Canada claim the Challenge Trophy at the last stop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris, France.
A disappointing opening day for Canada at the Paris Sevens. They started off the day with a narrow loss to Samoa, 21-19. After an opening Samoan score, Mike Fuailefau was the one to get Canada on the board. Following that up was a stellar try from Andrew Coe, weaving expertly through the Samoan line for a highlight-reel try. Coe got his second try of the match after the break with Hirayama adding on his second conversion of the game. But Samoa came back strong and finished it with a last-minute score to take the first game of the tournament.
Canada faced an invigorated Spanish side in their second match, losing 19-24. After two quick tries by Spain, Nathan Hirayama got Canada back in the game with a try before the half. Adam Zaruba scored his first of the tournament to chip away at Spain's lead. A last-gasp try from 13th man Josiah Morra and a tough angle conversion by youngster Cooper Coats wasn't enough to push Canada past and Spain took it, 24-19.
Canada came out with a good start against the USA but the eagles turned it on in the second half to take the game 26-12 . An excellent first try from Josiah Morra off the restart got things going for Canada but USA came back with two of their own to go up at the break. Harry Jones came off the bench and energized the Canadian squad with try in the second, getting the inside ball from Hirayama to score. Hirayama added the kick but a strong USA side proved too much for Canada, pulling away in the final minutes of play to take the match.
Canada came out blazing in day two with a big win against Wales 31-12. Andrew Coe and Nathan Hirayama got things started for Canada in the first. Hirayama's two conversions added to their lead at the half. Canada controlled the second half with Matt Mullins and Harry Jones getting across the whitewash. A quick reacting Phil Berna snatched up the ball near the Welsh line to dot down for the finishing try. The conversion by Cooper Coats solidified the win for Canada, pushing them into the Challenge Semifinals.
Canada had a convincing win over England in their second match of day two, taking the semifinal 41-28. After a try from Mike Fuailefau off the restart, Josiah Morra kicked it into high gear - scoring his first of three tries in the match. Phil Berna had a quick answer to an English score, powering his way through for the try before the end of the half. Canada pulled away in the second with Cooper Coats scoring his first series try and Jake Thiel sliding in to end the match, a special score on his birthday. With two converts from Hirayama and one from Coats, Canada take the win and will move on to the Challenge Trophy final against Ireland.
Canada finished the 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series with a win in the Challenge Trophy Finals, beating Ireland 28-12. A quick start for Canada as speedster Josiah Morra brought down the restart and smashed ahead before Canada swung the ball out wide to Fuailefau on the wing for the try. Harry Jones and Morra notched a try each to put Canada up by 16 points at the break. They held off Ireland in the second half and a try by Adam Zaruba in the final minute sealed the victory for the Canadians. Hirayama made all four conversions in the match and helped Canada to the Challenge Trophy win, 28-12.
Phil Berna – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
Cooper Coats -- Halifax Tars (Halifax, NS)
Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
Andrew Coe – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
Mike Fuailefau – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Nathan Hirayama –Unattached (Richmond, BC)
Harry Jones – Captain, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Josiah Morra -- Toronto Saracens (Toronto, ON)
Matt Mullins – James Bay AA (Belleville, ON)
Jake Thiel – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Adam Zaruba – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Day 1 (June 1)
Canada 19-21 Samoa
Canada 19-24 Spain
Canada 12-26 USA
Day 2 (June 2)
Canada 31-12 Wales
Canada 41-28 England
Canada 28-12 Ireland