Canada Take +13 Win Into Second Contest in Glendale Next Saturday
The magic of St. John's continues. It seems to always go well for Canada when they're playing in St. John's. Canada played their best game, USA were woeful on the day - the bounces didn't go their way, they couldn't capitalize on two yellow cards, even HIA assessments didn't go their way. Canada will take the 34-21 win, thank you, and hope they can do enough in next week's encounter to keep their +13 advantage.
The USA came out thinking that 8 man rugby would win the day, they had an argument to begin with after a mauling penalty try to start the match but it was soon apparent their one dimensional approach wouldn't be enough. The new ruling that changes how a ball held up in goal is processed was also important, when the USA were held up in goal from a maul, the ball was now turned over instead of an attacking 5 metre scrum. That was significant.
Also significant was the HIA assessment on Cam Dolan, their dominant #8, when USA lost him, the complexion of the match changed, in Canada's favour.
Canada looked the better team out wide, the only aspect of the match the USA looked good was in their lineout and maul, and the scrum. Even those aspects of the game would equalize over 80 minutes. It was a better game plan by Canada and they executed well.
Peter Nelson won the battle of the #10s with his boot. Will Magie was ineffectual and when the "star" AJ MacGinty came on he tried to do too much, too soon and threw an intercept pass to Brock Webster, who converted for an important breakaway try for Canada.
Spencer Jones proved to be the right choice at inside centre, he played flawlessly and was aggressive on defence. Three years ago Jones was playing BC Premier and was a good #10 and centre. It shows that Canada have a lot of latent talent playing in the club leagues that needs to be nurtured and given a chance to shine at a higher level.
Also worth mentioning is that two top Canadian pros in Europe, Tyler Ardron and Evan Olmstead, weren't needed on the day as they notched victories with their clubs in France.
As for player ratings, there wasn't a poor performance among the Canadian players, 7s and 8s across the board. Exceeding expectations were Spencer Jones, Peter Nelson, and the Canadian forwards as a unit. The back three were also pretty good and better than their USA counterparts.
Now it's on to Glendale to see if Canada can maintain their form, or if USA can regroup. from World Rugby
Canada produced one of their best displays in recent times to upset the US Eagles and win big in St John’s, Newfoundland on Saturday.
Kingsley Jones’ side will now take a two-score lead into next Saturday’s rematch at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado as they look to book a date with Sudamerica Rugby (SAR) 3 Naciones winners Uruguay in the next stage of the qualification process.
The aggregate winner of the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 1 play-off between Canada and the USA will take on Los Teros, in another home-and-away series in October, to determine who will go to Rugby World Cup 2023 as Americas 1.
The loser of the RAN 1 play-off will take on Chile, the SAR 3 Naciones runners-up, to keep their RWC 2023 hopes alive with the winner to play in the Americas 2 play-off against the loser of that Americas 1 encounter.
Returning for the first time to the venue where they suffered a record 56-7 defeat to Canada back in August 2006, the USA went into the RAN 1 play-off as favourites on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run against their neighbours.
But Gary Gold’s side struggled to get the measure of both their opponents and the strong wind at Swilers Rugby Club in St John’s and only led 14-10 at half-time despite Canada losing two men to the sin-bin.
USA’s first points came from a penalty try and resulted in Matt Heaton having a 10-minute breather for pulling down an advancing Eagles maul two metres out.
With six minutes on the clock, Corey Thomas replied for the home side when he hit the line at pace and squeezed through a gap between two defenders from close range.
A Will Magie high tackle was then punished by fly-half Peter Nelson as Canada went 10-7 up. But they were down to 14 men again when Conor Keys saw yellow for a high tackle on Eagles full-back Luke Carty.
As the half drew to a close, there was mixed news for anxious Eagles supporters, Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz’s try being followed by an HIA for fellow back-row, Cam Dolan.
The absence of their most experienced player hit the Eagles hard and their performance continued to be littered with mistakes.
The second half belonged to Canada with three tries and 24 unanswered points in as many minutes, although the Eagles clawed back what could be seven crucial points when Tavite Lopeti scored on his debut at the death and AJ MacGinty knocked over the simple conversion.
Canada’s devastating scoring spree had seen them score tries through captain Lucas Rumball, Ben LeSage and Brock Webster.
Rumball’s try came not long after the restart and was the result of the sort of patient phase play the Eagles seemed incapable of producing themselves.
It set the tone for the rest of the half and LeSage was next to cross the whitewash after the USA rearguard failed to deal with a high kick, a trait they repeated time and time again.
With Nelson adding three points from the kicking tee, Canada found themselves 27-14 ahead with 17 minutes to go. The scoreboard pressure told on the Eagles who were now having to force the play in a bid to reduce the arrears.
A now well-disciplined defence dealt with everything that was thrown at them, however, and to the horror of Eagles replacement, MacGinty, his pass inside the Canadian 22 was anticipated and expertly picked off by debutant Webster who raced downfield to put even more distance between the teams.
Winger Christian Dyer had a try pulled back for crossing in the build-up on 78 minutes on a night when everything seemed to go wrong for the Eagles.
However, Lopeti’s late consolation could be just the lifeline the out-of-sorts Eagles need. Only time will tell.
Canada Name Match Day 23 for Saturday Clash with USA: 10:30am PT
There's a few changes from the roster we anticipated in a previous article
. Matt Tierney is brought straight into the tighthead spot with Jake Ilnicki missing out and Tyler Rowland is selected as the backup. As expected Djustice Sears-Duru and Andrew Quattrin complete the starting front row. Cole Keith will backup loosehead prop and Eric Howard will provide backup at hooker.
The second row and back row are almost as expected with Thomas and Keys starting second row and Rumball, Heaton and Vikilani as back row. Kyle Baillie is a noticeable omission from the match day 23. Rumball was moved to blindside with Heaton at openside. Mason Flesch gets promoted to the reserve blindside spot and Michael Smith provides backup at openside.
The halfback pairing is as expected Braude and Nelson. Higgins provides cover at scrum half and Rob Povey will provide backup across the backline, including #10. Pat Parfrey can also play all the backline positions, including #10.
Starting inside centre is Spencer Jones, he beats out youngsters Quinn Ngawati and Lockie Kratz in the match day 23. As expected Ben LeSage is outside centre.
Wings are Kainoa Lloyd, as expected, and Brock Webster who beats out Cole Davis for the other wing position. If Webster performs like his 7s teammate Cooper Coats did on the UK tour, then we may see some attacking flair from that position. Cooper Coats earns another start at fullback.
Perhaps it's the best selection with the players available. The choice of Jones over Ngawati or Kratz at centre may be a bit of a surprise but the 24 year old brings a bit more experience and he may read the game better. In 2018 Spencer Jones was playing #10 for Westshore with Quinn Ngawati as the inside centre, so Jones brings the fly-half distribution skills and awareness with him to the inside centre position.
Perhaps another surprise is the start of Brock Webster on the wing but Canada will be looking for some x-factor that will generate scoring opportunities and Brock may provide that. At the 7s trials vs the Pacific Pride he looked to be one of the more dangerous attacking players and perhaps was unlucky not to make the Olympic selection.
In the forwards the inclusion of Matt Tierney will hopefully bolster the set piece, Tierney doesn't provide a lot in the loose play but has been solid in the scrum for Castres.
What are some points to watch for in the match? The maul defence looms large, if the USA has dominance in the maul it could be a long day. That links into discipline, penalties inside Canada's half will no doubt be kicked to touch for a lineout and drive option unless Canada can show early on that they can neutralize the USA maul attack. The up and under kicking game, will USA be as proficient as Tier 1 teams in utilizing that strategy? Cooper Coats was a little nervous vs Wales in that department, how will that battle shape up. The scrum, of course, will either team show dominance in that important aspect of the game? At the very basic level, who will win the battle at the contact areas, gaining those extra metres after contact, allowing time for support to arrive? Game management by the #10s, will Nelson match up to MacGinty in that department? Then there are the ubiquitous handling error stats, which team brings their top mental game? Lots to watch, small battles within the main battle.
The game is being streamed live on a pay per view platform, link is here: www.premiersports.tv
and kickoff is 10:30am PT. from Rugby Canada
Head coach Kingsley Jones has named the match day roster for Canada’s Senior Men’s 15s team that will face the USA in the first of two crucial Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualification Pathway matches on September 4th.
Sept 2, 2021 (St. John’s, NL) – Head coach Kingsley Jones has named the match day roster for Canada’s Senior Men’s 15s team that will face the USA in the first of two crucial Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualification Pathway matches on September 4th.
Saturday’s match, powered by DHL Rugby, kicks off at 3pm local time (1:30pm ET/10:30am PT) on September 4 at Swilers Rugby Club in St. John’s, NL. Limited tickets remain and can be purchased by visiting www.mileonecentre.com.Canadian rugby fans across the country can tune in to both matches on Premier Sports -new customers can watch exclusively live for just $14.95 USD. The match will also be available to Canadian rugby fans around the world in more than 25 countries, including the UK and Ireland,
Jones stated, “We’ve been able to assemble the team for a couple weeks here in St.John’s, and I’ve been very happy with the work put in by all the players under unique circumstances due to the continuing impact of the global pandemic.” The head coach added, “Congratulations to the players that earned their selection - we can’t wait to take the pitch again in front of a home crowd for the first time in almost two years for this important match.”
After the first game, Canada and the USA will then head south for the return match in Glendale, CO on September 11. Kick-off for game two is set for 9pm ET/6pm PT.
The winner of the two-match North American series is determined by an aggregate score across both games. The winner will move on to face Uruguay on October 2 and 9, with the victor of this series qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2023 as Americas #1.
CANADA’S MEN’S RUGBY TEAM’S MATCH DAY ROSTER
1. Djustice Sears-Duru - Oakville, ON - Unattached
2. Andrew Quattrin - Holland Landing, ON - Toronto Arrows
3. Matt Tierney - Oakville, ON - Castres Olympique
4. Corey Thomas - Perth, Western AUS - LA Giltinis
5. Conor Keys - Stittsvile, ON - Rugby ATL
6. Lucas Rumball - Markham, ON - Toronto Arrows
7. Matt Heaton - Godmanchester, QC - Rugby ATL
8. Siaki Vikilani - Burnaby, BC - Toronto Arrows
9. Ross Braude - Pretoria, SA - Toronto Arrows
10. Peter Nelson - Dungannon, UK - Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne
11. Kainoa Lloyd - Mississauga, ONT - James Bay AA
12. Spencer Jones - Cambridge, NZ - Toronto Arrows
13. Ben LeSage - Calgary, AB - Toronto Arrows
14. Brock Webster - Uxbridge, ON - Canada Rugby 7's
15. Cooper Coats - Halifax, NS - Canada Rugby 7's
16. Eric Howard - Ottawa, ON - Nola Gold
17. Cole Keith - Apohaqui, NB - Toronto Arrows
18. Tyler Rowland - Mississauga, ON - Toronto Arrows
19. Mason Flesch - Cobourg, ON - Toronto Arrows
20. Michael Smith - White Rock, BC - San Diego Legion
21. Rob Povey – Long Buckly, UK - Houston Sabercats
22. Jason Higgins - Cork, Ire - Toronto Arrows
23. Patrick Parfrey – St. John’s, NL – Toronto Arrows/Swilers RFC
PLAYER NAME POSITION CLUB CAPS
1. Chance Wenglewski Prop Rugby ATL 6
2. Dylan Fawsitt Hooker Rugby United New york 15
3. Paul Mullen Prop Utah Warriors 20
4. Nate Brakeley Lock Rugby United New York 25
5. Nick Civetta Lock Rugby United New York 28
6. Hanco Germishuys Flanker Rugby United New York 23
7. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz Flanker Old Glory DC 3
8. Cam Dolan No. 8 NOLA Gold 53
9. Ruben De Haas Scrumhalf Saracens (ENG) 19
10. Will Magie Flyhalf Austin Gilgronis 27
11. Mika Kruse Wing Utah Warriors 2
12. Bryce Campbell (C) Center Austin Gilgronis 34
13. Marcel Brache Center Unattached 24
14. Christian Dyer Wing USA Sevens 2
15. Luke Carty Fullback LA Giltinis 2
16. Kapeli Pifeleti Hooker Saracens (ENG) 4
17. David Ainu’u Prop Toulouse (FRA) 11
18. Joe Taufete’e Hooker Lyon (FRA) 29
19. Siaosi Mahoni Lock San Diego Legion 2
20. Andrew Guerra Flanker NOLA Gold 1
21. Nate Augspurger Wing/Scrumhalf San Diego Legion 26
22. Tavite Lopeti Center Seattle Seawolves uncapped
23. AJ MacGinty Flyhalf Sale Sharks (ENG) 28