Canada A v Tonga A - APC 2017

October 11 2017

Kyle Gilmour

Canada Fall to Tonga in Americas Pacific Challenge 31-17: FULL MATCH VIDEO

Tonga were ahead in the match 31-3 until the last 10 minutes when they received a yellow card. With the extra man and a tiring Tonga defence Canada were able to score two late tries. Kyle Gilmour scored at 70 minutes, followed by Pat Parfrey at 76 minutes.

Canada were never really in the match and were outmatched in the physicality department. Their centres were running over our second row, Canada didn't have the muscle to match up in the tight game, nor have the pace to beat Tonga out wide. When Canada tried to pick and go with the forwards they inevitably lost ground. One bright spot for Canada was their scrum, particularly in the second half.

Kainoa Lloyd had a few decent runs but without any linking play they weren't finished off. Dustin Dobravsky found some space when he came in at #8 in the second half. Dobravsky is a good case study on some of the issues with Canadian rugby. He was "discovered" by national selectors about 4 years too late, much the same as Clay Panga, Mozac Samson, Joe Dolesau. He should have been in the Canada "A" mix years earlier but the system doesn't flag talent early enough. Another issue is he's now on the cusp of both the XVs and 7s national team. He doesn't have the size to be a physically dominant #8 but does have great mobility, in 7s he's a big man but doesn't quite have the break away speed. Does he become the "utility" player able to vie for either national team as a "possible" or does he commit and train specifically to one of the codes? It's a question a lot of Canadian players have to ask themselves as XVs and 7s diverge further up the high performance pathway.

As for the APC, Canada will face USA next on Sunday, likely a closer battle as Samoa defeated USA but today are being thumped by Argentina. That puts Canada and USA at an approximate equal strength. The USA face Uruguay later today.


Canada Name Team to Face Tonga on Wednesday: Eleven Changes

Coach Mike Shelley has made 11 changes to the starting roster after the dismal performance versus an Argentina XV on Saturday.

The three front row reserves from last match get the start, Brouwer, Howard, Kotlewski. Ray Barkwill gets a spot on the bench. Liam Murray and Cole Keith are reserve props. Dropped from the match day 23 are Buydens and Lagain. Buydens hasn't played a lot of rugby in the last year, coming back from a serious injury and then playing a bit of club rugby in BC. He no doubt earned his spot based on previous form and is trying to work his way back to that standard.

Conor Keys keeps his spot in second row with Liam Chisolm getting the start, Wadden takes the bench. The team only travelled with 3 second row so there's not a lot of selection options.

Rumball gets dropped from the match day 23 with Peter Milazzo getting the start at openside. Larsen keeps the #8 spot and Kyle Gilmour again captains the team from the blindside position.

The halfback combination changes to Jorden Sandover-Best and Rob Povey with Ferguson and Parfrey on the bench.

Nieuwenhuysen moves to the bench making way for Conor Desmond in the centres, Guiseppe du Toit keeps his centre position. The back three changes with Karsten Leitner and Kainoa Lloyd on the wing and Mitchell Richardson at fullback.

Tonga also started with a loss at the hands of host Uruguay, 34-25. Canada went down 71-17 to Argentina XV. The game kicks off at 8am PT according to the Rugby Canada report and will be available live on the World Rugby facebook page.


We posted a photo from 2011 of Canada vs Tonga with Adam Kleeberger, Canada won that match 25-20. We thought we would look at some of those players and where they are now. In the front row was Jason Marshall, Pat Riordan and Hubert Buydens. Buydens is still in the mix but Marshall went off the radar after playing second tier rugby in France, Riordan is in Victoria but has drifted away from the rugby scene. Second rows were Jebb Sinclair and Jamie Cudmore, both in coaching and recently retired. Sinclair is coaching the Meraloma, Cudmore in France. Loose forwards were Kleeberger, O'Toole, Carpenter. Carpenter is still in the mix playing Tier 2 in England, O'Toole tried a comeback in 2015 and was playing well but national selectors didn't pick him up, Kleeberger is working for Rugby Canada in strength and conditioning. Ed Fairhurst and Ander Munro were the halfbacks both still in BC, Ander a teacher at Shawnigan, Ed in the investments business. Ryan Smith and DTH were the centres, Smith now in Alberta and DTH going strong with Newcastle, still the class player for Canada then and now. The wings were Phil Mackenzie and Ciaran Hearn, Mackenzie retired from rugby and working in fitness, Hearn is with London Irish playing Premier A and trying to make his way back up to the top team. James Pritchard was the fullback, currently playing in the UK with Ampthill in National One.

from Rugby Canada

MONTEVIDEO, URUGAY – Canada’s Men’s ‘A’ Team head coach Mike Shelley has made 11 changes to his starting roster to face Tonga ‘A’ on Wednesday in the second game of the 2017 Americas Pacific Challenge.

Conor Keys, Captain Kyle Gilmour, Travis Larsen and Guiseppe du Toit remain in the starting XV to face Tonga ‘A’, who opened their APC with a 34-25 loss to Uruguay XV on Saturday.

Keys, du Toit and Ferguson, who moves to the bench on Wednesday, scored Canada’s tries in their opening 71-17 loss to Argentina XV.

Kick off is 11am ET/8am PT and you can watch Live on World Rugby’s Facebook page.

Canada A Roster to face Tonga ‘A’ on Wednesday:

1. Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
2. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
3. Ryan Kotlewski – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
4. Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
5. Liam Chisholm – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Kenora, ON
6. Kyle Gilmour – Captain (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
7. Peter Milazzo – (Toronto Saracens/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
8. Travis Larsen – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
9. Jorden Sandover-Best – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
10. Robbie Povey – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Northampton, UK
11. Kainoa Lloyd – (Mississauga Blues/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
12. Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
13. Conor Desmond – (Calgary Irish/Prairie Wolf Pack) Rideau Ferry, ON
14. Karsten Leitner – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
15. Mitchell Richardson – (Stoney Creek RFC/Ontario Blues) Stoney Creek, ON
16. Ray Barkwill – (Unattached/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
17. Liam Murray – (Langley Rugby Club/BC Bears) Langley, BC
18. Cole Keith – (Bellesile Rovers/Atlantic Rock) Sussex, NB
19. Adrian Wadden – (Leeds Beckett University/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
20. Dustin Dobravsky – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Hanover, Germany
21. Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
22. Patrick Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
23. Mike Nieuwenhuysen – (Brampton Beavers RFC/BC Bears) Brampton, ON

Non-dressing subs:

Hubert Buydens – (New Orleans Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Brett Johnson – (Truro Saints/Atlantic Rock) Truro, NS
Martial Lagain – (Sherbrooke Abenakis/Atlantic Rock) Saint-Jean-de-Marsacq, France
Aidan McMullan – (St. Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON

Canada A Staff:

Mike Shelley – Head Coach
Francois Ratier – Assistant Coach
Chris Silverthorn – Assistant Coach
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Mallory White – Physiotherapist
Jalin Couper – Athletic Therapist
Caroline Aiken – Team Doctor
Mike Deasy – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Alana Gattinger – Manager

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