Canada Win Bowl at World School 7s - Match Highlights from All Five Matches
Canada were competitive at the World School 7s in New Zealand winning the Bowl and winning 3 of 5 matches overall. They lost their first two and won their last three, two of those against Tonga. The eventual winners were the NZ Condors with the NZ Fijians coming second. Canada were competitive with the Fijian team only losing by 9 points. Australia were 3rd, NZ Maori 4th, another team Canada narrowly lost to in the pool round.
Overall Canada seemed to play a style similar to the senior team taking advantage of the type of player Canada produces in quantity right now, which seems to be more size and power rather than finesse and speed. So there was a lot of straight ahead running into contact with recycling and patient buildup based on a possession game. It mostly worked but like the senior team sometimes the work at the breakdown falls short and the ball is turned over. There were a few glaring examples in the close matches when Canada lost key possession at the contact area, usually due to support players not getting there in time. A few other little things to tidy up like not finding touch on a penalty kick which happened twice at crucial times.
I'm sure senior coach Damian McGrath will be pleased with the hit out, no doubt he's feeling some urgency to identify new players who can start making cameo appearances in the World 7s series as he builds some depth in the program. There's the Maple Leaf tour to South America in January as well and Canada haven't done very well in recent years.
Looking through the matches our thoughts on the players. David Richard is probably the closest we have to a future Hirayama right now, he's the play maker and what really impressed was when Canada absolutely needed a try against Vanuatu after they squandered a comfortable lead, he found another gear and produced a solo try at the whistle. That's the sort of X factor that coaches are looking for. He struggled a bit with kicking for goal and missed two kicks for touch on penalties but that can be fixed.
Brock Webster impressed, another guy you want to have with ball in hand at key times, his try to put away Tonga in the Bowl final was pure class, he works well with Richard as the halfback combo. Another Phil Mack, who knows?
Quinn Ngawati was the John Moonlight of the group, stayed on his feet well in contact, did a lot of offloads with tacklers hanging off of him which set other players free. If we were counting assists he'd be near the top and he was on a try per game pace after two matches. He slowed down a bit in the last couple of games but again that can be fixed in training as he adjusts to the rigours of a 2 day 7s tournament.
Other honorable mentions to Ciaran Breen and Isaiah Andrews who scored some key tries using power and a no quit attitude. Braden Bruce's name came up frequently and one player who probably deserved some more playing time as he did well when he subbed on was EJ Rerri, his tackling was spot on and he showed some good acceleration.
The video highlights from all 5 matches are below and the postgame interview with Quinn Ngawati.
1. Ciaran Breen, Cowichan Rugby Club (Shawnigan Lake School) 2. Jordan Austin, Aurora Barbarians (Nantyr Shores) 3. Brock Webster, Oshawa Vikings (University of Victoria) 4. EJ Rerri, Oakville Crusaders (McMaster University) 5. Adam McNee, Coburg Saxons (St. Mary’s CSS) 6. Isaiah Andrews, Kingston Panthers RFC (Regiopolis Notre Dame) 7. Shane Rikley-Krindle, Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue (John Abbott College) 8. Josh Andrews, Kinston Panthers RFC (RMC) 9. Kal Sager, Peterborough Pagans (Thomas A. Stewart) 10. David Richard, Mississauga Blues (University of Victoria) 11. Braden Bruce, Peterborough Pagans (Thomas A. Stewart) 12. Quinn Ngawati, Westshore RFC (St. Michaels University School)