Cape Town 7s 2018

December 09 2018

Pat Kay scores first Canadian try in BC Place
© pjCARR

Canada Claim 5 Series Points and Sit in 12th Spot in Series Standings After Two Rounds: FULL MATCH VIDEOS

As predicted Canada defeated Zimbabwe and lost to Argentina to finish at the same level as Dubai, no improvement and based on results vs Zimbabwe at the two tournaments perhaps a step backwards. The result vs Zimbabwe shows Canada's defence is an issue. Zimbabwe only scored two tries on Day 1 vs three opponents but scored three tries in the 1st half against Canada alone and four in total in the match.

Nathan Hirayama came off in the match versus Zimbabwe and wasn't listed for the match against Argentina.

The good news for Canada is the next tournament in NZ in January sees Canada in a pool with NZ, Spain and Japan. This is a great draw for Canada and they basically have to beat Spain to make the Cup round. Other positive news for Canada is USA keep rolling along and now sit top of the standings in the series. If they maintain a top 4 finish then Canada's qualification for the Olympics becomes much easier.

Canada v Zimbabwe Full Match

Canada v Argentina Full Match

from Rugby Canada

Canada vs. Zimbabwe

Canada won their Challenge Trophy Quarterfinal match against Zimbabwe, 28-24.

To start things off it was Nathan Hirayama who scored the first try for Canada and his second so far in Cape Town. After subbing in for an injured Andrew Coe, Isaac Kaay got the inside ball and ran it in for the score. Three tries from Zimbabwe put them up 19-14 at the break.

In the second, Pat Kay broke the Zimbabwe line and touched down for a try. A Zimbabwe grubber was picked up by Canada’s Josiah Morra, who found Kaay for the offload and went on to score his second try of the match. A late try by Zimbabwe brought the final score to 28-24 for Canada.

Canada vs. Argentina

Canada ended the Cape Town Sevens series with a loss to Argentina in the Challenge Trophy Semifinals, 24-14.

After Argentina opened up the scoring, Pat Kay found Matt Mullins who dotted down for a try. The great touches continued with the ball moving through hands to find Connor Braid who scored his third try of the series. Pay Kay made both conversions and put Canada up 14-5 at the break.

Things started to break down for Canada in the second, as they were given two yellow cards and gave the advantage to Argentina. Argentina capitalized on it, scoring three unanswered tries and securing their victory, 24-14.

Canada reached some significant milestones in the Cape Town. Justin Douglas’s four tries in the series puts him at 126 to date, making him Canada’s all time leading try scorer. Nathan Hirayama broke the 1500 point mark and is only the fourth player to ever do so. He ends off 2018 with an all time 1509 points.

Nova Scotia native Cooper Coats also saw his first World Rugby Sevens Series after being called up as an injury replacement.

Canada earned five points in Cape Town, putting them at 10 total going into 2019. They’ll continue their quest for Tokyo 2020 qualification next in Hamilton, January 26-27th, 2019.

Feeling of Deja Vu as Canada Drop to Challenge Round to Face Zimbabwe at Cape Town: Full Match Videos

Didn't we just see this last week, Canada going 1-2 on Day 1 and facing Zimbabwe in the Challenge Round on Day 2? In Dubai Canada lost to Australia and England, defeated Japan, then Zimbabwe in the Challenge QF before losing to France and gaining 5 series points.

It's very much the same this week, losses to Australia and Scotland, win over Wales and likely defeating Zimbabwe tomorrow. Then they'll probably face Argentina and it could be another 5 series points.

Canada's first match vs Scotland was the key, that was the win that slipped away and would have put them in the Cup round. It was a one score game, 21-14, and the little differences in that match point to where Canada need to improve to achieve some Cup round results.

For this viewer the difference was defensive pressure, Scotland applied it, Canada didn't. With the game tied at 14-14 Canada had two chances to contest a lineout to create a turnover but didn't contest either. There were no viable challenges for a steal at the breakdown, and Canada's defensive mindset seemed to be contain and wait for the other team to make an error. That may work with teams like Japan and Zimbabwe but it won't with the Cup bound teams who don't make a slew of handling errors, turnovers have to be won and the attacking team made to feel threatened at every breakdown and tackle. Scotland scrapped at every lineout and tackle and that comes down to mindset and intensity. Canada are almost there, but not quite yet.

The surprise team that will pass Canada in the standings now is Spain, they made the Cup round by taking down Argentina, no small feat. With their jump past Canada it will likely leave Wales, Japan and Kenya below Canada and the buffer from the relegation position. All three teams are also in the Challenge round facing tough opponents tomorrow. Kenya is perhaps the most disappointed so far sitting in last place and again not making the Cup round. Last season they finished ahead of Canada in 8th place. It makes one wonder if their policy of throwing the 7s players into the XVs repechage had any detrimental effect on their 7s preparation?

Canada v Scotland Full Match Video

Canada v Australia Full Match Video

Canada v Wales Full Match Video

from Rugby Canada

Canada vs. Scotland

Canada started off the Cape Town Sevens Series with a loss to Scotland, 21-14.

Scotland was first on the board, but Connor Braid followed shortly behind with a try of his own. After adding on another, Scotland closed out the first half up 14-7.

In the second, Matt Mullins won the battle on the ground and broke the line before offloading to Pat Kay who dotted down for a try. It wasn’t enough though, as Scotland answered back with a score in the late seconds of the match that secured their win 21-14. Nathan Hirayama was successful in both of his conversion attempts, bringing him just 11 points away from 1500.

Canada vs. Australia

Canada fall to Australia in their second game of the day, losing 29-15.

It was all Australia in the first half, stretching Canada’s defence and getting two tries a piece for John Porch and Nick Malouf. Going into the break Australia lead 24-0.

In the second, Justin Douglas scored two tries to open up the scoring for Canada. The two scores gives Douglas 124 in total, which ties Sean Duke’s record for Canada’s all-time tries scored. Australia added on one more try of their own, giving Porch a hattrick.

Ending off the match it was Nathan Hirayama who was able to get control of the ball and touch down in the corner for a try. Australia took the match 29-15.

Canada vs. Wales

Canada end off day one in Cape Town with a convincing 28-7 victory over Wales.

Justin Douglas opened the scoring for Canada, with Nathan Hirayama adding on the conversion. Connor Braid scored his second of the series and put Canada up 14-7 at the break.

Matt Mullins danced around the Wales defender to score his first of the series in the second half. A great offload by Adam Zaruba to Justin Douglas added on another try for Canada and secured the win.

Two major milestones were reached in the 28-7 victory. Douglas hit 126 tries making him Canada’s leading all time try scorer and Hirayama’s four conversions pushed him over the allusive 1500 mark. Hirayama is just the fourth player to break 1500 points and he currently sits at 1502.

Canada will now move on to the Challenge Trophy Quarterfinals with their opponent is still TBD. Kick off is at 4:20am ET/ 1:20am PT on December 9th.

Cape Town 7s Kicks Off This Evening for Canada at 12:15am PT vs Scotland - Hammond Injured Replaced by New Cap Cooper Coats

One change from the Dubai team as Lucas Hammond picked up a serious ankle injury and joins Jones, Fuailefau and Berna on the injury list. Cooper Coats has been playing with James Bay in the BC Premier league since coming out to join the national carding program.

Canada will have to win 2 of 3 matches to advance to the Cup round. Australia made it to the Cup semi-final in Dubai, losing to USA who finished 2nd. Scotland is the key match, they made the Cup round in Dubai but only by the slightest margin, defeating Kenya in pool play but drawing with France and having a better point differential. Wales finished below Canada at Dubai but are always a dangerous opponent.

from Rugby Canada

The second stop of the 2019 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will take place in Cape Town, South Africa from December 8-9th, the last series of 2018.

Coming off an 11th place finish in Dubai, Canada will be looking to gain some valuable points towards Tokyo 2020 qualification before the year is out.

The team will face Scotland, Australia, and Wales in day one of the Cape Town Series. Canada played Australia in Dubai and hope to improve their performance in this next meeting, having fallen 31-19.

Canada’s roster will see a change as Lucas Hammond suffered an injury in Dubai and will be replaced by Cooper Coats. Captain Nathan Hirayama and Connor Braid currently lead the team in points with 21 and 20 respectively, heading into Cape Town.

The Cape Town series falls just after the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s passing and what would have been his 100th year. The Springboks will take part in South Africa’s centenary celebrations by sporting jersey’s honoring Mandela throughout the series.

All matches will be streamed LIVE on

Canada Roster for Cape Town:

1. Connor Braid – James Bay AA (Victoria, BC)
2. Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
3. Andrew Coe – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
4. Cooper Coats – Halifax Tars (Halifax, NS)
5. Justin Douglas – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
6. Nathan Hirayama “C” – Unattached (Richmond, BC)
7. Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
8. Patrick Kay – Castaway Wanderers (Duncan, BC)
9. Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
10. Josiah Morra – Toronto Saracens (Toronto, ON)
11. Matt Mullins – Queen’s University (Belleville, ON)
12. Jake Thiel – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
13. Adam Zaruba – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)

Day One Cape Town Schedule, December 8th:

Canada vs. Scotland- 3:15am ET/12:15am PT

Canada vs. Australia- 6:58am ET/3:58am PT

Canada vs. Wales- 9:57am ET/ 6:57am PT

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