Canadian Classics Finish 4th in Bermuda Tournament with Loss to Classic Springboks – Argentina 1st, France 2nd
Classic Springboks won the Plate courtesy of a 17-8 triumph over Rugby Canada. Former Springboks flyhalf Morne Steyn was the star of the show for the South Africans, scoring a try, two conversions and a penalty to finish with a points haul of 12.
Steyn, 39, the second-highest points scorer in Test rugby for South Africa, seems to have enjoyed his first Classic tournament after his retirement from the professional game in June.
“The whole week was fun, thanks to Bermudian guys. It was my first time but definitely not the last one,’’ Steyn said.
“I’m retired now but I’m not retired from the legends. The quality of rugby at this tournament was really good, nice and physical and the teams are doing very well. For us it’s been a great tournament.
“We messed up a bit the first game but it’s all fun and games and luckily we won a trophy.”
Steyn opened the scoring for the men in green and gold with a penalty from the Canada 22-metre line after a high tackle.
Damien Hudd, a player loaned to the South Africans by the Lions for the match, was sent to the sin-bin and Canada had an opportunity to draw level from a penalty, only for Jared Stephens to miss. A change in kicker did it for the North Americans when South Africa were penalised for a deliberate knock-on, Sam Franklin sending the ball in between the sticks to make it 3-3.
A stolen ball from a Canada lineout gave the South Africans a great start to the second half, Steyn producing a great dummy to score near the posts, with his successful conversion taking the score to 10-3 in his team’s favour.
When the Springboks were nailed for a tackler not releasing on their ten-metre line, Franklin saw his penalty goal attempt go wide.
Steyn tried to go for the posts with a long-range effort when Canada were caught offside, but his attempt fell short.
A clever kick by full back Zane Kirchner set up South Africa’s second try of the match, captain Sam Gerber finishing things off by dotting the ball on the right corner. The kick was good from Steyn and South Africa were 17-3 ahead.
Canada were the last to score, Franklin planting the ball over the line with five minutes left, only to miss the conversion.
Canada Defeat USA 49-3 in Round 2 of World Classic – Full Match Video
Canada were dominant in their second game of the tournament, defeating the USA 49-3. The halfback combination of Jorden Sandover-Best at scrum-half and Aaron McLelland at flyhalf kept the ball moving quickly in the backs and McLelland was able to break the line on several occasions. Jared Stephens at inside centre had a strong game as did John Moonlight at #8.
In other Round 2 action France defeated Ireland 36-10. Canada will play the winner of South Africa v Italy in the Plate final on Thursday, while France will face the winner of Lions v Argentina in the Cup final.
Canada Lose Tight Match to Ireland 29-24 in Bermuda Classic
The second match of the night was an explosive affair, with a five-point margin separating the Irish and the Canadians at the end of the 60 minutes.
Jared Stephens missed two penalty kicks at the goal that would have put the North Americans six points ahead.
Canada had scrum half Jorden Sandover-Best sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on.
From the resultant penalty, Ireland had their first try, Dave Kearney with the breakthrough, and the conversion from Noel Reid was successful.
With ten minutes to go, Canada scored through Aaron McLelland and Stephens added the extras. A penalty goal by Stephens had the Canadians 10-7 in front.
Ireland finished the first half strongly, Craig Gilroy went the line for his team’s second try, with another set of five points coming from Eoin Keane, for the Irish to lead 17-10 heading into the break.
A moment of individual brilliance ten minutes into the second half from McLelland, which saw him evade a number of tackles, before sprinting all the way from the halfway line to score a try, had the Canadians back in it at 17-17.
Three minutes later, Barry Lyn exploited a gap in the Canadian defence to plant the ball over the line, with a successful conversion making it 24-17 to the men in green.
Kearney weighed in with his second five points of the match, but a missed conversion only took the Irish lead to 29-17.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Morgan Findlay brought Canada back into contention with a converted try, but the Irish held on for victory.
The Irish are fancying their chances of dethroning the French, with captain Mike Ross indicating that in order for that to happen, they have to ensure that their players are fit to play.
“It was a really tough game against Canada,’’ Ross said. “They certainly showed up and pressed us really hard. I felt at times we didn’t look after the ball as much as we needed to, threw it around a bit, but happy to come out with the win.
“That was a very good Canadian side, they’ve been preparing for this for a number of months so it was definitely not easy out there.
“Our chances of winning the tournament are pretty good if we can keep a team on the pitch, we had a few injuries, we’re playing France who are the reigning champions, we have to see what the body count looks like tomorrow, and go from there.
“We have a couple of players coming out tomorrow too, so that should help. Some of them couldn’t get time off work so tomorrow is the earliest they could come up.”
Knockout action continues tonight with two matches lined up. Classic Pumas face Italian Classic XV, before Lions Legends collide with Classic Springboks.
Match Report from Royal Gazette
Oliver Atkinson (ON)
Jeff Brownson (ON)
Gary Cartwright (BC)
Tom Dolezel (ON)
Mitch Gudgeon (BC)
Ethan Hunt (ON)
Curtis Lauzon (NB)
Glen McKinnon (BC)
John Moonlight (ON)
Tim Rhone (BC)
Lawrence Ross (AB)
James Stuart (ON)
Richard Thorpe (UK)
Sean Tindall (AB)
Derek Daypuck (ON)
Sana Dawai (AB)
Morgan Findlay (AB)
Sam Franklin (BC)
Connor Hunter (BC)
Rich Lebel (ON)
Aaron McLelland (BC)
Galen Potash-Kooyman (BC)
Chris Robinson (BC)
Jorden Sandover-Best (BC)
Jared Stephens (BC)
World Rugby Classic in Bermuda Kicks Off on Friday November 3rd – Canada v Ireland
Canada kicks off its schedule at the World Rugby Classic in Bermuda on Friday with a match against Ireland. The rosters for the teams can be found here.
The Canada roster features a number of players who have played in the BC Premier and some who still do, Oliver Atkinson (VV), Tom Dolezel (VV), Mitch Gudgeon (JBAA), Glenn McKinnon (Caps), John Moonlight (JBAA), Derek Daypuck (CW), Sana Dawai (VV), Aaron McLelland (Ravens), Galen Potash-Kooyman (VV), Chris Robinson (Caps), Jorden Sandover-Best (Ravens), Jared Stephens (Nanaimo), Sam Franklin (Caps), Connor Hunter (Abby).
Canada’s first opponent, Ireland, look stacked with talent with players like Devin Toner (70 caps) and Jack McGrath (56 caps).
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD (GATES OPEN 5:30PM)
7.00pm France vs USA (A)
8.30pm Canada vs Ireland (B)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH (GATES OPEN 5:30PM)
7.00pm Argentina vs Italy (C)
8.30pm Lions vs South Africa (D)
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH (GATES OPEN 5:30PM)
7.00pm Loser A vs Loser B
8.30pm Winner A vs Winner B
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH(GATES OPEN 5:30PM)
7.00pm Loser C vs Loser D (Plate semi-final)
8.30pm Winner C vs Winner D (Classic semi-final)
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH (GATES OPEN 5:30PM)
7.00pm Plate Final
8.30pm Classic Final