Canada 2-1 on Day One but Still Relegated to Challenge Round: Face Spain on Day 2 - Photos by pjCARR + Full Match Video of Canada v Fiji
The good news is Canada beat Fiji and Kenya, the bad news is they played so poorly in the loss to Samoa 38-7 that their point differential of -9 was worse than Samoa +40 and Fiji +31 who also had 2-1 records. Hence Canada drop to the bottom 8 and the challenge round.
Canada face Spain on Day 2, photos, video and match reports below.
Nathan Hirayama is injured and likely won't see action on Day 2 with 13th man Josiah Morra possibly making an appearance.
Canada v Fiji match video
Photos by pjCARR (click on image for larger version) from Rugby Canada
Canada vs. Samoa
Canada fall to Samoa in their first match of the day 38-7.
Canada were greeted with roaring cheers from their home crowd, running out of the tunnel in BC Place. Scoring Canada's lone try was Mike Fuailefau, getting an inside ball and stretching over the try line for the score. Captain Nathan Hirayama got the conversion.
In the second half Samoa took over, scoring four unanswered tries and come out victorious 38-7.
Canada vs. Fiji
Canada fired up the hometown fans with an all-important against third ranked Fiji, winning 26-19.
Starting off the scoring for Canada was Matt Mullins on the wing from a Connor Braid pass. Then it was Braid himself getting an inside ball from Luke McCloskey and sliding in to score. Nathan Hirayama added on the kick but Fiji were able to score just before the break and tied things up at 12 a piece.
In the second half Mike Fuailefau crashed through the Fijian line to score, his second of the tournament so far. Harry Jones put Canada back in front after a Fijian try, dotting down between the posts. Hirayama was good for both conversions and sealed the Canadian victory, 26-19.
Canada's last match of the day will be against Kenya at 8:30pm ET/ 5:40pm PT.
Canada vs. Kenya
Canada come out victorious to against Kenya winning 36-12.
Starting off the match the ball found it's way through hands to move out wide to Matt Mullins for the try. A bumbling ball was then scooped up by Harry Jones and tossed out to Connor Braid who touched down over the try line. Braid remained dominate, breaking through a tackle to score his second.
Kenya ended the half with two tries to cut Canada's lead 19-12 at the half.
Canada started the second half off with a third try from Braid, finding a hole in the line a slipping through. A TMO decision was needed when Admir Cejvanovic battled to get over the line. Refs ruled it a try and Canada went up 31-14. Canada made Kenya pay for an error deep in their end with Phil Berna crossing the try line for Canada's final score of the day.
Braid had two conversions on top of his hattrick, rounding out the dominate performance.
Canada finished off the day third in their pool and move on to the Challenge Trophy Quarterfinals against Spain tomorrow. Kickoff is at 1:36pm ET/ 10:36am PT.
Watch every match LIVE on CBC Sports.
Canada Make One Change from Vegas Tournament - Pat Kay Returns to Lineup
There's one change to the Canada team for Vancouver, Pat Kay is in and Josiah Morra is out. Cole Davis unfortunately will be out for a few months to recuperate from injury. Davis and Braid made a good combination when on the field together in the NZ/OZ tournaments and it elevated Braid's game as well.
Canada start on Saturday at 11:01am against Samoa, this match will determine whether they're going Cup or Challenge round. It's a tough challenge as Samoa made the Cup final in Vegas but they are a team prone to be up and down and they are ranked lower, 7th, than Canada's second opponent Fiji who are 3rd in the standings. The Fiji match is at 2:08pm. The final match of the day for Canada will be the easiest, against Kenya, they have a young team and sit in 13th trying to avoid relegation. Canada go into the tournament ranked 11th but had their worst result at Vegas so far this year. Having Pat Kay back in the starting rotation as a secondary playmaker should improve performance and take some of the burden off Nate Hirayama.
Phil Berna – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
Connor Braid – James Bay AA (Victoria, BC)
Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
Cooper Coats – Halifax Tars (Halifax, NS)
Josiah Morra – Toronto Saracens (Toronto, ON)
Mike Fuailefau – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Nathan Hirayama – Captain, Unattached (Richmond, BC)
Harry Jones – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
Pat Kay – Cowichan RFC (Duncan, BC)
Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Matt Mullins – James Bay AA (Belleville, ON)
Jake Thiel – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Adam Zaruba – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
[ed. Josiah Morra is the 13th man not Cooper Coats]