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Canada v USA - RWCQ 1


DTH scores 2 tries vs USA in RWC qualifier
© Colin Watson

Canada - USA Draw: Winner Take All in San Diego Next Saturday: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS


posted June 24 2017
[ed. comments below]

It wasn't highly skilled but it was entertaining. There was some drama to the game that saw the lead change hands and at times it seemed the question wasn't who would win the game but who would lose it as each team gifted their opponent possession and scoring opportunities.

The one constant for Canada was DTH, everything good that Canada created somehow involved DTH, if we were rating the players we would start with 9 out of 10 for DTH and go down from there.



Canada gifted USA two tries, a dropped kickoff by Braid and an intercept pass by O'Leary. Ironically both players are vying for the #10 position which requires sure hands and superior decision making. Braid was subbed off but O'Leary stayed on and redeemed himself a bit with his accurate clearance kicks in the second half. Still if Canada had managed to play an error free match they would have won this game handily.

Both teams struggled with passing skills, sending passes to boot laces or wobblies over the receiver's head.

The Canadian scrum was a bright spot earning penalties on a couple of occasions but stretched themselves too far while trying to drive a 5 metre scrum over the line and ended up losing a good possession.

The bench was a positive aspect for Canada as well, both McRorie at scrum half and Blevins at centre introduced some energy to a tiring attack. The front row subs of Luca and Tierney also did their jobs well.

On the down side besides the myriads of handling errors, the maul defence was again suspect. The first 5 metre lineout and drive the USA had, they scored. It's going to be no surprise what the USA strategy will likely be in San Diego, go for field position, get some attacking lineouts from 5 metres, and shoot fish in a barrel. Canada will have to figure out their maul options over the week, Canada's maul attack was equally ineffective.

Andrew Coe showed glimpses of promise, deduct the mishandling of the touch down on the try, and he had a good match and was one of the few besides DTH who showed some attacking flair.

Carpenter may just start ahead of Cejvanovic next match, Cejvanovic had a quiet game and Carpenter was an attacking option when he came on, even scoring a key try. The only one that DTH didn't score.

The back three as a unit didn't offer much on the counter attacks, a couple of times they had the option of a quick throw in but couldn't seem to get on the same page and sometimes didn't show an attacking inclination.

Still a draw is an improvement over recent results, it will be harder in San Diego, but the two teams are evenly matched and if a few more players can rise to DTH's standard, there's hope.

from Rugby Canada

HAMILTON, O.N. (June 24, 2017) — Canada and the USA tied 28-28 in Game one of their Rugby World Cup qualifier from Tim Hortons Field on Saturday afternoon.

Canada got two tries from DTH van der Merwe while Aaron Carpenter also went over for his 17th test try. Shane O'Leary kicked 13 points.

"If we're going to do better next week, we've got to be more clinical than we were today," head coach Mark Anscombe said. "If you want to win these games you've got to make better decisions that what we did out there today."

van der Merwe became Canada's all-time try-scoring leader as his brace pushed him past Winston Stanley's record that had stood since 2003.

"It's great but I don't like the accolades that go with it," van der Merwe said. "I'll look back at it when I'm older but right now I just want to do as much as I can to help my team."

Trailing 28-18 after 53 minutes, Anscombe's men fought back to tie things up at 28-28 as Carpenter's try got Canada back into the game before O'Leary's third penalty in the 78th minute tied the game.

"I'm pleased with the manner of coming back from ten down," Anscombe said. "That showed character but I am flat about a lot of other things."

But each side would each have a chance to win the game in the final two minutes. Aj MacGinty's drop goal sailed just wide before Canada managed to win a penalty just inside the USA half but O'Leary pushed his penalty right, leaving the two sides tied heading into next weekend's decisive encounter.

Canada had taken an early 7-0 lead as van der Merwe tied Stanley’s test try-scoring record in the seventh minute but the USA came roaring back two minutes later through Nick Civetta, scoring off of the ensuing kickoff after Connor Braid couldn’t collect the high ball.

However, van der Merwe would make history in the 18th minute as he picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and ran free to secure his 25th test try.

O’Leary’s penalty pushed Canada’s lead to 15-7 before the USA came back into life after tries from Civetta and Mike Te’o gave the visitors a 21-15 lead at half time.

"We should have gone to half time 15-7 up but we concede two tries, one from a scrum and one from a lineout, and that was poor to allow those tries," Anscombe said.

USA hooker James Hilderbrand was sin binned in the 45th yellow for a high tackle on Phil Mack — O’Leary adding a penalty from the infraction — but despite playing a man down, it was the USA who would take advantage as Te’o intercepted an O’Leary pass and ran 95m for his second try of the day and a 28-18 lead.

With the tie, Canada has still not beaten the USA since 2013 but maintains a 38-17-2 record all-time against the States.

Since the Rugby World Cup's inception in 1987, Canada has never missed a Rugby World Cup. Canada achieved its best result in 1991 when they reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated by New Zealand. USA, who has played in seven of the previous eight tournaments, has never advanced out of the pool stages.

The second leg takes place July 1 in San Diego with kickoff at 6pm ET/3pm PT LIVE on TSN.

Canada Team to Face USA (Name, club, hometown):

1. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
2. Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Jake Ilnicki – (Northampton/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
4. Brett Beukeboom, co-captain – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
5. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
6. Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
7. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
8. Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
9. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10. Shane O’Leary – (Unattached) Cork, Ireland
11. Taylor Paris – (Castres/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON
12. Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
13. DTH van Der Merwe, co-captain – (Newcastle Falcons) Victoria, BC
14. Andrew Coe – (UBC Thunderbirds/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
15 Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
16. Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
17. Anthony Luca – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
18. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
19. Kyle Baillie – (London Scottish/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
20. Aaron Carpenter – (Doncaster Knights/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
21. Gordon McRorie – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
22. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
23. Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

Canada Coaching Staff:

Mark Anscombe – Head Coach
Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach
Mike Shelley – Assistant Coach
Kelly Brown – Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur – Manager
Mallory White – Athletic Therapist
Alistair Wilson – Athletic Therapist
Dr. Steve Martin – Team Doctor
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Michael Deasy – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Scoring Details:

Canada

Tries: DTH van der Merwe (2), Aaron Carpenter
Conversions: Shane O'leary (2)
Penalties: Shane O'Leary (3)

USA:

Tries: Nick Civetta (2), Mike Te'o (2)
Conversions: AJ MacGinty (4)

Canada’s June Series Schedule:

Canada 0-13 Georgia —Calgary Rugby Park
Canada 9-22 Romania — Ellerslie Rugby Park
Canada 28-28 USA — June 24 — Tim Horton’s Field
Canada vs. USA — July 1 — San Diego — 6pm ET/3pm PT



Canada vs USA Rugby World Cup Qualifier: Canada Announces Roster


posted June 22 2017
[ed. comments below]

The Rugby Canada press release summarizes the situation nicely, "Canada has not beaten the Americans since August 2013 when it won both legs of their Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier". The men's XVs program has been in decline and they'll go in as underdogs but an exceptional, error free game, would be enough to claim a win in Hamilton. It will be essential as the task gets more difficult the following weekend for the return match in the USA.

Even the plan B option of Uruguay looks a hard trek based on recent performance.

Anscombe has gone with the halfback combination of Mack and O'Leary. O'Leary will go up against AJ MacGinty, both Irishmen who were vying for the same #10 position at Connacht over the last two years. MacGinty got most of the starts so this is a chance for O'Leary to make a statement to launch his professional career. MacGinty is now at Sale Sharks while O'Leary looks for his next pro contract.

The game will be won or lost in the forwards, the USA have been scoring maul tries pretty easily against Canada over the last few matches. Canada will need to stiffen their defence in that aspect of the game. Anscombe chose a Scotsman, Kelly Brown, as specialist coach to look after that task rather than iconic Canadian second row forward Jamie Cudmore. He'll need to get it right or there will be justifiable criticism on the coaching selection.

Ilnicki comes back in at tighthead getting the start ahead of Tierney and Anthony Luca did enough to earn a spot on the bench behind Djustice Sears-Duru at loosehead.

No surprise with Beukeboom and Olmstead in the second row, but will they miss Jebb Sinclair in this important matchup? Cejvanovic, Heaton and Ardron in the backrow, Carpenter and Baillie on the bench, no sign of Rumball yet.

Braid gets the start at inside centre with DTH moved to outside. An interesting choice but both players are game breakers and need to see the ball more which may not happen on the wing. Andrew Coe gets moved to the wing with Taylor Paris also on the outside and Ciaran Hearn looking after things at the back.

It's a talented backline with potential to score but handling has to be slick and error free.

Canada have a good chance if they play to their full potential, they have to stiffen up on the mauls, hit their lineouts and have parity in the scrums. If the backs make their tackles and keep handling errors to a minimum they should be able to cross the line a few times. It sounds simple but just being able to execute has not been a given lately with this team, let's hope for a new start on Saturday.

Game will be live on TSN at noon PT.

from Rugby Canada

HAMILTON, O.N. (June 22, 2017) — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup qualifier vs. USA at Tim Hortons Field in Hamiltonn, Ontario.

Brett Beukeboom and DTH van der Merwe will co-captain Canada as they seek to win the first leg of the two-game series. Game 2 is July 1 in San Diego.

“It’s very important to win the first game,” head coach Mark Anscombe said. “Whoever gets victory is one up in a two test series so it’s crucial we take advantage of home field.

“It’ll be harder to go to San Diego with a loss and a win would build a lot of confidence.”

Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki will form Canada’s front row while Evan Olmstead joins Beukeboom at lock. Admir Cejvanovic and Matt Heaton start at flanker with Lakefield, Ont., native Tyler Ardron at No. 8.

The experienced Phil Mack starts at scrum-half while Shane O’Leary starts at fly-half. Taylor Paris is joined on the wing by Andrew Coe while Connor Braid and van der Merwe get the nod at centre. Newfoundland’s Ciaran Hearn starts at fullback.

“We’ve picked the best team available,” Anscombe said.

Canada is 38-17-1 all-time against USA but the Eagles have won the past five matchups, including their most recent meeting during the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship in Burnaby, BC. Canada has not beaten the Americans since August 2013 when it won both legs of their Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier.

Canada has not lost a Rugby World Cup qualification match since July 2009 when they lost 12-6 to USA before rebounding to win 41-18 to make the 2011 tournament. Canada is 15-4 all-time in Rugby World Cup qualification matches.

Since the tournament’s inception in 1987, Canada has never missed a Rugby World Cup. Canada achieved its best result in 1991 when they reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated by New Zealand. USA, who has played in seven of the previous eight tournaments, has never advanced out of the pool stages.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm ET/12pm PT and can be seen LIVE on TSN. Tickets are still available by clicking here.

Canada Team to Face USA (Name, club, hometown):

1. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
2. Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Jake Ilnicki – (Northampton/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
4. Brett Beukeboom, Co-captain – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
5. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
6. Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
7. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
8. Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
9. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10. Shane O’Leary – (Unattached) Cork, Ireland
11. Taylor Paris – (Castres/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON
12. Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
13. DTH van Der Merwe, Co-captain – (Newcastle Falcons) Victoria, BC
14. Andrew Coe – (UBC Thunderbirds/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
15 Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
16. Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
17. Anthony Luca – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
18. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
19. Kyle Baillie – (London Scottish/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
20. Aaron Carpenter – (Doncaster Knights/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
21. Gordon McRorie – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
22. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
23. Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

Canada Coaching Staff:

Mark Anscombe – Head Coach
Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach
Mike Shelley – Assistant Coach
Kelly Brown – Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur – Manager
Mallory White – Athletic Therapist
Alistair Wilson – Athletic Therapist
Dr. Steve Martin – Team Doctor
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Michael Deasy – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Canada’s June Series Schedule:

Canada 0-13 Georgia —Calgary Rugby Park
Canada 9-22 Romania — Ellerslie Rugby Park
Canada vs. USA — June 24 — Tim Horton’s Field — 3pm ET/12pm PT
Canada vs. USA — July 1 — San Diego — 6pm ET/3pm PT

from USA Rugby

HAMILTON, Ontario - The Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifiers that will determine the Americas 1 representative in Japan in two years begin this Saturday, June 24, as Todd Clever leads the USA Men's Eagles against Canada at Tim Hortons Field.

The first match of the two-game series features an experienced U.S. side with 200 caps, led by the all-time record holder in Clever. Head Coach John Mitchell's squad welcomes the return of recent debutant Paddy Ryan to the front row for a second cap, while the young back line that combined for four tries in a 51-34 defeat of the border rival earlier this year accounts for 31 appearances.

The Eagles, winners of the second annual Americas Rugby Championship in the spring, finished the Emirates Airline Summer Series 0-2 against Ireland and Georgia. The first leg of the Qualifier will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel to viewers in the United States, scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m. ET north of the border.

"Both of our summer contests have been really good for us," Mitchell said. "Ireland provided a lot of variety in attack and Georgia were big and strong in the set piece. We've been stressed enough to be able to understand what we'll need to bring in the next 10 days. Playing third- and 12th-ranked teams in the world has been ideal preparation for us and I am sure Georgia dominates just about every scrum they come up against including the All Blacks at Rugby World Cup 2015."

Chris Baumann and Tony Lamborn were unavailable for selection this week following injuries sustained in the June 17 defeat to Georgia at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University. Hooker James Hilterbrand and Tony Purpura maintain their places in the starting XV alongside Ryan, however, while Nick Civetta comes back into the side to partner Ben Landry in the second row. Clever, who will be retiring from international rugby following the return fixture in San Diego July 1, will start in his 18th test against Canada with a try-scoring record of four tries in the previous two matchups under his belt. No. 8 Cam Dolan and flanker John Quill round out the pack.

Vice captain Nate Augspurger returns to the No. 9 jersey after a try-scoring campaign on the wing in Georgia last weekend, with AJ MacGinty also swapping shirts to start at fly half. Matai Leuta kept play alive for the Eagles' final try in the 21-17 loss, while Ryan Matyas already has one try to his name during the current assembly. The pair will patrol the wings outside Marcel Brache and Bryce Campbell. Mike Te'o recorded a hat trick against Canada in February from the full back position and will cover the backs from the same position Saturday.

Professionals Andrew Durutalo and David Tameilau are available to Mitchell in the reserves, along with one of last weekend's try-scorers in Matt Jensen in a forward-heavy bench. Ben Cima and Shaun Davies are the backs in the six-two split.

"We are really excited for this series, as you wait four years for this and you do not want to miss it, especially since it has never been achieved in USA Eagles RWC-Qualifying history which gives you an indication of the enormity of the task," Mitchell said. "The lads have put in a tremendous amount of quality work and have realized there is healthy competition for places dictated by a focus on nailing our key skills to improve our chance to win.

"It's also difficult to leave out outstanding squad members with the likes of Nate Brakeley and Will Magie because of the way our team mix has been selected. Injuries are always part of the game and we are very fortunate to have very good depth at this point in the series. We still have a lot of work to do between now and July 1."

While the Eagles head into the Qualifier series on a two-match winless streak, they hold a five-game win streak over the Canadians, who have been on the winning side of a score line just once in 10 matches dating back to last June. Canada holds home-field advantage for the first leg before the teams head to University of San Diego's Torero Stadium for the July 1 second leg.

"It's going to be a tremendous challenge for us," Mitchell said. "We are preparing well daily with our last main session Thursday with everyone doing their job whether selected or not selected to give us the best preparation and hopefully we can match them, if not better them."

Viewers in the United States unable to make the trip to Ontario can watch the match live from 3 p.m. ET on The Rugby Channel with a subscription.

Men's Eagles | v. Canada
1. Tony Purpura
2. James Hilterbrand
3. Paddy Ryan
4. Ben Landry
5. Nick Civetta
6. Todd Clever (C)
7. John Quill
8. Cam Dolan
9. Nate Augspurger
10. AJ MacGinty
11. Matai Leuta
12. Marcel Brache
13. Bryce Campbell
14. Mike Te'o
15. Ben Cima

Men's Eagles | Reserves
16. Peter Malcolm
17. Ben Tarr
18. Dino Waldren
19. Matthew Jensen
20. David Tameilau
21. Andrew Durutalo
22. Shaun Davies
23. Will Magie





 
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