Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team raised their game and closed out 2017 in near-epic fashion on Sunday in Cape Town, as they finished the year off with a fourth place finish.
Canada opened day two with a 35-7 win over France before falling to Argentina 14-12 in the semi-finals.
With their final game of 2017 against possibly the best team in the world – South Africa – Canada played aggressively, with tries from Harry Jones and Nate Hirayama (x2) in front of a sold-out crowd at Cape Town Stadium. They started the second half a man down and despite a herculean effort fell just short losing 19-17.
Congratulations to Mike Fuailefau and Justin Douglas who were named to the weekend’s dream team.
Canada now has a break to gear up for a busy 2018, with 10 tournaments set to take place in seven months. Canada will be back in action the weekend of January 26-28 in Sydney, Australia, drawing a tough pool: USA, Australia & Scotland.
Photo credit: The Province, Gianluigi Guercia
Argentina beat Canada in a close game (15-14) in the Challenge Trophy semi-final at the Paris 7s this past weekend.
Canada entered the tournament for the first time as the defending champions, having claimed their first ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup title in Singapore. They went 1-2 on Day 1 with a win over Japan but were then defeated by Scotland (26-19) & South Africa (33-7). They had convincingly beaten Russia (33-0) to open Day 2 in their Challenge Trophy quarterfinal.
The BlitzBoks played against Scotland in the final, winning 15-5.
The 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series season concludes next weekend at the London Sevens.
Canada’s men’s team finished in 7th place at the Las Vegas 7s. On Day 1, Canada was defeated by South Africa but beat Wales in a nail biting game. They were victorious over France, but fell to Fiji Saturday night. They then lost 5th place to England 5-12 on Sunday.
What head coach Damian McGrath said:
“We had an aim of a quarterfinal and I feel that we are a top eight team and we showed it against South Africa and Wales and really showed it against France when we controlled the game from start to finish. We were confident coming into the Fiji game but a few things didn’t go our way but I was happy with what we did. The players want to finish as high in the table as they can and we’re aiming for fifth place.”
Canada’s women’s 7s team won bronze at the USA Sevens after beating the United States 31-7 on Saturday night. Canada advanced to the USA Sevens cup semifinals after an impressive 33-0 win over France early Saturday morning but was eliminated from cup contention with a 26-19 loss to Australia in the semifinals. Canada then bounced back with their victory over the United States.
What coach John Tait said:
“Pretty pleased overall, we played some really good rugby,” said head coach John Tait. “We just made a few too many mistakes against Australia and they showed their class and why they are gold medal Olympic champions. They punish you for errors. We kind of gifted them a couple soft ones early on. I was really pleased with the way they came back and responded with a really good performance against the USA.”
Excerpts and photo’s: Rugby Canada and the Province
Round 1 Dubai 2-3 December 2016
Round 2 Cape Town (South Africa) 10-11 December 2016
Round 3 Wellington (New Zealand) 28-29 January 2017
Round 4 Sydney (Australia) 4-5 February 2017
Round 5 USA (Las Vegas) 3-5 March 2017
Round 6 CANADA (Vancouver) 11-12 March 2017
Round 7 Hong Kong 7-9 April 2017
Round 8 Singapore 15-16 April 2017
Round 9 Paris (France) 13-14 May 2017
Round 10 England (London) 20-21 May 2017