Men's Sevens Win Shocker Over Fiji for Bowl Win
Date: February 7, 2013
Team Canada Sevens posted an historic and impressive win over global Sevens heavyweight, Fiji, at the IRB Wellington Sevens tournament this past Saturday.
A brace of tries from Taylor Paris and one from Sean Duke and John Moonlight, along with clutch conversions from Nathan Hirayama, helped the Canucks to their first silverware this season ahead of Round 5 in Las Vegas. The triumph followed Canadian qualifying round victories over Spain, Tonga and also South Africa.
Avid followers of the always-entertaining Sevens Series note that Canada’s most recent win is more a continuation of a steady rise toward rugby’s summit than a shocking leap. The squad has demonstrated on numerous occasions they possess the required tools to compete against top nations, as strong performances against England, New Zealand and last weekend’s triumphs over the Boks and Fiji attest.
Geraint John’s side displays a quiet confidence, boasting the lethal finishing capacity of wing Duke, who sits atop this season’s try standings with 21 scores after just four events; two clear of his nearest challengers, South Africa’s Cornal Hendricks and England speedster Dan Norton. Nathan Hirayama, who missed the first tournament due to injury, lies third in the points scoring chart at 121 with New Zealand great Tomasi Cama and Fiji’s Joji Baleviani Ragamate setting a slightly more prolific pace.
Despite recording their second ever victory over the Fijians last Saturday, there remains a grounded feel to the Canadian squad indicative of where Coaches John and Kieran Crowley want Canada to be on the IRB World Sevens Series map.
Canada’s success is attributed to strong team spirit, skills and a common never-say-die attitude, typified by youngster Justin Douglas scoring to salvage a 28-28 draw against Australia in Dubai, despite Canada being 14 points down with just one minute and 45 seconds remaining. Douglas, 18, is one of several young Canadian players making an immediate impact for Coach John. Douglas and Lucas Hammond are two of the youngest members of Canada’s squad, following ideal role models like Paris (20) and Conor Trainor (23), who themselves are still at a youthful age.
John explained key short and long-term objectives for Rugby Canada when naming his squad for the Gold Coast tournament in October last year: “This is the start of everyone’s goal to get to Rio. We are no different than any other team. We want to get there and have to make sure we’re prepared. Having three players under the age of 20 in our squad shows what we are doing – we need to keep developing the excellent young players we have in this country.”
This weekend, the squad are set to compete in Las Vegas for the next leg of the World Series. The team is looking forward to playing in front of plenty of Canuck supporters in the Series’ closest leg to home. A tough pool awaits Canada (Kenya, South Africa and Uruguay). The team is working to pick up where they left off.
Las Vegas 7
February 8 - February 10, 2013
Canada v Kenya at 16:44 local
Canada v South Africa at 20:02 local
Canada v Uruguay at 12:22 local
Canada’s Roster for Las Vegas - (Club, CRC Team) Hometown
Tyler Ardron - (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Nanyak Dala - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK (captain)
Thyssen de Goede - (James Bay Athletic Association/BC Bears) Courtenay, BC
Sean Duke - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Jeff Hassler - (James Bay Athletic Association/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn - (Castaway Wanders RFC/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Nathan Hirayama - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones - (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Lucas Hammond - (Toronto Nomads) Toronto, ON
John Moonlight - (James Bay Atheltic Association/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Taylor Paris - (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON
Conor Trainor - (Western University/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Head Coach:Geraint John
Assistant Coach:Kieran Crowley