Both Canadian Teams - Maple Leafs and Upright Rugby - 0-4 And Out of Tournament
It is disappointing to see both Canadian teams go into the tournament and come out without wins. Unless everybody in the system agrees that this is a disappointing result things aren't going to get better. Improvements need to be made in the pathway for the senior men's 7s team and the talent ID process.
The USA were able to put in at least 12 teams with better results. The Maple Leafs are supposed to be the best of Canada outside of the players who are playing on the World Rugby circuit. Canada needs to build some depth in their 7s program and have competitions so that coaches can evaluate players properly to select for international tournaments.
On day 2 the Maple Leafs were completely outclassed by a Fijian team, led by 49 year old Waisale Serevi, 38-0. The Rogues did better against a weaker team, the RAF Spitfires and lost just at the whistle 21-19. Two of the Rogues actually should have been playing on the Maple Leafs based on playing level, Kainoa Lloyd and John Sheridan.
The Langford 7s is coming up on September 2nd and this is the perfect tournament to make a statement to coaches and selectors to be on the radar and included in the future for tournaments like this.
Match Video - 2 minutes in
Maple Leafs 0-3 at Rugbytown 7s: Full Match Videos
The Maple Leafs opened Day 1 with a 28-19 loss to Seattle based Atavus. Their second match saw a 28-12 loss to the Rambling Jesters. The closest match for the Canada development side saw them lose at the whistle to the Collegiate All-Americans 24-19. They start tomorrow at 11:30am PT against Fiji/Suva Water.
Dustin Dobravsky has probably been the most consistent player in the first three games. The team lacks a couple of pace players, Caleb Jordan is probably the quickest player and he is capped for the senior side but his ball security has been poor. Kyle Lagasca showed flashes of attacking skill but there hasn't really been a stand out player so far in the first three matches.
For the young players James Hammond and Kevin Vertkas have put in reasonable performances, Erich Milne looked a bit out of his depth in his early shifts.
The schedule indicates only the top four teams advance to the Bowl and Cup competitions so the 5th team in each pool may be done after pool play. That could be the Maple Leafs unless they win their pool match tomorrow.
The other Canadian team, Upright Rugby Rogues, also went 0-3 on Day 1 losing to Rugby Utah 26-12, Denver Selects 29-12 and 1823 Tigers 33-14. They face the RAF Spitfires tomorrow in Pool play.
Match #1 - 24 minutes in
Match #2 - 1 minute in
Match #3 - 3 minutes in
Coach Andrew Hall Names Maple Leaf Team for RugbyTown 7s in Colorado
The Maple Leaf team heading to Colorado for the RugbyTown 7s has a mixture of well known names and up and coming players. The BC Bears team just coming off their national championships have four players Doug Fraser, Dustin Dobravsky, Karsten Leitner and Riley DiNardo. DiNardo has been with the Maple Leaf 7s team for a couple of seasons now. Other familiar names from Maple Leafs last year are Caleb Jordan and Kyle Legasca. James Pitblado of the UVic Vikes is on the squad as well, UVic winning the University 7s for several years in a row before being toppled last year by UBC. Those are the seven veterans.
James Hammond is the brother of Lucas Hammond the Canada 7s player. Canada already has a brother pairing with Justin and Jared Douglas, here's another potential one on the horizon. Kevin Vertkas is just back from the U18 Junior Commonwealth Games where Canada came 4th behind Samoa, England and Fiji. Ethan Hager played for Canada's U19 XVs team last year, Henry Stevenson played for Ontario U18 at the National 7s and Erich Milne was listed with the Canada U20 training squad but didn't make the team going to Uruguay this week.
It's interesting to note that all the veteran players are BC based and all the developing players are Ontario based (to the best of our knowledge). Coach Andrew Hall is Ontario based so may not get to see a lot of developing 7s talent outside of the province.
There's a chance that many of these players will play in the Langford 7s on September 2nd at Westhills Stadium. from Rugby Canada
GLENDALE, CO – Canada Maple Leafs head coach Andrew Hall has announces his roster for this weekend’s RugbyTown 7s in Glendale, Colorado.
“This Maple Leafs Team has a good mix of youth and experience, as we look to build some depth into the pathway to the senior program. It’s positive to see connectivity between the Junior Maple Leafs and Maple Leafs with a couple of players in Denver that played in the Bahamas at Youth Commonwealth Games. There are some returning experienced players that are looking to re-establish themselves in the eyes of National Team Coaches and they bring a great energy and drive to the team, as we look to build a strong culture within this Maple Leafs program,” said Andrew Hall, Maple Leafs head coach.
“RugbyTown 7s allows the Maple Leafs program to start a very big year of tournaments with a great start. The competition level will be high which is exactly what we are looking for our players. It will give them a chance to develop in the middle of top-level competition that can help build our development pathway in Canada,” added Hall.
"This the first of a series of strong tests over the next season for our young up and coming Sevens stars. We plan to use our Maple Leaf programme to look at as many talented young men as possible,” said Damian McGrath. “Coach Andrew Hall has selected a nice blend of youth and experience. I'm looking forward to seeing them in action this weekend in what promises to be a tough tournament."
All matches played in the stadium will be streamed live at: rugbytown.us/stream
Canada Maple Leafs roster for RugbyTown 7s:
Riley DiNardo – Toronto Saracens
Dustin Dobravsky – Castaway Wanderers
Doug Fraser – Castaway Wanderers
Ethan Hager – Brantford Harlequins
James Hammond – Toronto Nomands
Caleb Jordan – Montreal Wanderers
Erich Milne – Oshawa Vikings
Kyle Lagasca – Toronto Saracens
Karsten Leitner – UBCOB Ravens
James Pitblado – UVIC Vikes
Henry Stevenson – Toronto Nomads
Kevin Vertkas – Toronto Nomads
Maple Leafs Schedule:
Maple Leafs vs. Atavus All-Stars at 12:50pm local time (2:50pm ET/11:50am PT)
Maple Leafs vs. Ramblin Jesters at 3:30pm local time (5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT)
Maple Leafs vs. Collegiate All-Stars at 6:30pm local time (8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT)
Maple Leafs vs. Fiji Selects at 12:30pm local time
Knockout stages TBD
Knockout stages TBD