Canada v Ireland November 2016

November 12 2016

DTH - Canada
© Lorne Collicutt

Ireland Defeat Canada 52-21: HT 21-14

[ed. comments below]
posted Nov 12th 2016

It was a good 40 minutes of rugby by Canada, that can be said at least. The second 40 weren't that memorable.

It was 14-14 near the end of the first half and Canadian fans couldn't be more proud but it unraveled a bit after that.

Ireland were up 14-0 in the first 20 minutes and it wasn't looking too flash as little mistakes were creeping in and Ireland had all the possession. Carpenter took a player out in the air, McRorie kicked the ball into touch outside the 22, little things that set you back when playing a top team. DTH turned things around with an individual effort at about 25 minutes as Ireland were being a bit cocky running the ball out inside their 22, flinging long passes with abandon. DTH stepped in front of one of those passes, legged it in and now it was game on at 14-7.

At 30 minutes Ireland had a bit of a wake up call as a penalty, maul and try from Canada tied the match up. Winger Taylor Paris joined the maul, took the ball at the back and let the forwards do all the work, scoring the try.

Canada would have been happy to go into the half tied up but a fluke play, another inaccuracy from Canada, Barkwill supporting the ball carrier goes into the ruck and toes the ball out into Irish hands. Irish eyes are smiling alright when they see that, a few phases later they cross the line to go into the break 21-14.

The second half is all Ireland for the most part. A missed tackle sees #10 Paddy Jackson with all sorts of space and the ball is moved inside the Canada 22. Barkwill and Djustice dive in as the ball gets within 5 metres of the goal line and they're pinged by the ref for hands in the ruck and off their feet. In the ensuing scrum Canada are destroyed, they've been playing that part of the game even until now, but this was total dominance. Penalty try to Ireland 28-14.

At 57 minutes Matt Evans has a great individual effort as the ball is spread wide, he scores, conversion made and Canada are still in the match. That however would be all they wrote for Canada while Ireland piled in 24 points.

The following kickoff DTH gets hammered by Keith Earls and drops the ball. A few phases later and Ireland are over. Should DTH have been in the air when taking the ball, probably, should some forwards have been in the way of Earls on his run, likely. A disappointingly easy try at a crucial time.

Mistakes are killing Canada now, DTH throws a shocking pass, Hearn throws a shocking pass, the scrum is getting driven back. It's going downhill fast. Replacements come in at 70 minutes but the momentum is all Ireland. They finish strong.

Who played well? Olmstead is the leader on the field by example in the forwards, he should be the captain. He's the only forward consistently playing at this level and it shows. The front row held their own for a while but when cracks appeared in the second 40 it was Djustice first then Ilnicki being driven back. The replacement props needed to come in earlier but is the depth there? Matt Evans in the backs was the most consistent, DTH had flashes of brilliance but also made some poor plays, dropped balls and errant passes. The centre pair of Hearn and Trainor were invisible for most of the afternoon. McRorie and DTH had their timing spot on for some of the box kicks but McRorie is agonizingly slow in moving the ball from the base of the rucks. Braid considering the level of play he was asked to step up to played a respectable game. Canada looked dangerous when they chose the second runner at depth in the backline, something we'll hopefully see more of against Romania.

Romania defeated USA 23-10 so next weekend versus Romania is an excellent opportunity for Canada to shine and claim valuable ranking points.

from Rugby Canada

DUBLIN, Ireland - Canada’s Men’s Rugby team dropped the opening match of their November Tour 52-21 to Ireland in front of 52,000 fans at a sold out Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

It was always going to be a challenge for Canada, ranked 18th in the world, facing an Irish team playing in front of a boisterous home crowd. Ranked 5th in the world, Ireland were coming off an historic first-ever victory over world No. 1 New Zealand last weekend in Chicago.

The hosts opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a converted try to take an early 7-0 lead.

The teams then traded possession for the next 10 minutes, with Canada creating opportunities through phase play but unable to further the threat with turnovers.

Ireland then forced the Canadians to play on their back foot for the better part of two minutes just outside their own tryline, eventually breaking through Canada’s defensive line for another converted try to go up 14-0.

However, Canada did well to stop any momentum the Irish had carried over from last weekend’s win over the All Blacks, answering back with a try from DTH van der Merwe to cut the lead to 14-7.

It was van der Merwe’s 21st career try for Canada, leaving him three shy of tying Winston Stanley for most all-time.

With Canada now playing with a bit more belief, it wasn’t long before Taylor Paris touched down with a try of his own in the 30th minute. Gordy McRorie added his second conversion of the half and all of a sudden the match was tied 14-14.

While the home crowd was stunned, there was no letdown from Ireland who grabbed a late first half try, as Canada entered the break trailing by seven points.

Entering the second half their was belief in the Canadian side that they were up to the task of pulling off the upset but a penalty try awarded to Ireland just six minutes into the half dampened the spirits slightly.

Matt Evans would hit back for Canada with a powerful effort for a try in the corner and McRorie’s difficult conversion made it a 28-21 lead for Ireland.

Just when it looked like the Canadians were up to the task, it was Ireland showing their class by scoring four tries in the final 20 minutes to give a home side a comfortable victory.

Canada is now winless in seven matches all-time against Ireland.

Admir Cejvanovic received his first cap for Canada after entering as a second half substitute.

Canadian rugby fans across the country were able to watch Saturday’s game live on CBC Sports as well as online and through the CBC Sports app.

What head coach Mark Anscombe said:

“We could have easily come into the break, which would have been nice, even, but a lack of concentration there a minute or so before half time and they got in another one. Just one missed tackle, we should have had it. Little things like that hurt us all day.”

“They blew out a couple tries in the end just to blow the score out which is a bit disappointing. Overall I thought there’s a lot of good aspects and the boys could be proud of what they did today.”

“I thought our set-piece was pretty good, we got quality ball. Our tackling at times was really good even though we missed crucial tackles at key times.”

Canada’s November Tour Schedule:

Canada 21-52 Ireland - Nov. 12, 2:15 pm ET/11:15 am PT - Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Canada vs. Romania - Nov. 19, 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT - Stadionul Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest

Canada vs. Samoa - Nov. 25, 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT - Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Canada Select Team for Saturday Match vs Ireland - Televised on CBC at 11am PT

posted Nov 10 2016
[ed. comments below]

Anscombe announced his starting XV and his match day 23. There aren't a lot of suprises as only 28 made the trip so best to start with the 5 who won't be suiting up: Ryan Kotlewski, Ben LeSage, Clay Panga, Brock Staller, Connor Keys. It was always going to be tough for the backs Staller and LeSage to break into the starting backline with the likes of Trainor, Hearn, DTH, Paris and Evans playing well and experienced at this level. The backline looks great, no problems there. Blevins and Parfrey are the backups from the bench.

Where Canada may run into problems is in the forwards, will they be able to match the physicality of the Irish? Will the tight five be able provide stable scrums? The first scrum will be watched closely by supporters on both sides. Ilnicki is given the job at tighthead of anchoring the scrum, he'll be working alongside experienced hooker Ray Barkwill. Djustice will be at loosehead. In the engine room it will be Beukeboom and Olmstead. It's going to be a tall order to match the men in green for 80 minutes as previous encounters have shown. Providing backup in the front row are Matt Tierney, Rob Brouwer and Eric Howard. Rob Brouwer can play second row as well, as can loose forward Admir Cejvanovic. One bright spot is that Ireland are anticipated to put in their second XV saving their first XV for a rematch with New Zealand the following week.

The area where Canada may be outmatched the most is the loose forwards. Captain Aaron Carpenter will be turning 34 soon and although experienced may struggle to match the physicality of a Sean O'Brien or Jack O'Donoghue for 80 minutes at #8. Lucas Rumball is the future of Canadian rugby in the backrow, only 21, this is a big test for him. Is he ready or is it a little too early in his career to go toe to toe with Europe's best and come out ahead. If he does well there may be a professional contract in his future. Kyle Baillie has had injury problems lately, he didn't dress for the last two games of the Americas Pacific Challenge and although assigned to Westshore hasn't actually played any games for them due to injury. Heaton and Cejvanovic wait on the bench to make an impact.

One area of great interest that we haven't covered yet are the halfbacks. Connor Braid gets the start at #10, only playing club rugby at James Bay lately how will he handle the pressure and pace in front of 50,000 ardent and boisterous Irish fans. It's surely a test by fire for the 19 capped Victoria native. Patrick Parfrey provides backup. Gordon McRorie starts at #9 with Phil Mack looking to be an impact sub later in the match.

Game is televised by CBC at 11am, streaming is also available at

from Rugby Canada

DUBLIN, IRELAND — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s test match against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Captained by Aaron Carpenter, the squad features a wealth of experience including the return of DTH van der Merwe, Brett Beukeboom, Conor Trainor and Connor Braid to the starting lineup. Saturday’s game can be seen LIVE on CBC Sports, as part of their ‘Road to the Olympics Series, with coverage beginning at 2pm ET/11am PT.

“The boys have adapted well to what we want to do.” Anscombe said. “We’re really looking forward to the game. We have to do well on Saturday so that we get credibility so that we can face off against other Tier 1 teams in the future.”

The familiar trio of Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki form Canada’s front row with Beukeboom joining Newcastle Falcon Evan Olmstead at lock.

Kyle Baillie and Lucas Rumball start at flanker while Carpenter will earn his 75th test cap from the No. 8 position, leaving him one cap behind Al Charron’s Canadian record of 76.

Gordon McRorie starts at scrum-half while Victoria, BC, native Braid gets the nod at fly-half. Van der Merwe and Taylor Paris will man the wings with Trainor and Ciaran Hearn starting in the centres. Cornish Pirate Matt Evans starts at fullback.

Admir Cejvanovic is named to Canada’s bench and will earn his first test cap if he sees action on the pitch. Phil Mack, who retired from Canada’s men’s sevens team earlier this year and hasn’t played for the senior team since last year’s Rugby World Cup, is also named as a replacement.

“I think it will be a different team that faced the All Blacks but they’re a Tier 1 team and they have that depth now and that was shown by the quality of their performance last weekend,” Anscombe said. “A full house at the Aviva Stadium is a great opportunity for our guys but it will be daunting going up against a very good Irish team.”

Saturday’s match kicks off an important three games for Anscombe’s side as they look to climb the World Rugby test rankings from their 18th position. After Saturday’s game, Canada will also face No. 16 Romania on Nov. 19 before tackling No. 14 Samoa on Nov. 25. Ireland is ranked fifth in the world.

Canada last faced Ireland at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in each team’s tournament opener with the Irish claiming a 50-7 victory. Canada last visited Ireland in 2008 (a 55-0 defeat) and last welcomed them to Canada in 2013 when the two sides squared off at BMO Field in Toronto with the visitors claiming a 40-14 win.

The two sides played to a 27-27 draw in 2000 at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham, Ont.

Saturday’s game will also stream LIVE at and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.

Canada’s Roster to face Ireland (Name, club, hometown):

1. Djustice Sears -Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
2. Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Jake Ilnicki – (Manawatu Turbos/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
4. Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
5. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
6. Kyle Baillie – (Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
7. Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
8. Aaron Carpenter – Captain (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
9. Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
10. Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
11. Taylor Paris - (Agen) Barrie, ON
12. Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish) Conception Bay, NL
13. Conor Trainor – (RC Vannes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
14. DTH van Der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC
15. Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
16. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
17. Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
18. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
19. Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
20. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
21. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
22. Patrick Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
23. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

Unavailable for selection:

Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Jamie Cudmore – (Oyonnax) Squamish, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB
Jamie Mackenzie - (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Phil Mackenzie – (Unattached/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Cam Pierce – (Section Paloise/Kelowna Crows) Vernon, BC
Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
Andrew Tiedemann – (Bourgoin/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jordan Wilson-Ross - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON

Men’s Coaching Staff:

Mark Anscombe – Head Coach
Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach
Mike Shelley – Scrum Coach
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Michael Deasy – Strength and Conditioning
Mallory White – Physiotherapist
Jessica Smith – Physiotherapist
Dr. Peet Du Toit – Doctor
Mark Winokur – Tour Manager
Alana Gattinger – Operations & Logistics Manager

Canada’s November Tour Schedule:

Canada vs. Ireland — Nov. 12 — Aviva Stadium, Dublin — 2:15pm ET/11:15am PT
Canada vs. Romania — Nov. 19 — Stadionul Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest — 1pm ET/10am PT
Canada vs. Samoa — Nov. 25 —Stade des Alpes, Grenoble — 3pm ET/12pm PT

from IRFU

Peter O'Mahony will captain Ireland this Saturday in the GUINNESS Series against Canada at the Aviva Stadium in his first outing in a green shirt since last year's Rugby World Cup. There are three uncapped players in the new-look team and a further five named in the replacements.

Flanker Peter O'Mahony, who skippered Ireland to two wins during the 2013 summer tour of North America, is joined in the back row by Sean O'Brien and the uncapped Jack O'Donoghue.

O'Brien returns to the openside berth for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury against France last February, while the 22-year-old O'Donoghue from Waterford will pack down at number 8.

O'Donoghue's Munster colleague Billy Holland will also make his Ireland debut, featuring in the second row alongside Ultan Dillane, who turned 23 yesterday and is set for his first start in seven international appearances.

Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Finlay Bealham - last week's replacement front row from the historic win over New Zealand - are promoted from the bench to line out together from the off, with Connacht prop Bealham making his maiden Test start.

In the backs, Kieran Marmion has been handed his first start in the number 9 jersey after six caps as a replacement. He will be partnered at half-back by fellow 24-year-old Paddy Jackson, who kicked 40 points during the recent summer tour of South Africa.

There are new combinations at centre and in the back-three too, as Leinster's Garry Ringrose makes his Test bow alongside Luke Marshall, and Connacht's Tiernan O'Halloran - selected at full-back for his second start since June - is flanked by returning wingers Craig Gilroy and Keith Earls.

The five potential debutants on the Irish bench are Leinster's James Tracy, Dan Leavy and Luke McGrath, Connacht's flying winger Niyi Adeolokun and Munster prop John Ryan. The latter's provincial colleague, in-form loosehead Dave Kilcoyne is poised for only his second cap since August 2015, and Donnacha Ryan and Joey Carbery - two members of the winning squad against New Zealand - complete the matchday 23.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has selected a youthful side, with Cronin and debutant lock Holland the only 30-somethings in the starting line-up. The back-line has an average age of 24.7, the forwards 27 and the bench 25.5.

Speaking about some of the new inclusions, Schmidt said: "Garry was really close to playing last week, he's trained really well. He gives us confidence that he's ready. I don't doubt that he's confident. It's an exciting day for him.

"I think with Garry there's experience either side of him, it's a nice entry into the Test arena. Garry's a really natural player, he sees things, he's ahead of the game. While being lean, he's strong.

"I've seen Jack since he captained the Ireland Under-20s and been impressed with him as a player and a potential leader. We do think giving him an opportunity at 8 is probably a good place for him to be.

"He also gets to start with Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony, which is an ideal mix for him to have some real experience either side of him.

"A lot of what Billy Holland has delivered is quality work-rate. He's been accurate, he's astute in the lineout and that allows him to be very effective. He impressed us with how quickly he picked everything up."

15. Tiernan O'Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht)
14. Craig Gilroy (Bangor/Ulster)
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
12. Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
11. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
10. Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
9. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2. Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
3. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)
4. Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)
5. Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster)
6. Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) (capt)
7. Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster)
8. Jack O'Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster)


16. James Tracy (UCD/Leinster)
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster)
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
19. Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
20. Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster)
21. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster)
22. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster)
23. Niyi Adeolokun (Galwegians/Connacht)

Ireland Ring in Changes for Canada Match: Entirely New Starting XV

posted Nov 10 2016
[ed. comments below. CBC will be televising the game live at 11am PT.]

According to an Irish Times article by Gerry Thornley, Ireland will have an entirely new starting XV compared to the New Zealand match, famously won by the Irish in Chicago last weekend. The author lists six possible new caps for Ireland including Garry Ringrose, Dan Leavy, Niyi Adeolokun, James Tracy, John Ryan, Billy Holland. Seven players from the bench in the NZ win will get the start according to Thornley, besides the 21 year old Ringrose in the centres expect the front row of Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Finlay Bealham along with second row Ultan Dilane and flanker Josh van der Flier.

Several players are given the nod for possible further selection in the November tests depending on their performance against Canada, Seán O’Brien the 44 capped backrow player will be looking to impress. Other possibles are Keith Earls, the 52 capped utility back just coming off supension for a dangerous tackle against Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown. Peter O’Mahony, the 35 capped backrow player will also be looking to impress head coach Joe Schmidt on Saturday. Iain Henderson with 26 caps at second row will be another player looking to see more action this November.

It's a tidy Irish team, obviously saving their top XV for the rematch with NZ but with a lot of incentive to get the job done and done well when they take the field Saturday against Canada in front of a sellout crowd of almost 50,000.

The Canada lineup hasn't been released yet, we'll have more to say when that's available.

Irish Times article by Gerry Thornley

Ireland are set to name an entirely changed starting XV for Saturday’s second Test of this autumnal window and the first of their home Guinness Series against Canada. Garry Ringrose is set to make his long awaited Test debut, with the possibility of a further five uncapped players to emulate him off the replacements bench.

Although it was never explicitly stated when the original 34-man squad was announced – which was supposedly for the historic meeting with the All Blacks in Chicago last Saturday – that squad clearly was named with the first two matches in mind. Why else include the suspended Keith Earls or the injured Iain Henderson?

It always appeared that Joe Schmidt had picked a squad with the idea of rotating his entire starting XV from the game against New Zealand last Saturday. This would thus allow them to be wrapped in cotton wool for the Canadian game, so that they would be rested and fully recharged for the rematch with the All Blacks on Saturday week.

Little about the events of last Saturday in Soldier Field will have changed that selection approach, one imagines, save for the unfortunate Jordi Murphy suffering a knee injury. The reinstatement of Paddy Jackson, along with call-ups for David Kilcoyne, Dan Leavy, Niyi Adeolokun and Tiernan O’Halloran, further reinforces that view.

Meteoric rise

Jackson and O’Halloran, who made his debut in the third Test in South Africa before being forced off at half-time, are presumably in line to start, with Leavy and Adeolokun among those uncapped players on the bench. There they will perhaps be joined by the Leinster hooker James Tracy and Munster tight-head John Ryan.

Ringrose is likely to be one of seven players from last week’s bench promoted to the starting team, the others being the frontrow of Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Finlay Bealham along with Ultan Dilane and Josh van der Flier. The eighth, Joey Carbery, looks like remaining on the bench after his meteoric rise to his first cap for last week’s historic endgame.

Along with Henderson, Peter O’Mahony and Seán O’Brien will also, presumably, be given a chance to state their cases for the remainder of the November matches, as will Earls in a back three featuring Craig Gilroy and O’Halloran. Luke Marshall is an obvious choice to partner Ringrose.

With the games against New Zealand and Australia already sell-outs, 49,800 tickets have now been sold for Saturday’s game. The momentum gained by the historic win in Chicago has thus been translated into a sell-out for the Canada match.

“We are delighted and grateful to all the fans who are coming to support the team,” said Pádraig Power, commercial and marketing director of the IRFU.

Ireland (possible): Tiernan O’Halloran; Craig Gilroy, Garry Ringrose, Luke Marshall, Keith Earls; Paddy Jackson, Kieran Marmion; Cian Healy, Seán Cronin, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, Iain Henderson; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Seán O’Brien.

Replacements: David Kilcoyne, James Tracy, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Dan Leavy, Jack McGrath, Joey Carbery, Niyi Adeolokun.

Patrick McCarry has a slightly different version in his article on

The tight five looks the same but he has Jack O'Donoghue in the backrow instead of Josh van der Flier. He also has McGrath and Carberry starting instead of in the reserves.

Pemberton Holmes
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