Canada, finished with a 2-3-1 record, this weekend in Vancouver at times showing flashes of brilliance and quality play which were then counterbalanced by mental errors and costly mistakes.
“A lot of it comes down to mental work,” said captain Harry Jones. “Those little marginal errors that sometimes we make, the top teams aren’t doing. If we can fix that one small part of our game we’ll be top eight or top four a lot more often.”
Canada finished seventh at last year’s tournament and ninth in 2016.
McGrath said his players don’t lack effort, they just need to clean up the mistakes.
“It’s a mental issue,” he said. “Every game that hasn’t gone our way it’s been about our own making. Our mistakes have cost tries. It just shows the margin between success and failure is close and at the moment we have been pushing ourselves to the negative side.”
Canada had a 1-1-1 record Saturday but finished third in Pool A and failed to advance to the Cup competition. The top two qualifiers from the four pools advanced to the championship playoffs.
In the final Fiji played brilliantly with a 31-12 win against Kenya.
Photo credit; the Province, CBC
Canada fought back from a 12-point deficit to level the game 19-19 in the second half of the Challenge Trophy final at the HSBC Las Vegas Sevens Series. Sadly they came up short with a 26-19 loss after a late interception from France ended the rally. Canada came in 10th overall in the tournament.
Day 1 (2 March):
Canada 12 – 40 England
Canada 12 – 19 South Africa
Day 2 (3 March):
Canada 21 – 19 Wales
Canada 21 – 14 Spain
Day 3 (4 March)
Canada 15 – 12 Scotland
Canada 19 – 26 France
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