London 7s 2017

May 21 2017

Lucas Hammond - Canada 7s

Canada Win Bronze at London Defeating USA: FULL MATCH VIDEO

posted May 21 2017
from BCRN 7s correspondent

The disappointment from Paris tournament had barely sunk in for Canada when the pools for London were announced following the final games in the French capital.

And to add some spice to the first day in London - Canada plays Fiji in the opening game on Day 1 at 9:30AM GMT – followed by New Zealand and finally Japan to round off the day.

The good news - if there is any – is that the trip to the next venue is only a short hop across the channel to the English capital so there is no serious jet lag to deal with just the bumps and bruises from Paris.

Plus – it must be said that despite Hammond’s absence a couple of players really put in solid performances in France – in particular Mike Fuailefau and Justin Douglas.

Douglas is running harder, with more confidence and more authority than has been noted at any time in the past few years – add to that he is scoring tries a plenty!

Mike Fuailefau as well has moved his performances up several notches and had a very good tournament in Paris.

Clearly both guys would need a repeat performance at Twickenham if Canada was to advance to the cup round.


Former coaches and veteran players of the circuit will tell you that the best time to play Fiji is first thing in the morning. And that proved once again to be the case as Canada got their London challenge off to a wonderful start.

The game was an early morning adrenaline rush that got everyone’s heart rate going right from the start but if anyone had to ask truthfully which team was fitter the answer might well have been Canada.

Lucas Hammond was back in the side after his injury at practice in Paris and the transitions immediately became smoother – add to that Justin Douglas was running with the same intentions that he was in Paris and racking up tries – all good.

A quick tap by Hammond just before the half lead to a Douglas try and Canada was into the game – 12-7 HT.

Right after the half after some good possession and phases John Moonlight scored to bring the score even at 12-12.

It was Kaay next who took the ball up with power and force driving Fiji backwards.
The ball moved to the left and Nathan Hirayama worked his magic to score a beautiful try.

After the restart some good work at the tackle by Isaac Kaay, a drive up by Mullins which resulted in the ball eventually getting into John Moonlight’s hands and he made no mistake with the try-line in front of him.

The try was John Moonlight’s 100th score on the circuit - and better still it came at a critical moment in this game resulting in a Canada win!

Incredible – well done Johnny Moonlight!

Canada 22 v Fiji 19

This game slipped from Canada’s grasp as a yellow card was handed out to Canada unfairly in the first half and allowed the Kiwis to get an early try and the advantage.

After that it was a back and forth affair somewhat a kin to a tennis game where each team in turn held their service.

In fairness to Canada – we had the Kiwis on the ropes even with the early yellow card as they were struggling with our direct game.

But despite their lack of traditional form this season the New Zealanders are always in every game and never show any lack of effort – you have to play them right to the final seconds of every game and this game slipped from our grasp right at the end of full-time.

Canada 12 v New Zealand 19

Canada completed Day 1 in London by beating Japan fairly easily.

Douglas continued his try-scoring pace as Canada powered up the field on their first possession.
Hammond made a half break and that was all that was required to send Douglas away to the try-line.

Mullins scored next as Hirayama stepped three Japanese players in mid field and another try was in the book.

14 – 7 Canada at the half.

The half at barely started when Douglas scored again after a turnover and some hard work on the ground.

Some lazy defense let Japan score their second try but after the restart Nate Hirayama went short side in lightning fashion and Douglas scored to put himself at the top of the try-scoring race on Day 1.

The kick-off saw Japan work their way down the field with the clock running on empty and things came to an abrupt end when Harry Jones who was covering across ‘rocked’ a Japanese player on the touchline and the ball spilled into touch – game, set and match – Canada goes through to the Cup Round!

Canada 28 v Japan 14

Day 1 Highlights

- John Moonlight’s 100th try on the circuit
- Justin Douglas continues his try scoring spree
- The Hammond – Hirayama combination is back and in form
- Hirayama’s overall generalship of our game
- Harry Jones tackle right at full-time in the Japan game
- And the execution of the tight game-plan the coach has employed


Playing Argentina is like coping with a fourteen minute migraine headache – they are awkward, tenacious, confrontational and seriously relentless – and there is no relief until the final whistle.

That said – Canadians have a spirit and temperament which is also unique and in the wee hours back home Canada dismantled Argentina and booked a birth in the Cup Semi-finals at England’s famous Twickenham Stadium.

Once again Nathan Hirayama worked his magic with Mike Fuailefau for all to see scoring right from the onset – and then doing it again once more before half-time.

After the half it was the Hirayama-Douglas combination that put the sword to Argentina and sealed a place for Canada in the Cup Semi-final.

Canada 28 v Argentina 7

This game was pure frustration from the stands so goodness knows what it must have been like on the field.

The coach had changed the positions in the line-up somewhat trying – it appeared - to free up Justin Douglas in the middle of the field instead of going head-to-head against Dan Norton on the outside – but in all honesty he hardly had a chance to view his plan with all the penalties called and possessions turned over to the eager English.

The Scottish referee Sam Grove-White was involved (poorly it has to be said) right from the start with a terrible call against Hirayama and England took full advantage.

Still Canada came back as Fuailefau dragged half of England down the pitch and brushed the rest of their team aside – Hammond was at his heels when he was finally pulled down to the ground and sent Zaruba off to the try-line.

An easy possession with no interference from the ref at long last – and a half-time score 5 – 14 for England.
The second half was another matter as the referee disrupted every possession Canada had and turned the ball back over to England who needed no invitation to have a go at our goal-line.

Time and time again Grove-White took away any momentum we could muster with penalty calls that even the mugs in the TV booth were questioning.

The frustration on John Moonlight’s face told the entire story…

It was all terribly frustrating and made worse by the commentators in the booth who were already talking about an England –Scotland final well before full-time.

Canada 5 v England 24

The game for third and fourth place was another typical North American contest.

Canada started well with patience and good decisions to the left and to the right side by Hammond and Hirayama.

Harry Jones continued to run up the middle with power and huge determination causing the Americans major problems but it was Fuailefau who finished things off to get Canada started.

A restart penalty let the USA back into it as they converted their possession and then they regained their kick and drove Canada back to their goal-line where we made some great tackles and John Moonlight stole a critical ball meters out.

It was short lived as a Moonlight pass was deemed forward and the ensuing scrum collapsed and astonishingly we were held responsible.

And once again a penalty was our demise as Baker scored out wide.

14 – 5 Half-time

The second half started with a screaming dash up the middle of the field by Hammond who weaved left and right with amazing balance and the Americans only rained him in deep in their territory.

Moonlight cleans out yet again and Harry Jones scores a great try – game on!

But the drama continued as we were penalized yet again and only a sensational tackle by Hammond saved the day and we regained the ball.

Mullins started up the field after another Fuailefau charging run and scores a great try.

Lucas Hammond takes off again but his off-load is knocked on with the try-line meters away.

Clearly the Americans knew now they were under immense pressure from Canada and when their captain tried to take things under control and his ill-advised kick from the scrum was blocked by Hirayama who needed no direction to find the goal-line. (22 – 14 Canada)

But as is the case between these two rivals there was still more drama to come –another dubious penalty call this time on Moonlight allowed the Americans to start down the field – Isaac Kaay almost blew the ruck apart to regain the ball but it was scrambled back by the Americans who scored for the last time.

The kick was missed and Canada wins Bronze!

Canada 22 v USA 19

Canada v USA full match video

Season Highlights

- Canada ended up 8th in the HSBC Sevens Series for 2016-2017 which is amazing improvement from a year ago at this time
- After last season wretched experience the general feeling must be very positive for the squad and for the staff alike
- Nathan Hirayama proved with complete certainty that he is one of the circuits best ever players
- Justin Douglas set a new try-scoring record for himself
- John Moonlight scored his 100th try – amazing accomplishment
- Harry Jones has had the best season of his sevens career
- Some new players came into the mix, got some much deserved ‘ice-time’ and showed they can cope with the circuit demands with skill and poise
- The new coach showed he had a plan that suited Canada’s many assets and he implemented it with a renew enthusiasm that was contagious within the squad

Canada Sevens Team – London

Luke Bradley University of Victoria Port Alberni, BC
Jared Douglas Abbotsford RFC Abbotsford, BC
Justin Douglas Abbotsford RFC Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau Castaway-Wanderers Victoria, BC
(Lucas Hammond University of Victoria Toronto, ON)
Nathan Hirayama University of Victoria Richmond, BC
Pat Kay Castaway-Wanders RFC Duncan, BC
Isaac Kaay University of Victoria Kamloops, BC
John Moonlight James Bay AA Pickering, ON
Luke McCloskey Castaway-Wanders RFC Victoria, BC
Matt Mullins Queens University Belleville, ON
Adam Zaruba Capilano RFC Vancouver, BC

Canada Into Cup Quarter-Final After Defeating Fiji and Japan: Face Argentina in QF

posted May 20 2017
[ed. comments below]

Those watching the recent form of the men's Canada 7s side know that Lucas Hammond has been a key figure in their success. When he was out in Paris, they dipped in performance. He wasn't started against Fiji and they were down 12-0 quickly. He was subbed on and Canada started their comeback with Justin Douglas scoring a minute later, going into the half down 12-7. Canada stayed close and aided by two Moonlight tries and one by Hirayama won 22-19. The video below shows Moonlight's second try and match winner. The importance of Hammond can be seen in his role in setting up the try.

It was almost the same scenario in the second match against NZ, Hammond started the bench, Canada went down 14-0, he subbed on and Canada started their comeback. They went into the half 14-14 with tries by Douglas and Hirayama. NZ scored the only try of the second half for a narrow 19-14.

Canada were now in a situation where they needed to beat Japan by a large margin as Fiji had put +56 on Japan and if Fiji beat NZ then point differential would come into play. Hammond finally got the start, Canada won the match but couldn't put up the points they wanted with a 28-14 win. Fortunately for Canada, NZ defeated Fiji so Canada go through as the second best in their pool and face Argentina in the QF tomorrow.

from Rugby Canada

Canada moved into the London Sevens cup quarters after going 2-1 on Day 1.

Canada beat Fiji and Japan but fell to New Zealand. However, with New Zealand defeating Fiji, Canada advanced to its sixth cup quarter of the season.

Earlier in the day, John Moonlight became just the third player in Canadian HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series history to score 100 career tries.

Canada will face Argentina in their cup quarterfinal at 7:04am ET/4:04am PT.


In a back-and-forth affair, it was Canada who snatched victory at the death thanks to John Moonlight's try.

Fiji built an early 12-0 lead as Vatemo Ravouvou and Kalione Nasoko touched down but Canada got back into the game as Justin Douglas scored under the sticks just before half time to cut the deficit to 12-7.

Moonlight's first try of the game — after breaking a couple of tackles — tied things up at 12-12 before Fiji immediately responded through a swift attack from the resulting kickoff, Amenoni Nasilaslia getting the try.

However, Nathan Hirayama would cut the lead to 19-17 as he slid over in the corner before Canada were able to work the ball out wide to Moonlight whose 100th series try proved to the game-winner with no time left on the clock.


Canada were narrowly beaten by New Zealand leaving them in a must-win situation against Japan.

The Kiwis took a 7-0 lead through Sam Dickson and after Canada's Harry Jones was sin binned, they extended the lead to 14-0 as Sherwin Stowers touched down.

However, Canada fought back and got on the board through Justin Douglas before Nathan Hirayama tied things up at 14-14 before half time.

Tone Ng Shiu's try with 1:30 left gave New Zealand the lead and they barely hung on as Jones, who had support on the inside, stepped out of bounds as he made the pass.


Justin Douglas had a hat-trick as Canada cruised by Japan in their final pool game.

Douglas opened the scoring after some patient build-up from the Canadians before Siosifa Lisala paced away to tie things up at 7-7.

Belleville's Matt Mullins restored Canada's lead before the break before Douglas and Nathan Hirayama linked up for Canada's third try and a 21-7 lead.

Lisala again scored for Japan before Douglas sealed his hat-trick to complete a comfortable win for Canada.

Canada’s London Sevens Team (Name, club, hometown):

Luke Bradley – (UVic Vikes/Port Alberni Black Sheep) Port Alberni, BC
Jared Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (UVIC Vikes) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
Isaac Kaay – (UVic Vikes) Kamloops, BC
Pat Kay – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Matt Mullins – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Unavailable for Selection:

Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach – Damian McGrath
Assistant Coach – Lee Douglas
Physiotherapist – Danielle Mah
Analyst – Calum Ramsay
Manager – Brian Hunter

London Sevens Day 1 Schedule:

Canada 22-19 Fiji
Canada 14-19 New Zealand
Canada 28-14 Japan

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