GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – Canada's Men's Sevens Team pulled of a historic achievement at this weekend's Glasgow Sevens by finishing the tournament in a best-ever second place. Despite handily losing to New Zealand 54-7 in the Cup Finals, Canada picked up 19 IRB Sevens World Series Points to sit in sixth position with one sot to go next weekend in London, England.
Canada opened the day with victories over Kenya and Scotland in the Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals after finishing Day One atop their pool after defeating Japan and France while drawing with England.
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Canada 14-5 Kenya
Canada have progressed to their second Cup semi-final of the Sevens season after defeating Kenya 14-5 in a wet weather fixture at Scotstoun Stadium on Sunday. It wasn't pretty as conditions played a major part in the contest but Canada were worthy winners as they booked a last-four showdown with host nation Scotland.
Canada, who made one change to their side that drew with England as Connor Braid returned, started strongly when two tries in as many minutes floored Kenya. The first of those scores came via wonderful breakdown work and then attacking elusiveness from Phil Mack, who found Conor Trainor on his shoulder who in turn set up Mike Scholz for his fifth try of the weekend. Mack's conversion made it 7-0.
Canada struck again a minute later as Harry Jones showed pace to go over, with Mack's kick extending the lead before the slippery ball saw both sides struggle. Kenya did improve after the turnaround and went over just 28 seconds into the second-half when veteran Collins Injera crossed but Canada stayed calm in the closing stages and comfortably held on to set up a semi-final clash with Scotland.
CUP SEMIFINAL: Canada 10-7 Scotland
Canada will feature in their first ever Cup Final on the IRB World Sevens Series after beating Scotland 10-7 in a nervy last-four meeting at Scotstoun Stadium. The result was yet another positive for the ever-improving squad as they played with patience and intelligence, typified by their decision to kick three points via a penalty that ultimately proved decisive in overcoming the host nation on Sunday.
Scrum-half Phil Mack was the lone scorer for Canada, going over for a well-taken try in the tenth minute after outstanding work from the impressive Connor Braid. That effort came after a scoreless first-half as both sides looked nervous under the pressure of hoping to book a debut Cup Final appearance on the World Series.
Canada though displayed the greater calmness in the second stanza as with the score at 7-0, they opted to kick for goal with a minute to go and Mack made no mistake, which meant Scott Riddell's late converted try was only a consolation.
CUP FINAL: Canada 7-54 New Zealand
Canada fell to a heavy 7-54 loss to likely IRB World Series champions New Zealand in Sunday's Cup Final but will head to Twickenham Stadium buoyed by their efforts. Eight tries were conceded to the one scored by Harry Jones as Canada struggled against the All Blacks Sevens' power at the breakdown, led by skipper DJ Forbes.
However, defeat wouldn't impact on what was an impressive weekend performance from the Canadians as they won four games and drew one before the Cup Final. Ben Lam (2), Bryce Heem, Scott Curry (2), Akira Ioane, Adam Whitelock and Gillies Kaka were New Zealand's scorers as they now move nineteen points clear of South Africa in the Sevens Series standings, with Canada going above Samoa into sixth.
Next weekend the teams will be at Twickenham Stadium in London for the 2013/14 IRB World Series finale where Canada will hope to back up this showing before the Commonwealth Games arrives at Ibrox Stadium, also in Glasgow, on July 26.
Canada's Men's Glasgow Sevens
May 3-4 - Day One
Canada 52-0 Japan
Canada 28-12 France
Canada 7-7 England
Canada 14-5 Kenya
Canada 10-7 Scotland
Canada 7-54 New Zealand
Canada’s Roster for Glasgow - (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province
John Moonlight (captain) - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Adam Kleeberger - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears) White Rock, BC
Mike Scholz - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Connor Braid - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Mike Fuailefau - (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC
Phil Mack - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Harry Jones - (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Conor Trainor - (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean Duke - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Pat Kay - (Uvic Vikes/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Duncan Maguire - (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Nanyak Dala - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Nathan Hirayama - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Ciaran Hearn - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/The Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Chauncey O'Toole - (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Belleisle, NB
Lucas Hammond - (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Jake Webster - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Justin Douglas - (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Jordan Wilson Ross - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Pat Parfrey - (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Sean Ferguson - (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Geraint John - Head Coach
Kieran Crowley - Assistant Coach
Danielle Mah - Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay - Performance Analyst
Lorna Barry - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Brian Hunter - Manager
Canada's Men's Sevens Program is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada and Own the Podium.