Canada Retain 11th Place with 7 Point Performance in Singapore
The bad news is Samoa jumped ahead of Canada in the standings but the good news is other teams did worse than Canada so they maintain their 11th place. France had a shocker and dropped to 12th place with only 1 point out of Singapore. Canada are tied with Scotland at 51 points so can claim a partial share of 10th place. There are two tournaments left London and Paris, Canada get a similar draw in London with both South Africa and Samoa in the pool but this time Russia instead of Argentina. It's an easier draw and again it comes down to the crucial Canada v Samoa match to make the Cup round.
Canada battled well on Day 2 in the Challenge QF defeating France 26-7, they then advanced to the Challenge Final with a 17-10 win over Wales. The USA proved too much for them in the Challenge Final and they lost 26-12, 4 tries to 2.
Canada 1-2 at Singapore: Into the Challenge Round vs France
There will be no 2017 heroics, no Cup to display on return. Defending champions Canada missed out on the Cup round.
It started brightly for Canada with a 26-14 win over Argentina, setting up a likely loss to South Africa and win over Samoa story line to advance to the Cup round and a shot at repeating history. It wasn't to be.
The loss to South Africa came 26-12 but the Samoa match didn't play out as expected, it was three tries each in the second half but Samoa scored the fourth and ran out 22-19 winners.
The video below sums up the match and the season for Canada. So close sometimes but a lack of tactical awareness, a lack of aggression, and dubious decision making turned a possible 4 metre maul pushed over the line for a set scrum into a 70 second fiasco that made the World Rugby highlight reel.
Samoa (12th at 43 pts) go into the Cup round and will bypass Canada (11th at 44 pts) in the standings regardless of Canada's outcome in the Challenge round. Spain (13th at 35 pts) also made the Cup round and will close the gap on Canada.
Canada Returns to Singapore - Scene of Last Year's Cup Win But Injuries and Lack of Robust Maple Leaf Program are Concerns: Moonlight and Braid Out, Bradley Called In - Rumours of Moonlight's Retirement
Canada won the Singapore 7s last year, an amazing feat for the 11th placed nation, their first World Series win. But it's going to be difficult to repeat. Core players John Moonlight and Connor Braid are back home, Pat Kay is listed as 50-50. Luke Bradley has been called in to provide backup.
The lack of depth in the Maple Leaf 7s program is a concern. The carding spots were cut and with the current injury situation there were only a few players left to call up into the senior squad. Luke Bradley got the call. Head coach Damian McGrath has considered bringing in some young blood, David Richard who was outstanding for Canada in their South America tour earlier this year is unfortunately injured as well and expecting shoulder surgery. It's not a good situation to be in with another Olympic qualifying cycle on the horizon.
All HQ attention seems to be on the men's XVs and qualifying for the 2019 World Cup. Rugby Canada initiated the extraordinary measure of raising $450K for the men's XVs through a registration tax. The same concern doesn't seem to be afforded the men's 7s program although better performances may get their 3/4 million reinstated from OTP.
Most other nations are busy preparing their Olympic plans, Canada needs to think ahead, a lot of money follows Olympic success as the women's 7s program is finding out.
Late rumours are circulating that John Moonlight has returned for reasons other than injury. An important announcement is expected from Rugby Canada tomorrow that involves John Moonlight, possible retirement from 7s and a firefighting job. If it's true, it's an end to a 7s era, both John and David Moonlight were foundations of the 7s program during their respective eras. We'll find out more tomorrow.
Andrew Coe – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
Connor Braid – James Bay AA (Victoria, BC)
Tevaughn Campbell – Unattached (Toronto, ON)
Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
Justin Douglas – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Lucas Hammond – Toronto Nomads (Toronto, ON)
Nathan Hirayama – Unattached (Richmond, BC)
Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
Pat Kay – Castaway Wanderers (Duncan, BC)
Mike Fuailefau – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Harry Jones – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
John Moonlight – Captain, James Bay AA (Pickering, ON)
Matt Mullins – Queen’s University (Belleville, ON)
Luke Bradley - Port Alberni (BC)