Youth Commonwealth Games - 2011

September 11 2011


Youth Commonwealth 7s coaches: Jeff Williams, Shane Thompson, Darrell Devine
©

Canada Win Plate to Finish 5th in Competition: UPDATED WITH COACH'S REPORT


[ed. comments below]
posted Sept 11 2011

After losing to South Africa in the quarter-finals by a respectable score of 24-12 Canada breezed through the rest of the day to claim the Plate. Along the way they defeated Trinidad & Tobago 60-7 and Isle of Man 52-0. South Africa went on to win Silver with England claiming Gold and Australia the Bronze. Scotland finished in fourth place.


Canada's Patrick Kay from Cowichan currently playing rugby at UVic


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COACH'S REPORT

Day 2 results:

The Canadian team learned many valuable lessons on day 1 of the Youth Commonwealth Games and continued to improve on Day 2.

1/4 final: Canada 12 vs. South Africa 22

The Canadians came out with much more intensity and pushed South Africa right to the end. A few breakdowns in the 1st half resulted in South Africa being up at the half. The Canadian team continued to put pressure on South Africa on both attack and defense.

These are the type of games this team needs to improve. Since the first game yesterday there is a significant difference in how we are playing. With this type of effort and belief in the way the team played Canada showed they can compete with the best. The next step would be to clean up the unforced errors and when that happens we can beat these types of teams.

Starting team:

Lukas Belkavec
Lucas Hammond
Nathan Yanagiya
Jorden Best
Connor Mcann
Pat Kay
Justin Douglas

Haydn Evans
Andrew Battaglia
Byron Bouille
Fergus Hall
Scott Gauer

Scorers:

Trys:
Lucas Hammond: 5/5

Conversions:
Connor Mcann 2

Plate Semi Final: Canada 60 vs. Trinidad 7

After gaining confidence against South Africa the Canadian team seemed to hit its stride in this game. The team attacked with width and depth as well as put defensive pressure on Trinidad.

The team did all the little things we have been asking of them all tournament and like every game we have played, improved from the last.

Lukas Belkavec
Andrew Battaglia
Haydn Evans
Byron Bouille
Connor Mcann
Justin Douglas
Fergus Hall

Haydn Evans
Nathan Yanagiya
Scott Gauer
Jorden Best
Pat Kay

Scorers:

Trys:

Andrew Battaglia: 5/5
Connor Mcann: 5/5/5
Byron Bouille: 5/5
Justin Douglas: 5/5
Fergus Hall: 5

Conversions:

Connor Mcann 2/2/2/2
Pat Kay: 2

Plate Final: Canada 51 vs. Isle of Man 0

Another solid effort by the team which allowed them to win the Plate final. Being able to kick the ball and regain possession is crucial in the 7's game and Canada showed they do have the capability of doing that on day 2.

It's always exciting to be in a final and getting to play 6 games in a weekend will only help this team improve. They have come along way in a short time and to a man we all wish we had another crack at Scotland & Australia.

Lukas Belkavec
Andrew Battaglia
Nathan Yanagiya
Jorden Best
Connor Mcann
Lucas Hammond
Justin Douglas

Haydn Evans
Byron Bouille
Fergus Hall
Scott Gauer
Pat Kay

Scorers:

Trys:

Lukas Belkavec: 5
Jorden Best: 5
Connor Mcann: 5
Lucas Hammond: 5
Pat Kay: 5
Justin Douglas: 5/5/5

Conversions:

Connor Mcann 2/2/2/2/2
Pat Kay: 2

This event was a fantastic experience for this group of athletes. To be able to play International 7's at this young age will definitely help these guys on their pathway to the National Senior 7's team and hopefully the Olympic games.

They all improved, they all had a taste of a multi-sport event, they all know they can compete with top nations and most important of all we now have a much clearer idea of where we stand and what we would need to do to get better at 7's.

Hopefully this program can continue to move forward and give more young Canadian athletes an opportunity to play 7's and prepare for events such as:

Commonwealth Games games(Scotland 2014), Youth Olympic Games (Singapore 2014), Youth Commonwealth Games (Samoa 2015), Olympics Games (Rio 2016)

We proved we can compete with top teams now we need to prepare to beat the top teams.

Just a quick note to thank all the Team Canada Mission staff & team Canada coaches for their support during the week. It was a pleasure to work with and learn from a great group of Canadians involved with high performance sport from all across Canada.



Canada Go 1-3 on Day 1: Face South Africa in Quarter-Final


[ed. comments below]
posted Sept 10 2011

Canada lost their first game 31-0 to Australia, then narrowly lost to Scotland 15-14 before crushing Isle of Man 50-0. That result pits them against the 2nd place team in Pool B which is South Africa. South Africa narrowly lost to England while pummeling Sri Lanka and Trinidad & Tobago.

Unless Canada can pull off the upset against South Africa they'll likely enter the Bowl/Plate competition against Isle of Man, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad & Tobago which Canada should handily win.

Report from Isle of Man

After a long anticipated week the Canada U 18 7’s team finally had the opportunity to play at the Youth Commonwealth Games.

The tournament format only saw teams start to play at 4:21 in the afternoon and Canada’s first game starting at 4:42 and the last game at 7:36. This left less then an hour between each game. Playing three International 7’s games in that amount of time is always a difficult task.

Game 1: Canada o vs. Australia 31

Starting team:

Lukas Belkavec
Lucas Hammond
Nathan Yanagiya
Jorden Best
Connor Mcann
Pat Kay
Justin Douglas

Haydn Evans replaced Nathan Yanagiya
Andrew Battaglia replaced Justin Douglas Byron Bouille replaced Jorden Best Fergus Hall Scott Gauer

This young Canadian team certainly found out what the speed and intensity of International 7’s was all about in a hurry. Australia proved very physical at the break down and caused lots of problems for the Canadian team.

We did not get enough possession and certainly didn’t put the Aussies under enough pressure.

That said we did have a few opportunities in attack in the 1st half but were unable to capitalize on them. Defensively, hesitation and lack of communication created gaps that the Aussies were able to identify and take advantage of.

Although a tough loss the Canadian team was able to learn a few valuable lessons that would help them in the rest of the day's competition.

Game 2: Canada 14 vs. Scotland 15

Starting team:

Lukas Belkavec
Lucas Hammond
Nathan Yanagiya
Byron Bouille
Connor Mcann
Pat Kay
Justin Douglas

Haydn Evans
Andrew Battaglia
Jorden Best replaced Byron Bouille
Fergus Hall replaced Pat Kay
Scott Gauer

This was a key game and one that the team identified as a must win in order for the team to be able to finish in the top 2 of the pool which would give us a much better draw on day 2 and a much better chance at a medal game.

Unfortunately Scotland were able to get up early on Canada and take a 10 to 0 half time lead. Very similar mistakes at the break down and a few lapses defensively put us in a tough spot at the half.

Finally the Canadian team kept possession and were able to claw back into the game. Justin Douglas showed everyone in the stadium what he is capable of doing when he went outside on the Scottish winger for a try in the corner.

Justin Douglas was able to score a 2nd try and bring the game with in one point. Canada kicked off looking to regain possession in order to complete the comeback, this was not the case as the kick sailed out of bonds and as a result it was Scotland’s penalty at the half. Eventually time ran out as we did not get another opportunity to score.

A disappointing loss for all but a much improved performance from the Canada side.

Scorers:

Justin Douglas 2 tries
Connor McCann 2 conversion

Game 3: Canada 50 vs. Isle of Man 0

Starting team:

Lukas Belkavec
Lucas Hammond
Nathan Yanagiya
Jorden Best
Connor Mcann
Pat Kay
Justin Douglas

Haydn Evans replaced Lukas Belkavec
Andrew Battaglia replaced Lucas Hammond Byron Bouille Fergus Hall Scott Gauer replaced Nathan Yanagiya

With the 3rd game in three hours the Canadian team proved they had the ability to move the ball and be physical at the break down.

Canada jumped out to a flying start and never looked back. Although the fans were clearly in the Isla of Man’s corner we went back to the basics of ball movement, depth, width and a stingy defence.

Scorers:

Lucas Hammond: 3 Tries
Justin Douglas: 2 Tries
Jorden Best: 1 try
Scott Gauer: 1 try
Pat Kay: 1 Try

Connor Mcann: 5 Conversions

In each Game the team showed improvements and what their potential could be. It’s very exciting to see these young athletes compete against some top rugby nations. These competitions are what the youth team needs in order to gain experience and better prepare these athletes for Senior 7’s.

Tomorrow we play South Africa (ranked 2nd) in the ¼ final and move forward from there as we are guaranteed 3 games tomorrow as well.



Canada Ready to Start 7s Competition on Saturday Against Australia, Scotland and Isle of Man


posted Sept 7 2011

We are staying in the Rutland hotel which is right on the main drag and across from the beach. The weather has been very typical for this time of year... rain, wind, clouds followed by more rain, wind and clouds.

We have had a fantastic reception by the Locals "manx" people and we are expecting good crowds for all the games. The mission staff here has been amazing, they have brought a Canadian feel which makes things seem more like home.

We have had three training sessions thus far and we anticipate another two before we go into the competition. The boys have really meshed well and the coaches are excited and apprehensive at the same time of what could be.

We play Australia first on Saturday at 4:30pm followed by Scotland then the Isle of Man.

Full Schedule

BC Player Profiles from Andrew Smith - BCRU

BC Player Profiles
Half of the 12-man roster headed to the Youth Commonwealth Games are products of Thompson's Elite Youth Sevens program, a batch of players he has watched develop over the last 18 months. Five of the players are eligible for Under-17 national duty and the sixth has already been capped at the Under-20 level for Canada.

Justin Douglas (Abbotsford RFC)
Douglas has had his fair share of success over the last year playing for his club, region and province. Douglas captured gold with the Fraser Valley regional side at the 2011 Provincial Regional Championships and played a key role in the BC Under-18s National title run this past August. A product of Robert Bateman High School and Abbotsford Rugby Football Club, Douglas was also selected for the Canada Under-17 National team this past spring.

"Justin is one of the most exciting and explosive athletes in the country," Thompson said. "He has all the tools we would look for in an international sevens athlete and will be looked at to play multiple positions. He brings legitimate speed to the table and it will be interesting to see how he measures up against other international speedsters."

Jorden Best (Abbotsford RFC)
Best has had a similar run to Douglas during the 2011 rugby season, winning gold with the Fraser Valley U18 team and going on to win the U18 National Championships in Calgary. Also a Robert Bateman and Abbotsford RFC product, Best is quickly asserting himself as a top scrum half prospect in the country who played for the Canadian Under-17 15-a-side team this past spring.

"Jorden is an intense athlete with an eye for a gap and making good things happen," Thompson said. "He is an athlete who will do whatever is asked of him, work hard and does not like to lose! From a coaching perspective, I am hoping that Jorden's intensity and commitment will rub off on the whole Youth Commonwealth Games squad. He is easy to coach and is open to learning and being the best he can be."

Patrick Kay (Cowichan Rugby Club)
Kay is the oldest athlete amongst the batch of BC players headed to the Isle of Man. A product of Cowichan Rugby Club and the North Island Tsunami program, Kay was the youngest player to compete at the 2011 Junior World Rugby Trophy with the Canadian Under-20 squad this past summer.

"Patrick has very good vision and has the ability to make breaks and to be a play maker as well," added Thompson. "He will be one of the more experience players on this squad with the ability to play a number of positions which at a Sevens tournament is very valuable due to injuries and the substation laws. He is truly an exciting athlete with a bright future ahead of him."

Fergus Hall (Castaway Wanderers RFC)
Hall is the only member of the national squad who hails from Southern Vancouver Island. Hall played a key role in the region's 2011 silver medal run at the Provincial Regional Championships and was a starter for BC at the 2011 National Championships. Hall has suited up for Canada at the Under-17 national level.

"Fergus is another athlete that can play anywhere in the backs which is great to have either as a starter or coming off the bench," Thompson said. "He has a very strong restart which is extremely important in Sevens rugby as it helps regain possession. He is an athlete who has continued to improve and has shown some very good attacking ability at both the Victoria International Sevens tournament and more recently at the National Championships in Calgary."

Nathan Yanagiya (Capilano RFC)
A product of Capilano RFC and Carson Graham High School, Yanagiya has evolved into a heavy-hitting powerful runner in both 15s and Seven-a-side rugby. Yanagiya played for the BCEY7s team in Las Vegas this past spring and again asserted himself as a top ball carrier at the Victoria International Sevens this past June. Yanagiya helped BC claim the national title in their championship victory over Ontario.

"Nathan is a strong, aggressive sevens athlete on both sides of the ball," added Thompson. "He has the ability to score as well as do a lot of the dirty work that often goes unnoticed. Nathan has the ability to play all three forward positions as well as at the centre position. This again helps create depth and gives coaches the ability to change or mix up the line ups if needed due to injury. We are really looking to him to make an impact this week."

Haydn Evans (Cowichan Rugby Club)
Originally from Terrace, BC, Evans has spent the last few years of his rugby career on Vancouver Island leading Shawnigan Lake School to a high school provincial title and playing for Canada at the Under-17 level. Evans brought a physical edge to BC's provincial side that went on to win the national championship in Calgary.

"Haydn is a big, strong and aggressive forward who will be looked at to be a physical presence," added Thompson. "He has shown the ability to go up after the high ball on kicks off and understands his roles on the pitch. He does everything that is asked of him and is a quiet leader. He knows when to go to work and get the job done."

Canadian U18 Sevens Roster

(Name - Club/Hometown)
Lukas Balkovec - Waterloo County RFC/ Kitchener, Ont.
Andrew Battaglia - Aurora Barbarians RFC/ Aurora, Ont.
Jorden Best - Abbotsford RFC/ Abbotsford, BC
Byron Boville - Barrie RFC/ Barrie, Ont.
Justin Douglas - Abbotsford RFC/ Abbotsford, BC
Haydn Evans - Cowichan Rugby Club/ Terrace, BC
Scott Gauer - Crusaders Rugby Club/ Mississaugua, Ont.
Fergus Hall - Castaway Wanderers/ Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond - Toronto Nomads RFC/ Toronto, Ont.
Pat Kay - Cowichan Rugby Club/ Cowichan, BC
Conor McCann - Balmy Beach RFC/ Toronto, Ont.
Nathan Yanagiya - Capilano RFC/ North Vancouver, BC

Staff:
Shane Thompson - Victoria, BC
Jeff Williams - Victoria, BC
Darrell Devine - Guelph, Ont.

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