Canada A vs Uruguay A - APC 2018

October 06 2018

Doug Fraser reaches for try line
© Chris Wilson

Canada Fall to Uruguay 35-21 in Round One of APC: FULL MATCH VIDEO

There's a feeling of sadness when writing about the men's XVs team, there's always hope, the prematch article has to show a bit of hope but the outcome always seems the same as of late. Even the Canadian rugby public is getting tired, usually on the Canada facebook page when RC dutifully post the story of the loss there's a wave of anger countered by a modest push back by the faithful. Even that is petering out, on today's loss a mere 5 comments so far, that may be the worst fear, apathy and a "who cares" reaction!

The half ended close, 13-7 in Uruguay's favour. Uruguay were ahead on two penalties 6-0 when Sauder and Fraser linked up on a nice score. Fraser offloading to Sauder who passed back inside to Fraser who did some work to find the try line. Uruguay came back before the half and scored a push over try from the scrum.

Some observations from the first half. A blow to Canada when Matt Heaton was knocked out by a head butt in a tackle. It was an awkward tackle, a dangerous tackle perhaps but not penalized or considered in contravention of rugby law according to officials. Heaton was gone for the game and perhaps for the tournament depending on results from the concussion appraisal. Canada's scrum was getting worked over, Uruguay won a couple of penalties off that and eventually scored a try.

The second half started brightly for Canada as they used a maul to march the ball down close to the try line, when it stopped Mack found Parfrey out wide in the wing position on the blindside. He beat the scrum half to the corner and dove over, duToit converted and Canada were in the lead 14-13.

At 51 minutes Canada gave away a kickable penalty, it looks like Ciulini was called for boring in from the side on an attacking maul, Uruguay went ahead 16-14.

Off the ensuing kickoff by Canada a perfect example of their epic mental lapses and why they are in this position. Canada kick down the centre of the field, the Uruguay scrum half, who was probably player of the match, receives it and scampers 30 metres up field without a hand laid on him. Canada 5, 8, 20 and a prop all within reaching distance. It's plays like that when you start ranting about the defensive specialist coach they brought in from off shore and why bother, we have many domestic coaches who can do better.

Fortunately Uruguay knock the ball on eventually and Canada get the scrum but Canada aren't out of their mind fog yet. From the scrum, blindside winger Brock Staller makes a mighty run off Parfrey on the inside, Parfrey makes a perfect, no look pass to the outside... where no one is waiting, except an eager Uruguay defender who hoofs the ball down the field. Bloody hell, what do the centralized group practice each day while not playing competitive rugby. It was at this point the Canadian rugby fan knew how the last 30 minutes would play out.

It didn't take long for the comedy to deliver the punch line, after 2nd phase on a Uruguay scrum, some of the Canada forwards are slow to get back. The Uruguay scrum half is checking his options when it looks like Noah Barker with hands above his head runs straight at him, from behind. The scrum half doesn't need a second invitation and sees he has protected status and scampers 30+ metres for the try. Why on earth would a prop move diagonally to run into the ruck (and scrum half) from behind, the only explanation that makes sense is he's on robotic control to achieve his role in the system rather than make the most practical decision at the time, which is select the fastest path to get onside. Playing the system vs decision making, it's a story that's coming from the past to bite Canada.

There was a glimmer of hope at 73 minutes as Uruguay went through its period of mental lapses, a knock on was pounced on and from the ensuing ruck, McRorie, not playing to the system play book, picked it up, didn't look left or right but just pinned his ears back, jinked his way past the last defender and was under the posts. McRorie had come in for Parfrey at flyhalf but it was his scrum half instincts that scored that try. 23-21 for Uruguay with 7 minutes left, still hope.

It wasn't meant to be, at 76 minutes a dominant Uruguay scrum pushed Canada back, the scrum half scampered away, McRorie picked him up but du Toit pinched in on the coverage leaving his man open and the ball got to the Canada goal line, one phase and the forwards were over, 30-21. Uruguay added one at the whistle to add insult to injury, 35-21.

As for the players and individual performances, Kainoa Lloyd was largely invisible, he didn't produce anything today, as Canada's danger man on the outside he didn't deliver. Best back was probably Theo Sauder who had several evasive runs and was in support to set up Fraser's try. Best sub was Gordon McRorie who may have upped his chances of starting ahead of Parfrey at #10 next match. The scrum was truly beaten and bested today. The one driving maul leading to a score was the highlight for the forward pack. The mental lapses, this time between 50 and 60 minutes and the last 5 minutes, are killing Canada, they need to be able to play 80 minutes of focused rugby to get through the repechage.

Canada next face Argentina next who lost to Samoa, both Samoa and Tonga looking strong with upsets in the opening round.

URU 35 - 21 CAN
TGA 39 - 30 USA
ARG 31 - 36 SAM


Jones Selects His 23 to Face Uruguay on Saturday: Streamed Live at Noon PT

It's a familiar configuration that Jones has trotted out, one that hasn't been terribly successful but he's committed to his centralized players and has his path set to the repechage now. How many of these players will actually see action in the repechage remains to be seen. If Taylor Paris, DTH, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn and Matt Evans are back in the mix how many spaces will remain open? The centre pairing of Du Toit and Fraser hasn't shown a lot of promise but they've been given another go. Kainoa Lloyd is the danger man out wide on current form. Theo Sauder can produce magic in the back three. Brock Staller has been hot and cold, perhaps better at fullback and it would be interesting to see if he could take a shot at #10 at this level if the coach is interested in trying new combinations. At #10 is Pat Parfrey, not a great flyhalf but reliable and that may have to do for the repechage. Phil Mack, of course, at scrum half with Gordon McRorie back in the mix as backup. It's not a "rock your world" backline but if they can play with precision and keep errors down they may come away with a couple of wins and be on the positive side of the close matches for a change.

The forwards are the standard domestic mix that Jones has favoured. Rumball, Campbell and Heaton on the loose. Ciulini and Baillie second row and Keith, Barkwill and Barker in the front row.

Uruguay have won the last two against Canada, knocking them into the repechage pathway. It's time for a win, if Canada want to build some momentum towards the repechage, Uruguay would be a good place to start.

Game kicks off at noon PT on Saturday and is live on

from Rugby Canada

Montevideo, Uruguay – Canada head coach Kingsley Jones has named his 23-man “A” team to open the six-team World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge on Saturday against the hosts, Uruguay “A”.

Led by Captain Phil Mack, Canada “A” includes a full roster of fully capped internationals on the starting XV. Off the bench, Jones has included veterans Gordon McRorie and Hubert Buydens, along with the return of Jordan Wilson-Ross and the debut of youngster Brock Webster.

Webster, who hails from Ontario and recently joined the National Men’s Carded Program in Langford, BC, replaced Andrew Ferguson, who was unavailable due to receiving surgery on a bicep injury.

Jones’ outfit will place two further matches against Argentina “A” and Tonga “A” following Saturday’s tilt, with all eyes on next month’s last-change qualifying repechage tournament for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Kick off on Saturday is 4pm local time, 3pm ET/12pm PT and you can watch LIVE at

Canada’s “A” roster to face Uruguay “A”:

1. Noah Barker – James Bay AA/BC Bears (Courtenay, BC)
2. Ray Barkwill – Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues (Niagara Falls, ON)
3. Cole Keith – James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock (Sussex, NB)
4. Paul Ciulini – Aurora Barbarians/Ontario Blues (Vaughan, ON)
5. Kyle Baillie – Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock (Summerside, PEI)
6. Lucas Rumball – Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues (Mississauga, ON)
7. Matt Heaton – Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock (Godmanchester, QC)
8. Luke Campbell – James Bay AA/BC Bears (Victoria, BC)
9. Phil Mack –Captain, Seattle Seawolves/BC Bears (Victoria, BC)
10. Pat Parfrey – Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock (St. John’s, NL)
11. Brock Staller – Seattle Seawolves/BC Bears (Vancouver, BC)
12. Guiseppe du Toit – UVIC Vikes/BC Bears (Maple Ridge, BC)
13. Doug Fraser – Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears (Ladysmith, BC)
14. Kainoa Lloyd – Mississauga Blues/Ontario Blues (Mississauga, ON)
15. Theo Sauder – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
16. Eric Howard – NOLA Gold/Ontario Blues (Ottawa, ON)
17. Hubert Buydens – NOLA Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack (Saskatoon, SK)
18. Ryan Kotlewski – Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
19. Conor Keys – UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock (Stittsville, ON)
20. Dustin Dobravsky – Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears (Hanover, Germany)
21. Gordon McRorie – Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
22. Jordan Wilson-Ross – Vancouver Rowing Club/Atlantic Rock (Alliston, ON)
23. Brock Webster – Oshawa Vikings (Uxbridge, ON)

APC Staff:

Kingsley Jones – Head Coach
Henry Paul – Defence Coach
Aaron Carpenter – Assistant Coach
Michael Deasy – S & C Coach
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Mallory White – Head Physiotherapist
Mike Cook – Physiotherapist
Dr. Lindsay Bradley – Team Physician
Alana Gattinger – Team Manager

Canada’s Americas Pacific Challenge schedule:

October 6
Canada “A” vs. Uruguay “A”
4pm local time (3pm ET/12pm PT)

October 10
Canada “A” vs. Argentina “A”
4pm local time (3pm ET/12pm PT)

October 14
Canada “A” vs. Tonga “A”
11am local time (10am ET/7am PT)

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