RWC Qualifiers 2013

August 24 2013

Canada Secures America 1 Position at World Cup with 13-11 Victory but It Wasn't Pretty: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS ADDED: FULL MATCH VIDEO ADDED


posted Aug 24 2013

The good news is we won, the bad news is if we play like that on the November tour or at the World Cup in 2015, it’s not going to go well. One rugby commentator from Argentina who usually provides an accurate view from outside the North American perspective had this to say,

"The match was far from memorable as the quality of rugby was far from being the best of either team. Error after error contributed to the match being a stop-start event and the difference between the sides was goal kicking.

Should Canada play to a similar standard as that of today in Toronto then it stands little to no chance of upsetting one of the three Six Nations teams in Pool D."


I couldn't agree more. Even Jeff Hull who usually looks at the positive side of things tweeted this.



The rugby people watching the game at the bar with me in Victoria were of a similar feeling, good to get the win but the level of play was not good.

WHAT MADE US CHEER

This try by Jason Marshall, a solo effort, power personified. He gets our man of the match for that play alone.



- Ciaran Hearn holding up the American player in goal to prevent a try.
- Ciaran Hearn making the break to set up Pritchard for the try
- Harry Jones making a line break (but then over reached on the pass and knocked on)
- DTH making a line break (but then Phil Mack dropped the pass)

WHAT MADE US CRINGE

Some of the kicking, Phil Mack, hero of last game put up a shocker that put everyone offside, the kick went about 20 metres up and 2 metres forward. He was subbed right after that. Harry Jones did something similar. Pritchard didn't kick when he should have and the clearance kicks were generally weak. Everyone back to kicking school, Bob Ross, time to open a kicking academy in Langford.

The handling skills, dropped balls in particular, fortunately the Americans were a level worse than us. If they were able to make basic passes it could have been trouble for Canada.

The breakdowns, it sometimes seemed it took all 8 forwards to secure the ball at the breakdown, it was very messy.

The lineouts, some of Barkwill's throws were less than epic to put it nicely.

MITIGATING FACTORS

The loss of Tyler Ardron on game day hurt, it forced Jon Phelan into the game at 2nd row and he's not ready to start at this level. The loss of Jamie Cudmore meant that Hotson and Phelan were the second row pairing, not what Canada wanted. The loss of Ryan Hamilton caused the lineouts to suffer as Barkwill was struggling with his throws.

It's been a long summer, Canada are now ranked 14th, they started the summer in 14th, they went up a bit and down a bit during the summer but in the end they're where they started. They are a better team than the USA and they've played some good games during the summer but this wasn't one of them. There was a lot of hype in Toronto, TV appearances, baseball games, the team had a taste of celebrity status. It might have taken their minds off the rugby a bit, the focus today was definitely missing.

Next will be the tour to Europe in November against Georgia, Romania and Portugal. There are things to work on, Canada needs to sort out a solid second row, it's unlikely Cudmore will be available for a tour to Tier 2 Europe. The backline seems capable, although not always connecting today, they showed signs of what could be if everyone is focused and brings their top game.

The ARC tournament in October will be a chance to see some players who might get a shot at the November tour.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS



Canada 13
Tries: Pritchard, Marshall
Conversion:
PG: Pritchard

United States 11
Tries: Ngwenya
Conversion:
PG: Wyles 2

FULL MATCH VIDEO





Canada Names Team for 2nd Match: Two Changes Due to Injury


posted Aug 22 2013

Injuries to Ryan Hamilton and Jamie Cudmore have forced the only changes to the starting lineup with Ray Barkwill getting the start at hooker and Tyler Hotson starting in the second row. Besides that the starting lineup remains the same from last week when Canada defeated USA 27-9 in Charleston.

Coming in to cover the bench will be Aaron Flagg and Jon Phelan, both second rows. How the loss of Cudmore will effect the scrum and the battles in the trenches are the main questions. If Canada continues on from last week and plays their game while keeping mistakes to a minimum they should see their way to victory.

The game is televised on TSN2 at 1pm PT.

1- Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
2- Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3- Jason Marshall, (Atlantique Stade Rochelais/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
4- Jebb Sinclair, (London Irish) Fredericton, NB
5- Tyler Hotson, (London Scottish) Vancouver, BC
6- Tyler Ardron, (Ospreys/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
7- John Moonlight, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
8- Aaron Carpenter, Captain, (Cornish Pirates) Brantford, ON
9- Phil Mack, (Uvic Vikes, BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10- Harry Jones, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
11- DTH Van Der Merwe, (Glasgow Warriors) Regina, SK
12- Nick Blevins, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13- Ciaran Hearn, (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
14- Matt Evans, (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
15- James Pritchard, (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
16- Tom Dolezel, (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON
17- Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
18- Aaron Flagg, (Abbotsford RFC/ BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
19- Jon Phelan, (Lille Metropole Rugby/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
20- Nanyak Dala, (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
21- Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
22- Nathan Hirayama, (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
23- Phil Mackenzie, (Sale Sharks) Oakville, ON




Big Win for Canada 27-9 Over USA: 18 Point Buffer for Game 2: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS ADDED


posted Aug 17 2013
[ed. comments below]

The details are in the accounts below, three of them from various sources. I'll just go through my impressions of the game. The basics, Canada outscored USA 27-9, tries by Phil Mack, Harry Jones, DTH Van Der Merwe, 3 conversions and 2 penalties by James Pritchard.

Phil Mack was selected as man of the match, and well deserved, he created the first try out of nothing within the first minute of the game. It's laughable now to think that coach Kieran Crowley left him off the 2011 World Cup squad deeming him too small for scrum half. Pundits 1 - Coach 0 on that one.

Harry Jones was good choice for starting flyhalf, the try he scored, fed from Mack at the ruck looked like a forward crashing on the fringe. That couldn't possibly be the flyhalf I thought on first glance, but it was, Harry Jones doing his imitation of a forward and scoring using speed and power. Well done Harry, that one is going on the highlight reel. When Nate came on later in the game he looked a little tentative, missed a glaring tackle, looks like Harry might get the start in game 2 as well.

Why was Cudmore taken off midway through the game, didn't catch that one, injured or coach's choice. Sinclair was solid, I thought Hamilton was the one guy running straight at times, looking good. Blevins had some strong runs, including the one that set up DTH's try. Thought DTH looked muted at times though.

The scrum looked solid without Buydens, the forwards held their own in the short game, the backs tackled well and showed flashes of flair when they needed to. The team defence was outstanding, the game winner I thought. The USA never really looked like scoring a try, except on that one missed tackle in the second half.

You couldn't complain as a Canadian fan, sure it wasn't as clinical as the All Blacks, still too many dropped passes, forwards not getting back in line quite as fast as they should but it was a solid effort and got the job done. More of the same next weekend. Kickoff is 4pm from Toronto so 1pm on the Pacific coast.

We were watching the game from Podium Sports Grill, they gave us the loft which can seat about 20 to 30, so hopefully we'll see more rugby fans show up there next weekend.

Live 5 News

The Men's Eagles fell to Canada 9-27 in front of 5,258 fans at Charleston's Blackbaud Stadium Saturday. The Eagles will need a big win in the second leg in Toronto next weekend if they are to ensure qualification for the 2015 Rugby World Cup England.

The perfect start came from Canada in the first minute of the match, as Phil Mack chased his own chip kick into the try zone and dove on it to give the visitors the lead. Though the play was seen a second time by the referee, he awarded the try and James Pritchard converted from the touchline.

This is American Rugby

The U.S. finds itself in an 18 point hole heading into next week's penultimate World Cup qualifying showdown with Canada after losing 27-9 in Charleston, South Carolina. It was disaster straight from the start for the Americans as Phil Mack scored thirty seconds into the match. The U.S. then continued to hurt themselves with silly mistakes and defensive errors. Canada were not perfect on the night but the U.S. allowed them to play most of the match in U.S. territory and allowed their bigger threats to come up big. Credit to Canada for coming in with a strong game plan. They now look all but certain to walk away as the Americas 1 seed at the World Cup.

Reuters UK

Having lost to their neighbours just once since 2005, Canada scored three tries and limited the U.S. to just three penalties to take a nice buffer into the return leg at home next Saturday.

The aggregate winner will automatically qualify for the World Cup while the loser has a last chance in a two-leg playoff with Uruguay.

Phil Mack scored in the opening minutes for Canada to claim an early 7-0 advantage and they extended it to 13-0 by halftime thanks to two James Pritchard penalty goals.

Chris Wyles booted a penalty for the U.S. soon after the restart but Harry Jones ran over to power Canada to a 20-3 lead.

DTH Van Der Merwe sealed the match for the visitors with a 64th-minute try.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS





Canada Announce Starting Lineup for USA Match on Saturday


posted Aug 15 2013
[ed. comments below, Any pubs putting on specials for this? Send us the details and we'll post it, editor@bcrugbynews.com]

Canada prepares for the first leg of the 2 match world cup qualifier taking place in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday. The match starts 6:30pm ET (3:30pm PT) and is televised on TSN2.

Coaches have decided on the BC pairing of Phil Mack and Harry Jones for the pivotal roles of 9/10. Another BC pair are on the bench as backup, Sean White and Nathan Hirayama.

In the engine room, two top professionals, Jamie Cudmore and Jebb Sinclair look to provide some muscle and edge to the forward pack. With Hubert Buydens in New Zealand, Andrew Tiedemann steps in to take his place at prop and pairs up with Jason Marshall. BC's Ryan Hamilton gets the nod ahead of Ray Barkwill at the hooker position.

7s standouts John Moonlight and Tyler Ardron are the flanks while captain Aaron Carpenter keeps his #8 position. The backline sees DTH come back onto the wing but Sale Sharks' Phil Mackenzie rides the pine in favour of Cowichan product Matt Evans who plays for the Cornish Pirates. As usual James Pritchard backs up the squad at fullback. The pairing of Nick Blevins and Ciaran Hearn will control action through the midfield.

The action returns to Canada next weekend at Toronto's BMO field.

Canada’s Roster for Rugby World Cup Qualifier in Charleston, SC - (Club, CRC Team) Hometown

1- Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
2- Ryan Hamilton, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
3- Jason Marshall, (Atlantique Stade Rochelais/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
4- Jebb Sinclair, (London Irish) Fredericton, NB
5- Jamie Cudmore, (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
6- Tyler Ardron, (Ospreys/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
7- John Moonlight, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
8- Aaron Carpenter, Captain, (Cornish Pirates) Brantford, ON
9- Phil Mack, (Uvic Vikes/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10- Harry Jones, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
11- DTH Van Der Merwe, (Glasgow Warriors) Regina, SK
12- Nick Blevins, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13- Ciaran Hearn, (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
14- Matt Evans, (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
15- James Pritchard, (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
16- Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
17- Tom Dolezel, (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON
18- Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
19- Tyler Hotson, (London Scottish) Vancouver, BC
20- Nanyak Dala, (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
21- Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
22- Nathan Hirayama, (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
23- Phil Mackenzie, (Sale Sharks) Oakville, ON



Canada Announce 26 Player Roster for RWC Qualifiers Against USA: UPDATE HASSLER OUT - DUKE IN


updated Aug 14 2013
[ed. according to the Rugby Canada website Jeff Hassler is out with "an illness" and Sean Duke is in as a replacement]

Canada meet USA twice this month on the 17th and 24th to determine who will be America 1 at the RWC in 2015. The loser will have to face Uruguay in a home and away series to determine America 2.

A quick glance through the roster confirms that DTH and Cudmore will be in the mix, two of the big names playing top level professional rugby in Europe. They were missing from earlier games this summer.

One of the names missing from this summer is Hubert Buydens playing professionally in NZ now and unavailable. Some of the players who missed the cut but were present this summer include Connor Braid, Sean Duke, Aaron Flagg, Brett Beukeboom, Pat Parfrey, Cameron Pierce, and Taylor Paris.

Adam Kleeberger and Chauncey O'Toole are another two names missing. Kleeberger played 7s at the World Games earlier this month but hasn't been playing XVs, whether he'll suit up for the BC Bears on the weekend remains to be seen. O'Toole is back on the east coast and appears to be taking a sabbatical from rugby.

Overall a solid selection and how much Buydens will be missed in the front row remains to be seen. Without Braid at #10, the battle will be between Hirayama, Jones and Underwood. Liam Underwood was a pleasant surprise in the game he started at #10 and Nathan Hirayama also performed well. It will be an interesting selection for the starting position. The same can be said for the #9 choice, Sean White or Phil Mack, both James Bay players although Phil Mack currently plays with the University of Victoria Vikes.

The backline looks full of promise, even more speed and talent with Mackenzie and DTH back in the lineup. It should be a very entertaining series, the first in Charleston on the 17th and then back in Toronto on the 24th.

RUGBY CANADA MEDIA RELEASE

RICHMOND HILL, ON – When Canada steps on the field in Charleston, South Carolina to face USA in their first of two Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, they will be doing so with history both on their side and against them.

The August 17th International Test Match is the 50th all-time meeting between the two North American rivals. Canada boasts a 36-12-1 record against the Americans, however the last time USA defeated Canada was four years earlier in the same venue under the same significant circumstances. Following the loss in South Carolina, Canada qualified for the pinnacle event in New Zealand with a 41-18 home victory at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton.

Canada’s Men gather today in Toronto to prepare for the upcoming tests against USA in South Carolina on August 17 and in Toronto on August 24. After a successful start to 2013, Canada looks to take the top North American seed at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

Head coach Kieran Crowley has picked his 26-man roster which boasts a mix of World Cup veterans and players elevated through their performances this season.

Andrew Tiedemann, Tom Dolezel, Jason Marshall and Doug Wooldridge in the tight-and-loosehead prop positions will man Canada’s front-row. Saskatchewan’s Hubert Buydens, who recently signed a professional contract with Manawatu Turbos of the ITM Cup in New Zealand, is unavailable for national team duties.

The duo of BC’s Ryan Hamilton and Ontario’s Ray Barkwill will continue their duties in the qualifiers at hooker.

Canada’s Jamie Cudmore is set to return to Crowley’s second-row for the first time since the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The ASM Clermont Auvergne stalwart has 27 caps for Canada, including the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups. Beside Cudmore in the engine-room will be London Scottish forward Tyler Hotson and newly signed professional Jon Phelan of Lille Métropole Rugby.

Captain Aaron Carpenter leads a physical and athletic backrow along with Canada Sevens standouts John Moonlight, Tyler Ardron and Nanyak Dala. Currie Cup champion Jebb Sinclair of the London Irish also boasts the roster at either the backrow or lock positions.

Victoria and James Bay Athletic Association products, Sean White and Phil Mack have once again been selected at the scrumhalf.

At the flyhalf position, the trio of Nathan Hirayama, Liam Underwood and Harry Jones, who all saw game time during the five previous matches, will return to the lineup.

Having already seen action this year, Nick Blevins, Ciaran Hearn, Matt Evans and James Pritchard will again appear for Canada. 2011 Rugby World Cup standouts DTH Van Der Merwe and Phil Mackenzie, along with newly signed Osprey Jeff Hassler, are set to make their 2013 debuts after injuries held them out of the Pacific Nations Cup and Ireland matches.

Both Rugby World Cup Qualifying games against USA will be televised LIVE on TSN2, Rugby Canada’s Official Television provider.

CANADA ROSTER

Tyler Ardron, (Ospreys/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Nick Blevins, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Aaron Carpenter, Captain, (Cornish Pirates) Brantford, ON
Jamie Cudmore, (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
Nanyak Dala, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Tom Dolezel, (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON
Matt Evans, (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Ryan Hamilton, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Jeff Hassler, (Ospreys/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn, (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Nathan Hirayama, (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Tyler Hotson, (London Scottish) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack, (Uvic Vikes, BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Phil Mackenzie, (Sale Sharks) Oakville, ON
Jason Marshall, (Atlantique Stade Rochelais/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Jon Phelan, (Lille Métropole Rugby/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
James Pritchard, (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
Jebb Sinclair, (London Irish) Fredericton, NB
Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Liam Underwood, (Queens University/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
DTH Van Der Merwe, (Glasgow Warriors) Regina, SK
Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON

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