MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY – It was all Canada in the 7th Place Play-Off at the World Rugby U20 Trophy, as they romped to a 38-0 win over Hong Kong Sunday at Estadio Charrua.
With Cole Davis scoring seven minutes into the match, it was a sign of things to come. Six tries later and the Canadians capped their tournament with a convincing victory and a seventh place finish.
Following three straight losses in pool play, the Canadians were a determined side that looked dead set on finishing the tournament on a positive note. With by far their most impressive effort of the event, they did just that against an overmatched Hong Kong outfit.
After Davis opened the scoring, Cole Keith helped Canada double their lead before Jake Thiel and James O’Neill touched down to send the Canadians into halftime with a 26-0 lead.
The Canadians put up two more tries in the second half, with William McDougall-Percillier touching down and O’Neill nabbing his second of the contest, to cap an impressive final match at the U20 Trophy.
Will Kelly was once again clinical with the boot, securing four conversions for Canada.
Defensively, the shutout was a marked improvement for the Canadians, after they had allowed 19 tries in their first three games. After scoring just four tries over their first two games, Canada’s offence came to life in their last two outings, combining for 10 tries, including four against Chile in their final pool play match.
Hong Kong have been a familiar foe for the Canadian U20 contingent in recent years, with the two teams also meeting in both the 2014 and 2015 tournaments. In 2014, Canada beat Hong Kong in the 7th Place Play-Off 33-30 while, in 2015, Canada earned a 24-15 victory in pool play.
In pool play, Canada dropped games against Namibia (31-16), Japan (50-12) and Chile (45-28).
For the first time in the tournament, Canada opened the scoring. Cole Davis took a ball on the right wing and, with speed on his side, he cut inside the Hong Kong defence and touched down just six minutes into the contest. With Will Kelly converting, Canada took their biggest lead of the tournament, at 7-0.
Ten minutes later, Canada doubled its lead when prop Cole Keith powered his way across the line and touched down for his first try of the tournament. Kelly converted to put Canada ahead 14-0 in the 18th minute.
Continuing to push their agenda, Canada’s Jake Thiel got on the scoreboard with his team’s third try of the opening half, fending a Hong Kong defender and touching down in the 27th minute.
Then, in the 34th minute, James O’Neill took the ball off the back of a ruck and lunged over the line, sending Canada into the break with a 26-0 lead.
The second half started with more of the same from Canada. Just two minutes in, William McDougall-Percillier took the ball off the back of a driving scrum and slipped through the Hong Kong defence en route to the try line.
In the waning stages, O’Neill scored his second try of the match to round out the scoring.
Tries: Davis (1), Keith (1), Jake Thiel (1), O’Neill (2), McDougall-Percillier (1)
Conversions: Kelly (4)
Try – Cole Davis (CAN) – 6’
Conversion – Will Kelly (CAN) – 7’
Try – Cole Keith (CAN) – 17’
Conversion – Will Kelly (CAN) – 18’
Try – Jake Thiel (CAN) – 27’
Try – James O’Neill (CAN) – 34’
Conversion – Will Kelly (CAN) – 34’
Try – William McDougall-Percillier (CAN) – 42’
Conversion – Will Kelly (CAN) – 43’
Try – James O’Neill (CAN) – 74’
Canada’s 2017 World Rugby U20 Trophy 2017 Schedule:
Canada 16 Namibia 31 – Estadio Charrua (Montevideo)
Canada 12 Japan 50 – Estadio Charrua (Montevideo)
Canada 28 Chile 45 – Estadio Domingo Burgueño Miguel (Punta del Este)
7th Place Play-Off
Canada 38 Hong Kong 0 – Estadio Charrua (Montevideo)