davis, didn't suit up on Day 2 due to a gashed leg, no word on how serious it is but it kept him out of Day 2 action. Also Mitch Voralek who was sporting a scrum cap today took some stitches to the ear yesterday.
Without Davis, clearly Canada's top player at the tournament, Canada's try production went down, they scored 9 on Day 1 (4 by Davis) but only managed 5 on Day 2. Scorers on Day 2 were David Richard, Andrew Coe, Cooper Coats, Mitch Voralek and Josiah Morra.
The 1-5 record isn't an improvement on previous years and Canada's men's development team continues to struggle at the South American tournaments. The USA finished 5th, South Africa 6th, Germany 4th, Portugal 3rd, Argentina 2nd and Chile won the tournament.
Next weekend the series moves to Chile for the Vina del Mar.
Canada 1-2 on Day 1 of Punta del Este - Face Chile on Day 2 in Quarter-Finals: Video Highlights
Canada got through into the quarter-finals as one of the two best 3rd place teams in the 12 team tournament. Not making the QF were Brazil, Russia, Colombia and Paraguay. It was a mixed result for Canada a disappointing loss to Portugal in the first match, a good outing against Brazil in the second and a good first half against Argentina before falling apart in the second half.
More importantly in the big picture is how did the players perform and are any ready to step up to the big stage on the World Rugby 7s series. Three of the players are already regulars on the national 7s side, Andrew Coe, Jake Thiel and Josiah Morrah but they weren't the outstanding players for Canada. Cole Davis was by far the best player for Canada, scoring in each match, and claiming 4 of 9 tries Canada scored on the day. He also was solid at the breakdown which set him apart from a number of his teammates. It would be very suprising if he doesn't earn a spot in the 13 travelling to NZ and Australia later this month. Also showing well was Brock Webster, probably the 2nd best player for Canada on Day 1.
Canada 21 v Portugal 26
Cole Davis got Canada on the board first but Canada would give up 3 consecutive tries before Josiah Morrah closed the gap. Quinn Ngawati would tie the match up at 21 with Andrew Coe's conversions all good. With 30 seconds left Portugal scored from a tap and go from midfield after Canada's kickoff sailed into touch. The defence on the last try was indicative of a weakness in the Canada game, it was one pass and the runner split Ergas and Coe for an easy try. "Muy fácil" the announcer remarked, "very easy". I can't imagine the Maple Leaf coaches or Damian McGrath would be pleased with the defensive effort.
Canada 33 v Brazil 7
Cole Davis again got Canada on the board first, some good work by #5 Mitch Voralek cleaning out the ruck, we'd like to see more of him and surprisingly he didn't start the Argentina match. Brock Webster scored the second try, a nice effort to beat the defender one on one, and again #5 Voralek had a part in setting it up. Cole Davis scored his second of the match beating the tackler with some power running. David Richard scored the next, it actually looked like he knocked it on but the ref awarded it. The try was set up by strong work by both Davis and Webster. It was now 28-0 and Canada were well on their way to a solid win. The final try was by Josiah Morrah, set up by Webster.
Canada v Argentina
For the third game in a row Cole Davis got Canada on the board first. Argentina replied to go ahead 7-5 and then perhaps the turning point, Brock Webster almost put Canada ahead with a solo effort but was caught from behind, the Argentine tackler did a superb job tackling, getting on his feet, pushing Josiah Morrah off the ball and driving him backwards so hard he took Andrew Coe out as well. Argentina counter attacked and went ahead 14-5 when it could have easily been 12-7 for Canada. That tenacity and physicality at the breakdown where the Argentine player tackled the ball carrier and then knocked two Canadian support players off their feet highlights the difference between the two programs and why one was undefeated and the other was 1-2. The floodgates opened after that with a final of 35-5, a lot of flailing arm tackle attempts with very few shoulders on display made Argentina's job a little easier.
Canada now face Chile on Day 2, Chile looked good taking down USA, Paraguay and Germany. A win for Canada would be a big boost for the program but they'll go in as underdogs based on Day 1 performances. The big upset was Uruguay defeating South Africa, proof that physicality and intensity at the contact area can stymie a team laden with talent. South Africa went scoreless losing 7-0. Uruguay face Germany in the QF and South Africa meet Portugal. The other QF is Argentina vs USA.
Eleven of the thirteen Canada development players have arrived in Uruguay and the team have already had a scrimmage with the USA side. Soon to arrive are Jack McCarthy and Elias Ergas.
Canada are in a pool with Argentina, Portugal and Brazil. Canada's first match is against Portugal at 17:09 local time, 12:09 PT. South Africa won the tournament last year and Argentina won in 2017.
Maple Leaf’s Roster for Punta del Este:
1. Quinn Ngawati – Westshore/BC 2. Elias Hancock – Bytown Blues/ON 3. David Richard – Mississauga Blues/ON 4. Brock Webster – Oshawa Vikings/ON 5. Cooper Coats – Halifax Tars/NS 6. Elias Ergas - UBC/BC 7. Jack McCarthy – Vandalls RFC/NFLD 8. Josiah Morra – Toronto Saracens/ON 9. Jacob Thiel – Abbotsford RFC/BC 10. Cole Davis – Calgary Saints/AB 11. Jarvis Dahkewitz – UVIC/BC 12. Mitch Voralek – Waterloo County/ON 13. Andrew Coe – Markham Irish/ON
from World Rugby
The Punta del Este Sevens celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend with a place at the Las Vegas and Vancouver rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Hong Kong Series Qualifier at stake for some of the competing teams.
An international competition and a club competition, both featuring 12 teams, will run side by side at the Punta del Este Sevens in Uruguay this weekend with a place in the fifth and sixth rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Las Vegas and Vancouver available to the top-ranked team excluding Argentina. They will also go forward along with the second-best team to the World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 Qualifier in Hong Kong.
Six teams from South America and six from North America and Europe will contest the first sevens title on offer in 2019, with the Viña del Mar Sevens following on as part of the Sudamérica Rugby Sevens circuit.
Pool A will be spearheaded by the USA, with Germany, Chile and Paraguay completing the line-up. Current series champions South Africa's development team will compete in Pool B with Russia, hosts Uruguay and Colombia, with Los Pumas Sevens tackling Canada, Portugal and Brazil in Pool C as they look to fine-tune preparations ahead of the upcoming series tournaments in Hamilton and Sydney.
In the build-up to the eagerly-awaited 30th-anniversary tournament, Sudamérica Rugby’s Head of High Performance Daniel Hourcade will be speaking to fans and coaches. Dr Marcelo Santurio, from the Uruguay Rugby Union, will make a presentation on Player Welfare and there will be Get Into Rugby activities.
MILESTONE EVENT The brainchild of the Montevideo British Schools Old Boys’ members Juan Cat, Martín Guerra, Pedro Bordaberry and Gabriel Varela, the Punte del Este Sevens began in 1989.
Much work has been done behind the scenes to make this the best tournament yet, as tournament director Santiago Cat explained. “We have been working since May, talking about the responsibility we have as a club, finding people to take on roles ahead of this important milestone,” he said.
Cat, who played in a handful of tournaments himself in the 1990s, hails from a family with strong links to Uruguayan rugby – his grandfather Charlie Cat founded the Uruguayan Rugby Union and his father Carlos played for and coached the national team.
He can even recall how the Punte Del Este Sevens first arose. “I can remember everything, even the meetings to organise it, although I was not part of it. Then came the time to play and I was fortunate to share the field with some of the best players in the world. In 1995, I even played (as an injury reserve) for Australia in the final against Los Pumas!”
In those early tournaments, individual stars and then national teams started flooding to one of South America's top summer resorts. Players such as Simon Poidevin, Jason Little, Walter Little, Frank Bunce, Jonah Lomu, Waisale Serevi and Eric Rush all loved to travel there in the Uruguayan summer.
“With little television at the time, the only place where you could see these stars was at the Campus or the beach. It was very moving. We are still in touch with many of them, mostly Eric Rush and Waisale Serevi, who we were planning to invite anyway but now he'll be coming as coach of Russia,” said Cat.
Club member Chocho Varela, a friend of Serevi, who worked tirelessly to make the tournament the success it is over the years sadly died in 2018 and his contribution will be remembered this weekend.