Canada Men's 7s - Hamilton, NZ 2020

January 26 2020

Theo Sauder - Canada
© Chris Wilson

Canada Put in Best 7 Minutes This Season in 28-7 Win Over USA to Win 5th Place: Jump from 12th to 9th in Standings: MATCH VIDEO

Canada v USA

The first half of this match was probably the best 7 minutes Canada has put together in a long, long while. No mistakes, they kept possession and were creative while putting a 21-0 lead on rivals USA. The surprising part is it was minus the regular starters, on the bench were Hirayama, Jones, Fuailefau, Braid and Coe. It was a bold gamble by coach Henry Paul and it paid off well. In an Olympic year the coach needs to know what the team can do if a few starters go down and still waiting to come back are Justin Douglas, Cole Davis and Adam Zaruba. They just beat the team that was #1 through the first two rounds of the tournament. Mistakes started to creep in during the second 7 minutes when they played USA 7-7 but they showed what's possible in the first 7, it seems like a watershed moment for the program. Canada jumped from 12th in the standings to 9th with the result.

Canada Starting Lineup
Phil Berna
Isaac Kaay
Jake Thiel
Lucas Hammond
Pat Kay
David Richard
Theo Sauder


Canada v Spain

Canada got into the 5th/6th match by finishing second in their pool, they did that by defeating Spain 21-14. It was one of the those matches when you run into a poor ref and the calls stack up against you. Three marginal calls in the first half including a yellow saw Canada down 14-0 only 3 minutes in. It's a testament to keeping their cool and self belief that they were able to focus on the match, not the calls, and answer with three tries of their own. They were still receiving the poor calls in the second half, one that even made the announcers question the referee's judgement, when Pat Kay received a yellow for almost intercepting the ball but knocking it on in the process. Even though Canada won the game they weren't able to win by a sufficient margin to make the 3rd/4th playoff match.


Canada With a Win and Draw on Day One Lead Pool

Canada lead Pool C after two matches and are in control of their destiny for a Cup round appearance on Day 2. Canada defeated Ireland and drew with France to claim 5 points, the same as France but Canada have a narrow +1 point differential on France. All Canada has to do is defeat Spain tomorrow to earn a spot in the final 8. Spain have lost both their matches so far in the pool.

Canada 26 - Ireland 21

Canada were lucky to win this match, they were down a man with time running out, Ireland were one pass away from scoring when Harry Jones took a gamble and intercepted the final pass. The ball eventually found its way to Phil Berna who scored against the run of play with time expired. Isaac Kaay had taken a yellow card to put Canada short, it was a temporary loss of thinking as he needlessly tripped the Ireland player who had just tied the match up. Connor Braid also struggled in the first half and was replaced by Pat Kay just before half. Jake Thiel had some strong runs and Andrew Coe scored Canada's first try.

Andrew Coe 5'
Jake Thiel 8'
Nathan Hirayama 12'
Phil Berna 15'

Canada 12 - France 12

Canada again came back, this time not for the win but the draw. Phil Berna again was Canada's main attacking threat. David Richard scored a late try to draw Canada level but Nate Hirayama couldn't convert for the win. A win tomorrow over Spain will guarantee Canada a top 8 finish.

Phil Berna 3'
David Richard 14'

Coach Henry Paul Names Team for NZ and Australia Tournaments

A few changes to the squad sent to Dubai/Cape Town in December. Adam Zaruba is out after the injury suffered in Dubai, Cooper Coats isn't on the roster and Matt Mullins is also out, he missed the last game of Dubai also to injury. Coming in is Lucas Hammond and returning from injury is Andrew Coe. Theo Sauder who flew in as a replacement for Zaruba remains with the squad after an excellent performance at Cape Town. We saw Lucas Hammond in action for half a match when the Tide played the Pride and he looked sharp and ready to return to the 7s circuit.

from Rugby Canada

Head Coach Henry Paul has finalized his squad travelling to Hamilton (January 25-26) and Sydney (February 1-2) for stops three and four on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Hamilton, New Zealand will serve as the site of the third tour stop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Canada comes off a 10th and 11th place finish in Dubai and Cape Town, respectively, to begin the 2019-20 season. The team now looks to open the calendar year with a strong showing in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

“We didn’t achieve our goal of reaching the quarter finals in Dubai and Cape Town, but as our first major head-out of the year, there was some progression between tournaments,” said Head Coach Henry Paul. “As we got through the two weekends, we started to find our identity and that’s what we’re going to push through into tournaments three and four in Hamilton and Sydney.”

Despite a tough showing against Argentina and top-ranked New Zealand in Cape Town, the team rallied back to pull out a win over Wales in its final game of pool play. That performance was followed-up with a commanding victory over Australia to finish the weekend before the holiday break.

Veterans Nathan Hirayama and Harry Jones will once again lead the squad as co-captains, while Toronto’s Lucas Hammond who is returning from injury, finds himself on the roster for the first time since Dubai 2018.

Theo Sauder will look to build off an impressive display in his Sevens Series debut, coming in as an injury replacement for Adam Zaruba for Dubai and Cape Town and notching 20 points.

In Hamilton, Canada will compete in Pool C against Ireland, France and Spain.

“It’s a tricky pool,” added Paul. “There is no easy teams in the world series at the moment – a lot of upsets in Cape Town shows that,” he added. “No excuses, we're going to try and put some things together and build on our performances.”

Fans can watch the Hamilton and Sydney 7s LIVE on CBC Sports and the CBC Gem App with updates available on World Rugby 7s channels.

Canada’s Roster:

1. Phil Berna (Vancouver, BC) -- UVIC Vikes
2. Connor Braid (Victoria, BC) -- James Bay AA
3. Andrew Coe (Markham, ON) -- Markham Irish
4. Mike Fuailefau (Victoria, BC) -- Castaway Wanderers
5. Lucas Hammond (Toronto, ON) -- UVIC Vikes
6. Nathan Hirayama (Richmond, BC) -- Unattached – Co-Captain
7. Harry Jones (West Vancouver, BC) -- Capilano RFC – Co-Captain
8. Isaac Kaay (Kamloops, BC) -- UVIC Vikes
9. Pat Kay (Duncan, BC) -- Castaway Wanderers
10. Josiah Morra (Toronto, ON) -- Toronto Saracens
11. David Richard (Milton, ON) -- Mississauga Blues
12. Theo Sauder (Vancouver, BC) -- Toronto Arrows
13. Jake Thiel (Abbotsford, BC) -- Abbotsford RFC

Canada’s Hamilton Schedule:

Day 1 – Fri Jan 24

Canada vs Ireland – 5:57pm ET / 2:57pm PT
Canada vs France – 11:46pm ET / 8:46pm PT

Day 2 - Sat Jan 25

Canada vs Spain – 5:07pm ET / 2:07pm PT

Broadcast: & the CBC Gem App

Pemberton Holmes
Real Estate Sales

Tom Woods' Listings
Heritage House Trophies
Lionheart Sports