The 26-21 victory over Spain brought some joy, but did little to soften the blow of Canada’s previous two defeats during the opening day of the HSBC Canada Sevens rugby tournament on Saturday at BC Place.
“The first two games were a little disappointing,” said Brock Webster, who scored the decisive effort for Canada in the 11th minute of the match. “We should be more hungry.
“We were surprised by this performance. Hopefully we can get more momentum tomorrow.”
This win was Canada’s second in their last 14 matches. This came after a 26-10 loss to Australia and a 19-14 loss at the hands of South Africa.
Coach Henry Paul, who entered the tournament, said Canada’s goal was to reach the quarter-finals. With the two losses, the best team Canada can finish is ninth. To do so, they must win all three matches on Sunday.
Paul said his young team is still in the works.
“As the season goes on, we are still learning a lot about ourselves,” he said. “We are still trying to figure out who we are and how we play.
“All season long, there were times when we played great offensive rugby. There were defensive moments. We have to unite.”
clock | Rugby 7 between Canada and Spain:
A crowd of 17,647 people insisted their approval as Canada advanced 19-7 against Spain. The Canadians fell 21-19 in the second half before claiming the win.
David Richard, Ilyas Ergas and Bring Prevost also scored attempts. Cooper Coats kicked two mutants.
Canada faces Japan on Sunday morning.
In the opening loss to Australia, Canada took a 10-0 lead with less than two minutes of trying from Alex Russell and Jake Thiel before Australia came back with 26 points unanswered.
clock | Canada vs Australia rugby match 7:
In the match against South Africa, Canada trailed 12-0 in the first half and then fought for a 14-12 lead thanks to attempts by Richard and Coates before losing 19-14. Kick off two layers of mutants.
“We are very disappointed with this loss,” Thiel said.
“The guys showed a lot of heart there.”
clock | Rugby 7 between Canada and South Africa:
A total of 10 veterans withdrew from the seventh team that finished eighth at the Tokyo Olympics.
Canada played a solid defense against South Africa, but struggled with throwing the ball down several lines and also coughing the ball a few times.
“Small mistakes, but this is one of the best teams in the world,” Thiel said. “We stay with them. We scare them. Australia scares us.”
Berna said the Canadians were unable to sustain the early momentum they built against Australia.
“We have to finish matches like this and learn how to deal with them better,” he said. “It’s something that happens with a young team. Things just disappear sometimes. I’m proud of the way we started there.”
Fierce competition for Canadians
Canada finished third in the difficult Group C with five points. Unbeaten South Africa ranked first with nine points, while Australia (2-1-0) ranked second with seven points.
Fiji (3-0-0) led the first group with nine points, followed by England (1-2-0) with five points. In Group B, New Zealand scored nine points from a perfect record, while Samoa (2-1-0) finished second.
Argentina and France tied for the top of Group D with eight points from scoring 2-0-1.
The two best teams from each group advance to the championship side.
Among Saturday’s colorful and clever costumes are a group of penguins, several pink pigs, some Teletubbies, seven dwarves, long gray beards, workers in pink hats and jackets, angels of various sizes, the entire Flintstone family, and various skins. Many creatures drink under your feet. A group of green aliens danced with some astronauts in white suits.
The Canadian men have 24 points from their first five World Rugby Sevens, which puts them 13th with Wales among the 19 competing teams.
South Africa leads the standings with 98 points after winning the first four tournaments. Australia and Argentina tied for second place with 83 points. Spain is ninth with 36 points.
Canada’s best result this year was losing in the quarter-finals of the tournament in Malaga, Spain.
Richard, who has missed parts of the past two years with a knee injury, has seen steady improvement in the squad.
“We are a young team and we are definitely building,” he said. “Every game I feel like we’re improving a little bit, learning a little bit more.
“I feel like it’s going in the right direction.”
clock | The return of the Rugby Sevens to Vancouver: