UNDEFEATED DAY ONE SEES CANADA’S MEN’S SEVENS TEAM INTO WELLINGTON CUP QUARTER FINAL
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team is into the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup round in New Zealand for the first time since the 2015 Japan Sevens after an impressive undefeated day one in Wellington. Canada went 3-0 after wins against Scotland, Wales and Russia in what was a dominant display of rugby.
Nathan Hirayama became just the second ever Canadian to amass 900 career HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series points while stand-in Captain Harry Jones became the fifth Canadian to register 500 points. Canada will play their cup quarterfinal at 7:22pm ET/4:22pm PT.
Captain Harry Jones said:
“The boys have put in some hard work. It’s been nice to be back home after the holiday break, we were training in some icy conditions back home but managed to put some time in and work on the basics. We played a well rounded game today. There were a few mistakes out there we could clean up. For me being captain is a great opportunity, we have some other guys like Nate (Hirayama) and (John Moonlight) Mooner who can do it too, so it’s nice to have those guys supporting me which makes it really easy.”
What Coach Damian McGrath said:
“Well we went 3-0 today and as a coach that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s how the team did it today that really pleased me. Wins against top quality teams like Scotland and Wales don’t come easy; everyone always sees the tries but the hard work being done off the ball and on defence today was very impressive. This team has struggled with belief over the last year, nearly making it into the cup round on so many occasions, and that can affect you. I truly believe this team has the abilities and a day like today is good for us.”
CANADA 28-19 SCOTLAND
Canada scored four tries en route to a convincing win over Scotland in their Wellington Sevens opener. Adam Zaruba opened the scoring for Canada before Pat Kay touched down for a second try to give Canada a 14-0 lead.
Mark Robertson got Scotland on the board but Justin Douglas found a hole right before half time to give Canada a 21-5 lead at the break. Fraser Lyle grabbed Scotland’s second try before George Horne’s try cut the Canadian lead to just 21-19.
However, Hirayama sealed the victory as he slipped a Scottish tackle and touched down to secure a 28-19 win.
CANADA 28-5 WALES
Canada made it two-for-two in Wellington after a second straight dominant display. Canada got off to a fast start again as captain Harry Jones touched down inside a minute before Nathan Hirayama extended the lead to 14-0 at the break.
Jones grabbed his second try of the game to open the second half as Canada built a 21-0 lead before Wales finally got on the board through an Ethan Davies try. Hirayama completed the scoring after he took a Luke McCloskey offload in for the try after he had been the beneficiary of a Matt Mullins line break.
CANADA 29-0 RUSSIA
Justin Douglas had a brace as Canada completed a perfect Day 1 in Wellington. After Harry Jones scored off of the opening kickoff, Douglas grabbed his first try of the game to give Canada a 14-0 lead at the interval.
Canada got second half tries from Douglas, Mike Fuailefau and Luke McCloskey to round out an impressive day 1 for Damian McGrath’s side.
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Squad for Wellington and Sydney (Name, club, hometown):
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (UVIC Vikes) Toronto, ON
Nthan Hirayama – captain, Sydney (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – Captain, Wellington (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
Caleb Jordan – (Montreal Wanderers) Montreal, QC
Isaac Kaay – (UVic Vikes) Kamloops, BC
Pat Kay – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Karsten Leitner – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Matt Mullins – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Unavailable for Selection:
Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Head Coach – Damian McGrath
Assistant Coach – Lee Douglas
Physiotherapist – Danielle Mah
Analyst – Calum Ramsay
Manager – Brian Hunter
Canada’s Wellington Sevens Day 1 Schedule:
Canada 28-19 Scotland
Canada 28-5 Wales
Canada 29-0 Russia
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Union has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game. Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Rugby Canada has also put a renewed emphasis on developing its junior programs to support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.