Canada Pools, Schedules, Stats and Injury Updates
Canada after coming off a 1 for 4 performance and 10th place at Dubai will find themselves in a pool with NZ, Argentina, Wales. The first game against Argentina will likely be the decider for Canada in whether they advance to the Cup round or not. The pre-tournament form would indicate Canada will struggle against NZ but should beat Wales, so Argentina will be the key match.
Canada v Argentina 8:35am PT Friday
Canada v NZ 3:07am PT Saturday
Canada v Wales 8:35am PT Saturday
World Rugby are again going with the abbreviated tournament format as in Dubai when the men and women share the stadium. There is no Plate (5th place) final and no Bowl (9th place) playoff, teams are slotted directly into 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/16 matches from pool play. That makes point differential in pool play more important now and Canada want to keep the NZ match close and add some points against Wales, as they did in Dubai.
On the injury front, Adam Zaruba has returned to Canada after he suffered a knee injury in training prior to the Dubai tournament. Hopefully he'll be available in the new year for the NZ/Australia stops in late January. Matt Mullins missed the final match of Dubai, he was rested for a dislocated finger suffered earlier so should be good to go in Cape Town.
When you look at the Dubai stats and the all time stats for Canada on the World Rugby site there's one face that appears across the board, that's Nathan Hirayama. He's the leading try scorer (3), point scorer (25) so far for Canada this season and all time he leads as well with 139 tries and 1743 points. In points there's no one close to him and for tries he's just ahead of Justin Douglas at 136.
World Rugby keeps limited team stats on their website, one is for tackle success which is a ratio of tackles made to tackles missed. Canada has a minus 0.5 score, not at all good. In comparison other teams in their pool have a +4 (Argentina), +9.83 (NZ) and +3 (Wales). Canada will have to improve their tackling efficiency as the tournament progresses.
The women came off a strong 2nd place finish at Dubai. They are in a pool with France, Spain and Brazil. France and Spain will be tough matches and Canada will have to be sharp to finish top of the pool.
Canada v Brazil 5:06am PT Friday
Canada v Spain 11:51pm PT Friday
Canada v France 5:41am PT Saturday
In the stats department Ghislaine Landry leads in total points for this season (73) and all time (1259) while Bianca Farella is the top try scorer this season (9) and all time (144). In the tackles success rating, they have a strong 9.08 score. In comparison other teams in their pool have 3.12 (Brazil), 3.70 (Spain) and 12.5 (France).