Canadian men win Hong Kong 7s Bowl
Published Sunday, March 27, 2011 5:00 am
by Doug Crosse, Rugby Canada Communications

Canada has beaten Japan 33-12 to win the Bowl Championship at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens, part of the International Rugby Board Sevens Series. The Bowl competition is for teams who finished second place in their respective pools. Canada finished the round robin portion of the tournament 2-1 and went on to win all three games on the final day to take the title for the second straight year.

Canada built a 19-5 lead in the first half over the Japanese as Chauncey O'Toole, Neil Meechan and Sean Duke all crossed for tries.

In the second frame the Canadians pulled away with Duke opening the second half with his second of the game and Pickering's John Moonlight scoring as the hooter sounded to give Canada the 33-12 victory and capping a weekend that saw just one loss to Australia (26-24) against five wins over the three days.

Earlier in the day Canada had to hold on for a win against France 12-5.

France opened the scoring in the first minute of the first game- putting the Canadian team on the back foot early.

In the fifth minute however, Newfoundland's Ciaran Hearn found a seam and galloped over sixty metres for a try under the posts, with Captain Phil Mack adding the conversion to knot the score 7-7.

In the second half Chauncey O'Toole hit for his third try of the tournament, striding from nearly half way to touch down left of the posts. The conversion was missed and the game became one of keep away from France for the final two minutes.

As the clock evaporated Canada had back pedaled across its own line - touched down. The French appealed for one more restart, but the referee blew for full time and the Canadian win.

In the Bowl Semi-final Canada had its work cut out as Wales built a 12-5 lead in the first half. It was Moonlight providing the second half heroics as the speedy forward burst for two tries in the 4th and 7th minutes after coming on as a second half substitute, to turn the game on its ear for the 24-17 win.

Coach for Canada, Geraint John, hoarse from a weekend of yelling at the raucous Hong Kong Stadium, said it was an emotional win for the team and showed how all the hard work they had put in had paid off with big improvements from February's Las Vegas Sevens.

"I am really proud," commented John. "Not just today but the whole weekend. We were so close to beating Australia in our Pool game.

"To get three wins today and then Zimbabwe and Argentina  and nearly beating Australia in our Pool game, all in all it has been a fantastic weekend.

"We showed a lot of consistency, which perhaps we haven't done in previous tournaments so I am very, very proud of them and I thought we played some good rugby as well."

He says garnering the five series points is an important aspect as well.

"It's important to show we can win on a consistent basis and as I say I am pleased for the players," he explained. "They put in a lot of hard work and they have worked really hard since Vegas as well and you get your rewards for hard work."

New Zealand won the Cup championship beating England 29-17 to take the overall lead in the series with three events to go.

Day Three

Japan 12 Canada 33 (Bowl Final)
Canada Scoring:
Tries: Sean Duke (2), John Moonlight, Neil Meechan
Conversions: Nathan Hirayama (4)

Canada 24 Wales 17 (Bowl Semi-Final)
Canada Scoring:
Tries: John Moonlight (2), Chauncey O'Toole, Ciaran Hearn,
Conversions: Nathan Hirayama (2)

France 7 Canada 12 (Bowl Quarter-Final)
Canada Scoring:
Tries: Chauncey O'Toole, Ciaran Hearn
Conversion: Nathan Hirayama

Day Two

Australia 26 Canada 24
Canada's Scoring:
Tries: Phil Mack (2), Ciaran Hearn, Neil Meechan.
Conversions: Mack and Hirayama.

Canada 24 Zimbabwe 10
Canada's Scoring:
Tries: Sean Duke, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn, Nathan Hirayama.
Conversions: Duke, Hirayama.

Day One
Argentina 21 Canada 22
Tries: Chauncey O'Toole (2), Phil Mack, Ciaran Hearn
Conversions: Phil Mack (1)

Sevens Roster:
Nathan Hirayama (UVic Vikes / B.C. Bears)
Phil Mack (UVic Vikes)
Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers RFC / The Rock)
Sean Duke (UVic Vikes / B.C. Bears)
Matt Evans (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Conor Trainor (Western Mustangs / B.C. Bears)
Thyssen de Goede (James Bay AA / B.C. Bears)
Neil Meechan (James Bay AA / B.C. Bears)
Chauncey O'Toole (Castaway Wanderers RFC / The Rock)
John Moonlight (James Bay AA / Ontario Blues)
Mike Scholz (Castaway Wanderers RFC / Ontario Blues)
Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)

Harry Jones (UBC Thunderbirds)

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