England Dominate Canada in Final July Test 70-14- Match Notes and Reflections
And so it begins. Off the kickoff Conor Keys receives the ball and gets rag dolled in the tackle by the England openside, Sam Underhill. Ben LeSage is first there but just can't budge the loose forward, Corey Thomas arrives a bit later but the damage is done and it's a penalty for holding on. This is a prime example of the importance of winning the contact areas and how it's going to dictate the outcome of the match.
England go to the lineout and maul which goes through Canada's defence like a hot knife through butter, England's first try 56 seconds into the match. This is not going to be pretty. 7-0 England.
Canada kicks off and the difference is night and day. The England #8, Alex Dombrandt, receives the ball and runs through and over #7 Lucas Rumball and drags #6 Corey Thomas several yards before going to ground. It's go forward ball and England are on attack out wide in a matter of seconds. The winger can't handle the pass however and it's Canada's lineout.
Canada win the lineout and put several phases together before England is called offside. Canada go for the corner, Quattrin again hits his jumper and Canada attempt to maul. It's held up by the England defence and England get the scrum on their 5 metres.
Canada scrum holds steady and England clears the ball to touch. 6 minutes gone in the match.
Canada try an overthrow on the lineout and it works well, picked up by Lachlan Kratz. At the breakdown, Sam Underhill, is there again throwing bodies around and rips the ball off Kratz and starts running up field. Fortunately for Canada, there's an England player on the wrong side of the ruck and they get the penalty.
Canada go for the lineout which is one area of their game that's working very well, they fake a maul and spread it wide. A nice pass from #8 Vikilani helps make the play, also Lockie Kratz with a good pass, it's a 2 on one with Coats and Lloyd outside and... Coats botches the play. He won't be happy to see that on the replay as he tries to do it himself with Lloyd unmarked outside of him. Canada retain possession. They get another penalty for England offside, they rush the advantage a bit and the pass gets deflected into touch.
Canada call a scrum, 5 metres out, under the posts. England are called on a penalty again for pushing too early in the scrum, Braude takes a quick tap and dives over the line. That's two games in a row where the quick tap leads to Canada's first try. 7-7 after 10 minutes.
England kick off to Conor Keys again and this time he knocks it on, scrum to England. On the subsequent phases Canada are called offside, England #12 makes a break through the line but the last pass before the try line goes into touch and the ball comes back to England for the penalty. England kick to touch, drive a maul, again the Canada maul defence is weak. The ref awards a penalty try as the maul is taken down before crossing the line. England go up 14-7 with 13 minutes gone and Reegan O'Gorman is given a yellow card.
England get the ball out wide to their #11, Adam Radwan, and he shows great acceleration outdistancing Coats, Lloyd and LeSage as he turns the corner and gallops down the sideline. 21-7 at 16 minutes.
England retain the ball from the kickoff, put a box kick up and good to see Coats handle it well under pressure. Vikilani has a strong run and England are called offside, trying to come off the line too quickly. Canada on advantage and Lockie Kratz has a good run and offloads to Nelson in support, he gets isolated and England turn the ball over but the ball comes back to Canada's penalty advantage.
Nelson kicks for the corner to set up a Canada lineout but misjudges it and puts it into goal. England get the scrum. Needless to say a major error by Nelson who is selected, not for his brilliance or attacking flair, but for his consistency. Canada are still under the yellow card.
Canada get monstered at the scrum and England win the penalty. They take the lineout quickly and run the loosehead prop, Genge, at #10 Peter Nelson who wants nothing to do with him. Genge looks like he might go the distance but gets pulled down short of the line, the ball goes out wide and England are in for another try. 28-7 with a quarter of the match gone.
Thoughts on the first quarter? England are on pace for a 100+ plus match unless Canada can up their game or hope England run out of steam. The lineout is the one aspect of Canada's game that's working well but the maul is ineffective. Canada's physicality at the contact area again letting them down. They're making mistakes they can't afford. No improvement from the Wales game so far.
Off the kick off Canada are called offside, ahead of the kicker, scrum to England at centre. Canada are monstered at the scrum again. England take it wide and the winger, Joe Cokanasiga, runs over Peter Nelson for the try. The commentator used the word "bludgeoned" which is an apt description of what happened in that attempted tackle. Really Canada are getting bludgeoned in this match across the pitch. The camera pans to England coach Eddie Jones who is having a hearty laugh at the spectacle in front of him. 35-7 with 25 minutes gone.
Coats makes a great catch on an up and under to put Canada on the front foot but the subsequent phase sees Vikilani lose the ball in contact. The ball goes back and forth on box kicks, England keep possession and make a line break, kick into goal but the TMO adjudges the ball is knocked on not touched down and Canada get a scrum on their 5 metres. England called for boring in on the scrum and Canada get a penalty to releive the pressure.
Lineout again works well, on the subsequent tackle, England #10 called for offside and Canada again kick to touch. Canada keep possession, Nelson goes for an up and under which is caught inside the England 22 on a mark. Play is stopped as Ilnicki took a knee to the head, he goes off for an HIA and the England player gets a yellow card. Canada will have the advantage for the rest of the half.
Canada go for the lineout and maul, England called for taking down the maul, Nelson tries a chip over the defence but it's easily defended. Canada lineout again, one aspect that's worked well today, England again penalized for taking down the maul. The referee warns England, next collapsed maul will be a yellow. The penalty count is 10-5 with Canada only infringing 5 times.
Canada win the lineout and the maul is brought down again but the ref said it was by red. The ball goes wide and Lloyd makes a good catch of a high pass and powers his way over. LeSage made the pass to set him up. 35-14 with 5 minutes left in the half.
Some back and forth play, Canada get called on a couple of penalties, not releasing in the tackle and taking a maul down. England get a lineout at the 5 metres and maul it over. 42-5 at HT.
Kainoa Lloyd opens the half with a good steal attempt at the breakdown, the ref calls him for not releasing but he wasn't the tackler. Tough call. England get the lineout and target Nelson again with loosehead Genge running at him and over him. USA will no doubt be taking notes on this. England on attack and Cole Davis makes the intercept with open field in front of him, unfortunately the ref had called offside on the previous phase. We haven't heard Davis name mentioned much so far today.
England botch the lineout and Canada clear to centre. England go wide and Lloyd is called for a high tackle, another marginal call, there wasn't much contact but Lloyd jumped in the air. At least he's showing some aggression which is hard to find on the Canada side. England lineout, a couple of phases and over from the prop, Genge. Poor defence by Canada, would expect more from the forwards but they're offering little resistance. 49-14 at 46 minutes.
Nelson puts it out on the full, England scrum at half. Percillier replaces Braude. England advances through phases, their big #8, uncapped Alex Dombrandt, just muscles through the Canada defence. Can Canada order one of those off the shelf? He offloads but no one is there and Canada hoof it down the field. It goes into touch but England take the quick tap and their speedy winger Radwan takes off but Ben LeSage is able to catch him from behind as he slows down to put a jink on Peter Nelson. Good hustle from LeSage as always.
England keep possession and Canada is called offside, England don't need it as they manufacture a 2 on 1 on the outside with two of their outstanding performers, #8 Dombrandt and #11 Radwan, with Radwan touching it down. 56-14 with 30 minutes left, on pace for an 80 point game at least.
Quinn Ngawati comes on for Lachlan Kratz. Canada offside, England go for lineout at 5 metres. England maul it in, so easy, Canada forwards are offering token defence. 61-14 at 54 minutes. The TMO reviews and determines the ball was knocked forward in the maul and negates the try, back to 56-14.
Canada get the scrum, it's messy but Canada manage to keep possession and get the penalty on the ensuing ruck. Genge comes off for England as the second high metres gained, 102, behind the winger. Not bad for a loosehead prop.
Canada kick long the England winger, Cokanasiga , bounces off a few would be tacklers and England grub the ball into touch at Canada 5 metres. Canada's lineout with Howard isn't as precise but they maintain possession, on the ensuing ruck however they aren't able to clean out the poacher. Three Canadian players trying, Ngawati, Keith and Sears-Duru, but they don't get the job done. England go lineout, maul and are over. No TMO call to save Canada this time. 63-14 at 60 minutes, one quarter left to go.
A few minutes later on an innocent up and under from England, Coats and Radwan go for the short, high ball. Radwan wins it, Rumball and LeSage are within touching distance of Radwan as he lands but they don't react quick enough and Radwan outpaces everyone for 60 metres for the score. 70-14 and there's still 17 minutes to go. Carson replaces Keys.
The game runs out of steam a bit with both sides making errors, no more scoring, and it's a 70-14 match.
There weren't any standouts in the match for Canada really. Coats improved under the high ball, Lloyd did his job and scored his second try of the tour, LeSage was always trying as was Rumball, the two captains. Quattrin hit his lineout throws. As the commentator mentioned at one time, bludgeoned, it seems an appropriate summary of the match. Canada, at the very basic level, were bludgeoned and physically dominated, especially in the forwards. The only consolation is that USA lost to Ireland by a similar score, 71-10. But USA kept this England squad much closer the week before, losing by only 14 points, 43-29.
Canada have about 8 weeks to prepare for USA. Ardron and Olmstead, if they're available, will be positives. Kyle Baillie and Matt Heaton will be starters if they're healthy. USA will have watched a few kinks in Canada's game, running the big men at Peter Nelson at #10, a maul defence that is creaking, they might feel confident they can dominate Canada at the contact area.
This was a tour pitting PRO14 and English Premier players against MLR players. It's evident the gap between leagues is large. Playing in the MLR can't be considered an adequate preparation for international level rugby, not at a high level. Actually two of the players who exceeded expectations and did their job well, Cooper Coats and Kainoa Lloyd, don't play in MLR but train in a full time environment in Langford. They haven't played competitive XVs on a regular basis but have likely been playing 7s scrimmages on a regular basis. When you look at Canada's failings in winning the contact area and consider 7s provides a player more contact points per minute of playing time, it's not surprising that those playing 7s at a high level are going to be proficient and confident at the contact area.
At one point it might have been possible to consider 7s athletes ready to switch over for the September qualifying matches after the Olympics. Players like Connor Braid and Conor Trainor would be assets in the backline. But with recent announcements of the World Rugby 7s series starting up in September with stops in Vancouver and Edmonton, it seems highly unlikely that will happen now.
We'll see what plans Kingsley Jones and his Welsh assistant coaches have in the next 8 weeks to prepare Canada for the USA series.
Canada and England Name Squads for Saturday's Match at Twickenham
One thing you can say about Kingsley Jones, he's a creature of habit. We thought he might be more expansive in his selections and give all the touring players some time, but true to his form at the 2019 repechage he's basically stayed with his favoured configuration. Corey Thomas comes into the forwards with Josh Larsen injured and Lachlan Kratz gets the start at inside centre while Quinn Ngawati moves to the reserves. Liam Murray replaces Tyler Rowland on the bench. He's gone with a 5-3 split on the bench this time, perhaps hoping for more points on the board this match or anticipating a wide attack from England.
That means the following players on tour get no game time, Foster Dewitt, Will Kelly, Doug Fraser, Pat Parfrey, Isaac Olsen, Fraser Hurst.
For England, they start the same props as last week against USA. The reserve hooker changes place with the starting hooker. They replace one of the second row with an uncapped player. They bring an uncapped player in at #8. The halfbacks remain the same. They bring in an uncapped player at inside centre and another uncapped player in the back three. It's a similar team to the team that faced USA with the addition of four uncapped starters. The USA made a game of it with a strong second half, they were down 26-3 at HT but came back for a respectable 43-29 result.
Canada will want to make it a competitive match and gain some respect from the tour. First off they have to up their physicality at the contact area, in tackles and at the breakdown. They have to show more precision in reducing the number of errors and demonstrate the ability to keep the ball through multiple phases. The box kicking of Braude has to be more accurate and the balls put up have to be contestable.
Kickoff is 3pm local time, 7am PT. from Rugby Canada
Head coach Kingsley Jones has named his side to face England this Saturday, July 10th at Twickenham Stadium in London. Kick off at 10am ET / 7am PT.
Lucas Rumball (Toronto Arrows) who led Canada last weekend against Wales has been named captain and Ben LeSage (Toronto Arrows) has once again been named vice-captain.
Only a few changes to the side that faced Wales in Cardiff. In the forwards, Reegan O’Gorman (Austin Gilgronis) moves from the back row to start at lock in place of the injured Josh Larsen (New England Freejacks). Cory Thomas (LA Giltinis) steps into the starting 15 at flanker.
Just one change to the starting back line as Lachlan Kratz (NOLA Gold) makes his test debut at center in place of Quinn Ngawati (Rugby United New York) who moves to the bench.
One other debutant this weekend as Langley, BC native Liam Murray (Houston SaberCats) has been added to the match day 23.
Canada vs England will be streamed live in Canada exclusively on DAZN. Canadian rugby fans can sign up for a free trial by downloading the DAZN app on any internet-connected device, including living room devices such as smart TVs, streaming sticks and game consoles as well as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs or visit DAZN.com. Click here for more information on how to watch Canada’s UK Tour presented by DHL and other 2021 Summer Internationals.
CANADA’S ROSTER TO FACE ENGLAND:
DJUSTICE SEARS-DURU Oakville, ON - Seattle Seawolves
ANDREW QUATTRIN Holland Landing, ON - Toronto Arrows
JAKE ILNICKI Williams Lake, BC - Seattle Seawolves
REEGAN O’GORMAN Vancouver, BC - Austin Gilgronis
CONOR KEYS Stittsville, ON - Rugby ATL
COREY THOMAS Broome, Australia – LA Giltinis
LUCAS RUMBALL Scarborough, ON - Toronto Arrows
SIAKI VIKILANI Burnaby, BC – Toronto Arrows
ROSS BRAUDE Pretoria, SA - Toronto Arrows
PETER NELSON Dungannon, UK - Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne
KAINOA LLOYD Mississauga, ON - RC National Development Academy
LACHLAN KRATZ Victoria, BC – NOLA Gold
BEN LESAGE Calgary, AB - Toronto Arrows
COLE DAVIS Calgary, AB - Austin Gilgronis
COOPER COATS Halifax, NS – Canada 7s
ERIC HOWARD Ottawa, ON - NOLA Gold
COLE KEITH Sussex, NB - Toronto Arrows
LIAM MURRAY Langley, BC – Houston SaberCats
DONALD CARSON Delta, BC – University of BC
MICHAEL SMITH White Rock, BC - San Diego Legion
QUINN NGAWATI Victoria, BC – Rugby United New York
WILLIAM PERCILLIER Victoria, BC - Stade Francais
ROBBIE POVEY Calgary, AB - Houston SaberCats from RFU
Four players will make their England debuts, after 12 received their first cap in Sunday’s 43-29 win over USA.
Backs Dan Kelly (inside centre) and Adam Radwan (left wing), join Harry Wells (lock) and Alex Dombrandt at No. 8 for their first England appearances.
Lewis Ludlow will again captain the side at blind-side flanker, with Sam Underhill at open-side flanker.
Jamie Blamire (hooker) makes his first England start, with props Joe Heyes and Ellis Genge, who is vice-captain, and Charlie Ewels (lock) completing the tight five.
In attack, Marcus Smith stays at fly half and Harry Randall at scrum half. Henry Slade continues at outside centre, Freddie Steward is full back and Joe Cokanasiga is on the right wing.
Curtis Langdon, Beno Obano, Paul Hill, Callum Chick, Lewis Ludlam, Dan Robson, George Furbank and Joe Marchant make up the finishers.
Jones said: “Our focus this camp is being as strong a 36-player squad as we can be and there has been a lot of hard work and intense competition.
“There is a responsibility on the 23 players selected to perform to their personal best.
“We want to go out there and put smiles on the faces on all the supporters watching at Twickenham and at home on Channel 4.”
England v Canada is live on Channel 4, with coverage starting from 2.30pm and kick-off at 3pm.
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
14. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 39 caps)
12. Dan Kelly (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
11. Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 1 cap)
9. Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 1 cap)
1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps)
2. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
4. Harry Wells (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 22 caps)
6. Lewis Ludlow (C) (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)
8. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, uncapped)
16. Curtis Langdon (Sale Sharks, 1 cap)
17. Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)
18. Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
19. Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap)
20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 9 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 13 caps)
22. George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
23. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 5 caps)