Canada scores emotional win over Scots at world rugby sevens event in Vancouver

VANCOUVER – Canada overcame an early deficit to defeat Scotland 26-22 Sunday at theHSBCCanada Sevens rugby tournament for a win that will help move the team up the overall series standings.

VANCOUVER – Canada overcame an early deficit to defeat Scotland 26-22 Sunday at theHSBCCanada Sevens rugby tournament for a win that will help move the team up the overall series standings.

“There was a lot of emotion in that game,” said Alex Russell. “The job is not done yet. Each game is a must win. ”

The win moved Canada past both Scotland and Wales in the overall points standings for the World Rugby Seven Series.

The Canadian men came into the weekend with 24 points after the first five tournaments, leaving them tied for 13th place with Wales among the 16 teams competing. Scotland was 12th with 25 points.

Canada needs to collect as many points as possible in the final three tournaments of the year to finish among the top 14 countries and avoid being relocated off the tour.

After winning just one of three games on Saturday, the best Canada can finish in Vancouver is ninth and collect eight points. The Canadians lost 26-10 to Australia and 19-14 to South Africa before beating Spain 26-10 Saturday.

“It’s a dogfight down there right now,” said Jake Thiel, who scored a try against Scotland. “We don’t want to be stuck in that bottom four.

“We know what the standings are, we’re not going to leave it to fate. We’re going to take it in our own hands. All these games matter to us. ”

South Africa leads the standings with 98 points after winning the first four tournaments. Australia and Argentina are tied for second with 83 points. Spain is ninth with 36 points.

Winger Brock Webster scored a pair of tries and playmaker Cooper Coats kicked three converts before a loud, flag-waving crowd of 15,797 at BC Place Stadium.

“It was a special one,” said Thiel, who celebrated his try by urging the crowd to make more noise. “I think a little bit of emotion just shows how much we want this and how much we want to prove people wrong.

“This week the results have not gone our way in a couple of these games but we’re hanging in with the best teams, we’re taking these games to the wire.”

In Canada’s first game Sunday, a crunching goal line tackle by Russell early in the first half swung the momentum as Canada scored 29 straight points in a 29-5 win over Japan.

Russell’s bruising hit knocked a Japanese ball carrier out of bounds inches before he scored the game’s first points.

“It was a hell of a tackle,” said Coats, who kicked two converts in the victory. “We needed that early.

“We pride ourselves on our defense. We want to be that stubborn team on defense, not letting anyone through. That was just one of the examples of one of the guys putting their bodies on the line. ”

Besides his defense, Russell scored two tries in the win. Captain Phil Berna, Thiel and Anton Ngongo also scored for Canada.

An Easter Bunny with floppy ears was among the colorful and imaginative costumes in the crowd at BC Place. There was also a pony with a blue mane, workers in hard hats and vets, three characters from the Handmaid’s Tale and several loud sport jackets decorated with maple leaves. A bunch of bananas sat near a pair of chickens. A herd of cattle rubbed shoulders with some jesters.

The Canadian side competing at this year’s tournament is a young, rebuilding squad after 10 veterans retired from the sevens team that finished eighth at the Tokyo Olympics.

“As a group I think we’re slowly gelling together,” said Russell. “We’re starting to look a little better. We know everyone on the field can do some damage on both sides of the ball. ”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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