Sydney, AUS – February 4, 2019: The Canadian Men’s Sevens Team had mixed results in the HSBC Sydney Sevens, finishing the tournament in 11th/12th place. Strong performances against Kenya and Scotland were countered by narrow losses to Argentina and France. With the competition level in the World Rugby Sevens Series ramping up with every stop on the tour, it was an exmaple of the narrow margins that can separate success from defeat. The team will now have just under a month to regroup and prepare for the next double header of the tour, Las Vegas on March 1-3 followed by the HSBC Canada Sevens on March 9-10 in BC Place.
If you missed any of the action from the HSBC Sydney Sevens, keep reading for the game-by-game summaries from Rugby Canada.
A handful of tickets for this amazing rugby spectacle still remain, so make sure you’ve got yours – canadasevens.com/tickets
Sydney Sevens – Day 1
Canada vs. Kenya
Canada win their first match of the Sydney Series, 24-14 over Kenya.
In just his second sevens tournament for Canada’s national team, Cole Davis starts the match off with two tries. After a Kenyan score, Connor Braid powered past the line to put them up 17-7 at the break.
A lot f back and forth in the second half with Kenya racking up the penalties but Canada not able to capitalize on any of them. Finally, it was Phil Berna who subbed into the game and scored the final try of the match. Nathan Hirayama’s two conversions gave Canada the victory 24-14.
Canada vs. France
Canada fall to France 17-12 in their second match.
A game riddled with yellow cards, France go up 7-0 early in the first half. A scoring opportunity for Pat Kay, he chases the kicked the ball into the France end but he’s not able to get control of it. Mike Fuailefau takes advantage of a French yellow card and scores Canada’s first try of the match just before the break.
In the second, Kay gets an offload from Cole Davis and dashes over the line to put Canada in the lead. France quickly answer with back to back tries, securing their victory over Canada 17-12.
Canada vs. USA
Canada lose to the USA by a score of 36-14.
Canada came out flying off the kick off but couldn’t convert. USA took advantage of any holes in the defensive line to score three unanswered tries in the first half.
Canada regrouped in the second and pushed forward with Connor Braid eventually crossing the whitewash to put Canada on the board. Pat Kay came blazing in off the restart, snatching the ball out of the air and going on a run to give Canada their second try of the match. Nathan Hirayama added on two conversions but it wasn’t enough to stop the speedy USA. Back-to-back tries finished the game, giving them the win 36-14.
Sydney Sevens – Day 2
Canada vs. Scotland
Canada open up day two of the Sydney Series with a win against Scotland in the challenge trophy quarterfinals, 35-21.
It was all Canada in the first, starting with a grubber by Nathan Hirayama that was scooped up by Isaac Kaay for a try. A long missed pass from Scotland resulted in a Canadian scrum on their 5 metre where Adam Zaruba found Pat Kay who brought it in for a score.
Kay followed that up with another try shortly after from a Matt Mullins pass. Mullins then scored a try of his own, powering his way over the Scottish line. Hirayama added on 4 conversions to put Canada ahead 28-0 at the break.
In the second Canada allowed three Scottish tries in a row to put them back in the match. But another textbook Zaruba offload got into the hands of Kaay who scored his second try of the match and secured the victory for the Canadians, 35-21. Hirayama added on the two points.
Canada vs. Argentina
Canada end the Sydney Series 11/12th after a loss to Argentina in the Challenge Trophy semifinals, 24-19.
After a strong start by Argentina, Adam Zaruba scores a shorthanded try to get Canada on the board in the first half.
Canada get off to a quick start in the second half with a try by Jake Thiel who shows off his wheels to burn past the Argentinian defense. Connor Braid followed that up with a run of his own, going 70m to score Canada’s final try. Nathan Hirayama had two conversions in the match but it wasn’t enough to top Argentina, who take it 24-19.