Canada v USA - RWCQ 2

July 01 2017

Gordon McRorie - Canada v USA RWCQ 2
© Travis Prior

Canada Crushed 52-16 in California on Canada Day

posted July 1 2017
[ed. comments below]

The two reports from Canadian Press and World Rugby below will give you the match details. Here's the executive summary, USA came out fast and scored two tries, Canada hit back with penalties and the half time score was 19-9. Canada started well in second half and closed the gap to 19-16 with a break by Dan Moor finished by Cejvanovic. Then the wheels fell off... completely. Final 52-16.

So what went wrong and more importantly what can be done to get the train back on track as it's clearly derailed with wheels pointing skyward.

Canada's one bright spot was the scrum, outside of that Canada were beat in the aerial battle of the wingers, they were beat in the mauls, their #10 was better, their defensive line speed was better, they deserved the win. Compound all those things with some dodgy refereeing calls and the absence of DTH and Paris due to late injury and you have Canada's biggest loss to USA in rugby history.

If the Rugby Canada board and management team could be dissolved by a vote of non-confidence, this would be their swan song. That's not the way things work in Canadian rugby however. Platitudes will be offered, there will be more spin put on Canada's performance than on a set of tires at a NASCAR event. It's already begun with Jim Dixon issuing some quotes in the Rugby Canada article.

“We will now be conducting a comprehensive review of the June Tour, as part of our standard protocol, including all aspects of our technical, tactical and logistical protocols as well as player and staff performances,” added Dixon.

“We started centralization in Langford, B.C. 10 months ago and have seen benefits, however the players need higher quality competition on a regular basis so that they come into the international competition windows fully prepared for test match rugby,” added Dixon. “The margins of competition are growing every year and we have to keep evolving and improving domestically and finding more opportunities for our players to go overseas full time.”

No one loves "comprehensive reviews" better than Rugby Canada's current management team, it's their fall back position. Unfortunately these reviews inevitably end up at the same conclusion and this time Dixon has spared us the waiting time by explaining what they are in the article: "higher quality competition" and "more opportunities for our players to go overseas". Even though the USA team, which ran up a record score on Canada, is in the same situation they don't whinge about it all the time but work with what they have and try to improve it. That's the major difference between men's XVs rugby in Canada and USA right now, the USA Rugby management look for solutions within their borders and within their control, the Rugby Canada management continue to discount solutions within their borders and wait for solutions which are largely out of their control.

Canada now have 6 months to prepare for Uruguay, they have the Americas Pacific Challenge in October and the November tour to Europe. Do they continue on as before or do they make radical changes? Do they sack the coach and start fresh? Francois Ratier no doubt will be looking for fresh challenges after the women's World Cup, that wraps up by end of August. September would be a good time for a fresh start. Ratier did more with the men's team when he was called in as an emergency replacement for Crowley than Anscombe has done in his 15 months in charge. Ratier is a proven winner who knows how to get the best results with what Canada offers, and without complaining.

That change is unlikely to happen relying on Rugby Canada. Jim Dixon, whose rugby future probably lies in NZ the mecca of rugby administration, is unlikely to fire a NZ coach. He wouldn't with Crowley and he won't with Anscombe, Crowley had to find a professional job in Italy and quit before Rugby Canada could make a decision. Neither of Dixon's bosses Allen Vansen (CEO) and Tim Powers (Chairman) seem to have the stomach to impose a decision, the "comprehensive review" will have the usual input and have the usual output, and nothing will be done.

Mitchell, the USA coach, jumped at a pro opportunity in South Africa when it presented itself, Crowley did the same with Italy, will Anscombe be as astute and cash in his chips early? It's the only way Canada will get a change, Rugby Canada management seem incapable of making decisions like this.

from Canadian Press

SAN DIEGO — The United States qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the top North American side for the first time after thrashing Canada by a record 52-16 on Saturday.

Canada had won 15 out of 20 qualifiers between the neighbours, but hadn't beaten the Eagles in four years. The first leg in Hamilton was drawn 28-28 last weekend, and the second leg was close at the University of San Diego until Canada lost its composure while it had momentum.

Because of a no-arms tackle ruling against Canada, it lost a scrum put-in near halfway and had to defend a five-meter lineout instead. The Eagles drove it and replacement hooker Joe Taufete'e scored from the rolling maul.

Behind by 10 points, Canada No. 8 Tyler Ardron was then sin-binned for collapsing a maul, and while he was off the field, the U.S. rushed in three tries; a second lineout drive score for Taufete'e, an 80-meter break finished by scrumhalf Nate Augspurger, and another rolling maul score for replacement prop Dino Waldren.

AJ MacGinty converted all three, and six of their eight tries as the Eagles notched their highest score and biggest margin against Canada.

It was a fitting send off for retiring captain Todd Clever, who was playing his record-extending 76th cap since 2003, and coach John Mitchell, who was leaving to coach South Africa Super Rugby side the Bulls.

The Americans' reward was a place in World Cup Pool C in Japan with England, France, Argentina, and a yet-to-be-determined Oceania side.

Canada, which has played in every World Cup, will meet Uruguay in January for a slot in Pool D with Australia, Wales, Georgia, and another Oceania side.

The Canadians were handicapped by the withdrawal of backs DTH van der Merwe, who scored two tries last week, Taylor Paris, and Phil Mack, and were down 12-0 in almost even time after a couple of tries by U.S. No. 8 Cam Dolan. Dolan also set up their third try for lock Nate Brakeley as they led 19-3 after the first quarter.

But the Americans lost their cool, and Canada rallied with goalkicks by Gordon McRorie and 10 points while Eagles flanker Tony Lamborn was in the sin-bin. But then Canada's discipline dropped away, and the Americans pounced.

United States 52
(Cam Dolan 2, Joe Taufete'e 2, Nate Brakeley, Nate Augspurger, Dino Waldren, David Tameilau tries; AJ MacGinty 6 conversions)
Canada 16
(Admir Cevjanovic try; Gordon McRorie conversion, 3 penalties). HT: 19-9

from World Rugby

USA spoiled the away team’s Canada Day celebrations in sunny San Diego on Saturday with an emphatic second-half performance that left the Canucks with nowhere to hide. It may have been 1 July and the 150th anniversary of modern-day Canada, but the Eagles were in no mood to be generous to their northern cousins, running in eight tries to one and reaching the finishing post at a canter, 52-16.

It’s the biggest margin of victory by USA over Canada in their long, 58-game rivalry and means that the Eagles will qualify for Japan as Americas 1. They join Pool C and so will face England, France, Argentina and the Oceania 2 qualifier.

The first leg in Hamilton, Ontario, was unable to separate these two fierce rivals as this great North American derby ended in a 28-28 draw for only the second time in history. So they came to Southern California knowing it was a simple equation – the winner would qualify for RWC 2019 and the loser would face a tricky two-leg play-off against Uruguay for the right to qualify as Americas 2.

In the event, in front of typically vociferous American crowd, the USA broke out of the blocks quickly with two tries from No.8 Cam Dolan before 16 minutes were on the clock and a third coming from Nate Brakeley to leave Canada reeling, 19-3 down, with only a Gord McRorie penalty to show for the first quarter.

But, to be fair, without inspirational co-captain DTH van der Merwe, who failed a late fitness test after picking up a knee injury during his man-of-the-match performance last week, Canada stuck to their guns as best they could. Ill-discipline from the Eagles and a clinical kicking display from McRorie meant they went to the break with the score on 19-9 and US flanker Tony Lamborn in the sin-bin.

Making the most of that advantage, Canada emerged after the break and immediately scored courtesy of blindside flanker Admir Cejvanovic following a searing break by left-wing Dan Moor. But 19-16 was the closest they would get to their opponents as USA found another gear, courtesy of their powerful bench, and put the foot to the floor.

Two tries from replacement hooker Joe Taufete’e as well as scores from scrum-half Nate Auspurger, replacement prop Dino Waldren and replacement lock David Tameilau took a rampaging USA out of sight.

USA’s captain Todd Clever was playing his 76th and final test and he couldn’t have finished on a bigger high for the team. The significance of his retirement was not lost on the home crowd, who kept him going on a number of post-match victory laps long after the final whistle, signing flags and being photographed.

For the man himself, it is the perfect end to a career that has taken him all over the world. He said: “I’m just extremely proud to be an American Eagle and it’s great that we managed to qualify in front of our home crowd. We did what we came here to do and we were pretty confident all week so I’m really proud of the boys and I’m so proud to be part of this great day.”

So in the heat and passion of the moment, did he have any regrets about retiring? Would he be open to a comeback for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, a country he knows well having played several seasons in the Top League for Suntory.

He said: “Japan is like my third or fourth home so I’ll definitely be at the Rugby World Cup in 2019 but I’ll be in the crowd cheering them on, not on the pitch. I’ll be the biggest fan. I’m going to have some more family time, spend time with my daughter and get out on the ocean more and take a breather.”

Meanwhile, two-try hero Dolan was quick to shower his captain with praise after the game.

He said: “Todd Clever has been a stalwart for America over the years so to go out like this in his last game is great for him but it’s bitter-sweet for us. He is an inspiration to us, the boys look up to him and he has been a great leader for us.

“Today is what we wanted from the start, it's what we've been working for. It’s the first time we’ve ever qualified as Americas 1 so to do it on home turf in front of a great crowd is amazing. We’re going to enjoy this moment and then we can look forward to Rugby World Cup in two years’ time.”

For Canada, they will have the daunting task of a two-leg play-off against Uruguay with Montevideo never being an easy place to play given the passionate home support and tough Teros that stand in the way.

Naturally, head coach Mark Anscombe was disappointed afterwards. He said: “We started off poorly and let in some tries. But we clawed our way back, like we did last week, and got back to a position of 19-16. There were a couple of reversed penalties at crucial times and then they released some big guys off the bench and we couldn’t contain them. They were too big, too strong and too powerful, and in the last 20 minutes they just ran all over us.

“It’s all well and good having dominance in the scrum but we had 19 set pieces and we got the ball away three times so unless we learn to use it more smartly, then it won’t be much good us. You won’t win a game if all you have is a strong scrum.”

Before the game, a moment’s silence was observed in memory of former Canada coach Ric Suggitt, who passed away suddenly during the week. During his illustrious career, Suggitt coached the Canada men’s and women’s senior teams as well as the men’s sevens team. He also coached the USA women’s sevens team for several years, meaning he will be sadly missed by players and supporters on both sides of the border as well as by countless friends and admirers he made throughout the global rugby family.

Canada Name Side to Face USA in Second RWC Qualifier: One Change at Scrum Half

posted June 29 2017

Only one change in the side with Phil Mack out due to "family commitments". That means Gordon McRorie gets the start and Andrew Ferguson is on the bench.

The USA and Canada are fairly equal in playing strength and it comes down to who plays smarter and makes less mistakes.

The USA with home field advantage and a higher ranking will go in as favourites but it's not an insurmountable task if Canada plays well and plays smart.

The loser of the match will face Uruguay in a home and away series in 2018.

The match is on TSN 3 at 3pm PT and also streamed on TSN GO.

from Rugby Canada

Winner-takes-all finale at Torero Stadium in San Diego on Saturday to decide Americas 1 position in pool C of 2019 RWC in Japan; Kick off set for 6pm ET/3pm PT live on TSN 3

SAN DIEGO, USA (June 29, 2017) — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s winner-takes-all 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier.

After drawing 28-28 last Saturday at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Anscombe has made just one change as Gordon McRorie replaces Phil Mack at scrum-half. Mack is unavailable due to family commitments.

“Everyone knows their role and that they need to do it with conviction and confidence,” Anscombe said. “If we do that we can put on a good showing Saturday.”

Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki form Canada’s front row with co-captain Brett Beukeboom alongside Evan Olmstead at lock.

Matt Heaton and Admir Cejvanovic start at flanker with Tyler Ardron at No. 8. Shane O’Leary, who kicked 13 points last weekend, starts at fly-half. Taylor Paris and Andrew Coe start on the wings with Connor Braid and co-captain DTH van der Merwe in the centres. Newfoundland’s Ciaran Hearn starts at fullback.

“We’re creating lots of opportunities but we’re just not finishing them,” Anscombe said. “This week if we can be clearer about them finishing them and our decision making is smarter then we’re going to run in some tries.

“If we front up and play smart we can neglect their home advantage and get the result we want.”

Canada got two tries from van der Merwe while Aaron Carpenter also scored as the two teams played to a thrilling tie Saturday. Mike Te’o and Nick Civetta each had two tries for the USA.

The winner of Saturday’s game qualifies for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as Americas 1 where they will join Pool C with England, Argentina, France and Oceanic 2. The loser will still have two more opportunities to qualify for the tournament.

Canada is 38-17-2 all-time against USA but the Eagles have won five of the last six matchups. 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 15-4-1 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, which takes place at Torero Stadium, kicks off at 6pm ET/3pm PT and is LIVE on TSN 3.

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. Gordon McRorie – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
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. Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
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
Alana Gattinger – Manager
Mallory White – Athletic Therapist
Alistair Wilson – Athletic Therapist
Dr. Peet Du Toit – Team Doctor
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Calum Ramsay – 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 28-28 USA — June 24 — Tim Horton’s Field
Canada vs. USA — July 1 — San Diego — 6pm ET/3pm PT

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