Canada v Portugal - U20 JWRT 2019

July 13 2019


Canada U20 2019 - Webster, Isherwood, Ngawati
©

Canada Lose to Portugal 49-21: Next Up Hong Kong on Wednesday



This is a difficult one to write. You don't want to discourage the lads with two games left but you have to be honest and analytical as well. Canada were well in the match at the half down 17-14 so we'll start the analysis from there, where did it go wrong?

Portgual got an early penalty to go up 20-14 but Canada were on attack and had the ball inside the Portugal 5 metres. You stop it at 44:52 (image below) and what do you see, Canada is sending one player into three tacklers, the support player #4 is standing 3 feet away, the only players on the ground from the previous breakdown are two Canadian players. Another support player #6 comes in a second later, but it's too late. The three tacklers win the contest, strip the ball from the runner and the chance to apply pressure and possibly take the lead is gone. It's a game measured in fractions of seconds, what should we have seen? Canada #4 on the shoulder of the ball runner, #6 in a half a second earlier and part of play, the two players from the previous ruck on their feet and ready to play. You can analyze those few seconds and draw out a number of areas where Canada are coming out second best. Before that play Canada were on attack out wide with #9 having the option of two players, either option would have been good, he decided to pass in between them and the ball went to ground. After the play Canada got the ball back and the hooker lost the ball in contact. In between 44:10 and 45:20 Canada made three major errors on attack inside the Portugal 22 when they should have been kicking the conversion to go ahead. Three minutes later Portugal find the Canadian defence in disarray, they chip to open space and a couple of phases later are over the line. It's frustrating because we know the players can perform better than that but they seem to be operating in panic mode.



Canada persevered and got themselves back in the match with a maul try, credited to prop Guerschom Mukendi. That was the extent of Canada's scoring with a quarter left to play, unfortunately Portugal scored three more tries plus added a penalty. In game #1 all the tries came from the forwards, in this match the props scored two and scrum half Will Percillier scored the other, so far no production from 10 to 15 over 160 minutes. A statistic that will need to change if Canada are to finish the tournament with two wins.

Portugal's try at 63 minutes was by maul where Canada's defence just vanished. At 68 minutes Percillier had his box kick blocked and run in for a try, the self destruction was difficult to watch. At 72 minutes Portugal kicked a penalty as Canada were getting desperate trying to turn the ball over and were off their feet at the breakdown, 42-21. At 75 minutes Canada's backline defence was cut apart and space was found out wide with replacement #26 touching it down, 49-21. Mercifully the clock ticked down to 80 minutes and ended the game.

Canada lost to Portugal by 2 last year at the JWRT, they traveled to Europe in February to play Portugal, Spain and France and narrowly lost to Portugal and beat Spain. In the Rugby Canada report the coaching staff seem to think they've improved and more test rugby is the solution. It may be difficult for others to reach the same conclusion, it's unlikely they've improved if you used metrics like handling errors and missed tackles. If you look at some of the errors in the game, they seem to be self-inflicted and a result of handling or not handling the pressure. The extra time in camp, the trip to Europe didn't improve performance in this match. Last year Canada came second to last (7th), this year they should be able to better that, a win over Hong Kong would put them in the 5th/6th playoff match.

It's difficult to know what the solution is, next year the Pacific Pride will start playing together as a team, if a number of next year's U20s get a season in playing together will it help? Is it time to review the coaching structure, will next year's Pride coach be in the running, especially if it's someone like Jamie Cudmore or Adam Kleeberger. Questions to ponder in the long run but the team needs to put this behind them and come out with some confidence against Hong Kong, a team they should be able to defeat with the backline finally showing some attacking flair.

Prediction: Canada to beat Hong Kong, and then defeat Kenya in the 5th place playoff.

Match Video


from Rugby Canada

Canada U20 were beaten by 49-21 by Portugal today at the World Rugby U20 Trophy. At 60 minutes Canada were pressing hard and down by 21-27, however Canada leaked 22 points in the last 15 minutes.

They were beaten by the better team who defended extremely well and availed skillfully of their opportunities. They were powered by a fine out half ,Miguel Geronimo, who kicked 19 points and an electric wing, Raffaele Storti, who scored 2 fabulous tries and created another.

Despite the score line Canada played good rugby, won the primary phase battle, and attacked intelligently. Unfortunately they did not avail of 4 golden opportunities, being held up over the line twice, knocking on in goal once, and failing to deliver the final pass accurately twice for what looked like sure tries. Canada’s defensive game was weaker as Portugal scored 6 tries.

Will Percillier scored at 9 minutes having made a sharp break from a score ,and converted the try to make the score 7-3. Portugal scored 2 converted tries before Stefan Zuliani dived over from an end of lineout win. This try was also converted by Percillier. The score at half was 14-17.

Early in the second half Portugal kicked a goal and scored a converted try. Canada responded at 60 minutes with a Guerschom Mukendi try from a driving lineout, magnificently converted by Percillier from the touch line. The last 15 minutes were disappointing as Portugal scored three tries from a poorly defended driving lineout, a blocked kick ,and a scrum following a restart directly into touch.

Canada’s best players were Michael McCarthy who was pin point in the lineout. Nick Carson, who made multiple long breaks, Siaki Vikilani who was impactful in the second half, Will Percillier whose service was excellent, and Thomas Isherwood,who made 2 try saving tackles and ran aggressively.

“We are extremely disappointed as we prepared very well but we just have to accept that the better team won," commented head coach Jeff Williams. “The capacity of Portugal to stay in the game by strong defensive work and then to take their opportunities is a lesson for us. We have improved but not by enough. The challenge for us is to get our players more experience at the test match level."

Substitutions were as follows:

Josh Tweed for Stefan Zuliani at 40 minutes, Reid Davis for Tyler Duguid at 52 minutes.
Guerschom Mukendi for Tyler Rowland at 52 minutes.
Lockie Kratz for Gabe Casey at 54 minutes.
Siaki Vikilani for Quentin James at 62 minutes.
David Carson for Michael McCarthy at 65 minutes.
Mason Flesch for Will Matthews at 75 minutes .
Antoine de la Fontaine for Jarvis Dashkewytch at 75 minutes.

Canada's Roster:

1. Stefan Zuliani, Queens U, Ontario
2. Michael McCarthy, Swilers RFC, Newfoundland
3. Tyler Rowland, UBC, Ontario
4. Frank Carson, UBC, BC
5. Tyler Duguid, Edmonton Nor’westers, Alberta
6. Quentin James, Stade Francais, BC
7. Will Matthews, Beaconsfield RFC, QC
8. Nick Carson, U Victoria, BC
9. Will Percillier, Stade Francais, BC -Captain
10. Brock Webster, Oshawa Vikings, Ontario
11. Jarvis Dashkewytch, U Victoria, BC
12. Quinn Ngawati, Westshore RFC, BC
13. Gabriel Casey, U Victoria, Ontario
14. David Richard, Mississauga Blues, Ontario
15. Thomas Isherwood, Westshore RFC, Alberta
16. David Carson, UBC, BC
17. Josh Tweed, UBC, BC.
18. Guerschom Mukendi, Stoney Creek RFC, Ontario
19. Reid Davis, James Bay AA, BC
20. Siaki Vikilani, Burnaby RFC, BC
21. Mason Flesch, James Bay AA, Ontario
22. Jared Augustin, Queens U, Ontario
23. Jack Carson, Castaway Wanderers, BC
24. Lachlan Kratz, U Victoria, BC
25. Antoine de la Fontaine, Sherbrooke Abenakis, QC

Canada's Schedule:

Canada 25-26 Tonga
Canada 49-21 Portugal

July 17

Canada vs Hong Kong
11am ET/ 8am PT

July 21

U20 Trophy Finals
TBD



Canada Name Team to Face Portugal on Saturday 1pm PT



Canada are sticking with their side that narrowly lost to Tonga with a few changes. Stefan Zuliani reclaims his loosehead position from Josh Tweed who goes to reserves. Thomas Isherwood takes over the fullback spot with injury to Avery Oitomen.

In order to win Canada will have to get more production from their backline which was very nervous and one dimensional in game one against Tonga. They'll have to cut down on missed tackles and handling errors. The forwards can continue with their abrasive, hard running tactics but loose forwards will have to improve their support work to prevent turnovers at the breakdown.

from Rugby Canada

Canada's U20 will play their second game in the World Trophy at São José dos Campos, Brazil on Saturday July 13 against Portugal U20.

This is a vital game for Canada because a win will keep their hopes alive to get to the final, although they will be dependent on Tonga beating Portugal on July 17 [ed. it's actually dependent on Portugal beating Tonga]. Canada comes into this game following a 26-25 loss to Tonga and Portugal following a 30 point victory over Hong Kong. Canada's U20 have lost their last 3 games to Portugal.

The changes to the team that played against Tonga include Stefan Zuliani at loose head in rotation with Josh Tweed, and Thomas Isherwood for Avery Oitomen who is injured.

“I thought we played well against Tonga, but we have areas in which we must improve to win," commented head coach Jeff Williams. "These include defensive structure and tackling, plus more varied use of the ball."

Kickoff is at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT and fans can watch LIVE on World Rugby's channels

Canada's Roster:

1. Stefan Zuliani, Queens U, Ontario
2. Michael McCarthy, Swilers RFC, Newfoundland
3. Tyler Rowland, UBC, Ontario
4. Frank Carson, UBC, BC
5. Tyler Duguid, Edmonton Nor’westers, Alberta
6. Quentin James, Stade Francais, BC
7. Will Matthews, Beaconsfield RFC, QC
8. Nick Carson, U Victoria, BC
9. Will Percillier, Stade Francais, BC -Captain
10. Brock Webster, Oshawa Vikings, Ontario
11. Jarvis Dashkewytch, U Victoria, BC
12. Quinn Ngawati, Westshore RFC, BC
13. Gabriel Casey, U Victoria, Ontario
14. David Richard, Mississauga Blues, Ontario
15. Thomas Isherwood, Westshore RFC, Alberta
16. David Carson, UBC, BC
17. Josh Tweed, UBC, BC.
18. Guerschom Mukendi, Stoney Creek RFC, Ontario
19. Reid Davis, James Bay AA, BC
20. Siaki Vikilani, Burnaby RFC, BC
21. Mason Flesch, James Bay AA, Ontario
22. Jared Augustin, Queens U, Ontario
23. Jack Carson, Castaway Wanderers, BC
24. Lachlan Kratz, U Victoria, BC
25. Antoine de la Fontaine, Sherbrooke Abenakis, QC

Canada's Schedule:

Canada 25-26 Tonga

July 13

Canada vs Portugal
4pm ET/ 1pm PT

July 17

Canada vs Hong Kong
11am ET/ 8am PT

July 21

U20 Trophy Finals

TBD

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