Canada’s Men’s Sevens team was drawn in Pool C alongside South Africa and Australia, the top two teams of the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, as well as Spain.
Canada started brightly in its opening match against Australia on Saturday, moving into a 10-0 lead thanks to tries from Alex Russell and Abbotsford RFC’s Jake Thiel. However, Australia hit back with four unanswered tries and three conversions to take a 27-10 victory.
The home team fell just short against the Series leaders South Africa in their second match, showing great spirit to come back from a 12-0 deficit before falling to a 19-14 loss to the Springboks. David Richard and Cooper Coats scored Canada’s tries, with Coats adding the extras with two successful conversions.
However, Canada closed out Saturday in style with a 26-21 victory over Spain to delight the home crowd. Tries from UBC’s Elias Ergas, University of Victoria Vikes’ Brennig Prevost, David Richard and Brock Webster secured third place in Pool C for Canada and ensured fans left BC Place smiling!
Triumph over Spain meant Canada faced Japan in Sunday’s ninth-place quarter-final. Following an early yellow card for Japan, Canada took full advantage with five unanswered tries from Vancouver’s Phil Berna, Alex Russell (2), Abbotsford’s Jake Thiel and Victoria’s Anton Ngongo. Japan added a late consolation score but Canada advanced with a 29-5 win to set up a tie with Scotland.
Abbotsford’s Thiel scored a crucial try in the ninth-place semi-final with Scotland as Canada closed out another impressive win. Brock Webster (2) and Alex Russell both scored tries to the home crowd’s delight as Canada earned a 26-22 win to advance to the ninth-place final against Ireland.
Despite a spirited performance by the home side, Canada ultimately fell short in the play-off as Ireland secured a 17-7 victory. Victoria’s Ngongo was Canada’s try scorer, with Cooper Coats adding the extras. Canada finished in 10th position.