Canada captures 34-21 win over USA in first leg of World Cup Qualification series

Rugby 15s Senior Men

September 4, 2021 (St. John’s, NL) - Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team captured a 34-21 win over USA Rugby in their first World Cup Qualification pathway match, presented by DHL, in St. John’s, NL on Saturday afternoon.

September 4, 2021 (St. John’s, NL) - Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team captured a 34-21 win over USA Rugby in their first World Cup Qualification pathway match, presented by DHL, in St. John’s, NL on Saturday afternoon.

The United States got off to a dream start Saturday, leading 7-0 in the opening two minutes of play thanks to an awarded a penalty try, but Canada answered back quickly to level the match 7-7, despite being down a man early after Matt Heaton was sent to the sideline with a yellow card.

Canada would take their first lead of the match 10-7 shortly thereafter with a penalty from Peter Nelson—one of two penalties and four impressive conversions in a windy affair at Swilers Rugby Club. Inspired defence contributed to an impressive first half for Canada, who were forced to play a man down on two occasions after yellow cards were assessed to both Heaton and Connor Keys. A late try from USA Rugby saw the teams heading into halftime with the visitors leading 14-10.

Captain Lucas Rumball wasted no time putting his team back in front to open the second half, scoring in the 42nd minute for a 17-14 lead. Teammate Ben LeSage followed suit on 52 minutes as a fit Canadian squad started to gain momentum. Rookie Brock Webster sent the St. John’s crowd into a frenzy with a perfectly timed interception and try just before the 80 minute mark, with Nelson adding the conversion to put Canada up 34-14 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

A late try from the USA would be the final play of the match, with Canada taking a 34-21 advantage into next week’s second leg of their World Cup Qualification series in Colorado.

Man of the Match honours were awarded to Spencer Jones. The win also marked the first time Canada has defeated the United States since 2013.

“We’ll celebrate the win because it’s important but we need some humility looking forward to next week,” said Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team head coach Kingsley Jones. “We’ve got a 13-point lead at the moment and we’ve got 80 minutes to play.  We know it’ll be a different challenge next week, a big challenge but as they say, we need to make sure we enjoy the win.”

The winner of the two-match North American series is determined by an aggregate score across both games. The winner will move on to face Uruguay on October 2 and 9, with the victor of this series qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2023 as Americas #1. The loser of the two-match North American series will move on to face Chile on October 2 and 9.

Canada and the United States now head south to Infinity Park in Glendale, CO for the second leg of the two-match series. The game will be broadcast on demand through Premier Sports, available HERE. For more information, please visit

Canada’s Men’s Team Score Report

Tries: Thomas (5’), Rumball (43’), Lesage (52’), Webster (68’)
Conversions: Nelson (6’, 43’, 52’, 69’)
Penalties: Nelson (18’, 62’)


1. Djustice Sears-Duru - Oakville, ON - Unattached
2. Andrew Quattrin - Holland Landing, ON - Toronto Arrows
3. Matt Tierney - Oakville, ON - Castres Olympique
4. Corey Thomas - Perth, Western AUS - LA Giltinis
5. Conor Keys - Stittsvile, ON - Rugby ATL
6. Lucas Rumball - Markham, ON - Toronto Arrows (C)
7. Matt Heaton - Godmanchester, QC - Rugby ATL
8. Siaki Vikilani - Burnaby, BC - Toronto Arrows

9. Ross Braude - Pretoria, SA - Toronto Arrows
10. Peter Nelson - Dungannon, UK - Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne
11. Kainoa Lloyd - Mississauga, ONT - James Bay AA
12. Spencer Jones - Cambridge, NZ - Toronto Arrows
13. Ben LeSage - Calgary, AB - Toronto Arrows
14. Brock Webster - Uxbridge, ON - Canada Rugby 7's
15. Cooper Coats - Halifax, NS - Canada Rugby 7's

16. Eric Howard - Ottawa, ON - Nola Gold
17. Cole Keith - Apohaqui, NB - Toronto Arrows
18. Tyler Rowland - Mississauga, ON - Toronto Arrows
19. Mason Flesch - Cobourg, ON - Toronto Arrows
20. Michael Smith - White Rock, BC - San Diego Legion
21. Rob Povey – Long Buckly, UK - Houston Sabercats
22. Jason Higgins - Cork, Ire - Toronto Arrows
23. Patrick Parfrey – St. John’s, NL – Toronto Arrows/Swilers RFC

Header Photo Credit: Jeff Parsons

Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of Rugby Union in Canada. They administer and operate Men’s and Women’s Senior and Junior National programs in both rugby XV’s and 7s, as well as govern the Club and community game for more than 30,000 registered participants from coast to coast in conjunction with ten Provincial Union members.

Rugby Canada is headquartered at the Al Charron National Training Centre in Langford, BC, with staff also working from Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Rugby Canada business operations, programs and events are delivered nationwide, including the internationally recognized HSBC Canada Sevens annual tournaments.

The Rugby World Cup has been held every four years since 1987. A benchmark competition for international rugby, it represents the holy grail for any player. Hosted in France in 2023, there will be 600 players from the 5 major continents, divided into 20 teams, all dreaming of the William Webb Ellis Trophy which is awarded to the winning country.

The 2023 tournament will mark the 10th Rugby World Cup with matches starting on September 8, 2023 and concluding 45 days later with the final on October 28.

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