Canada’s Men’s U20s beat Chile for first win of U20s Canada Conference

Rugby 15s U20 Men

Canada’s Men’s U20s emerged as 25-24 winners over Chile in their second game of the U20s Canada Conference on Thursday at the University of Guelph.

Canada’s Men’s U20s emerged as 25-24 winners over Chile in their second game of the U20s Canada Conference on Thursday at the University of Guelph.

Tries from Mathew Klimchuk, Ethan Jurgeneit and Sol Jacques, as well as a string of successful conversions by Jamin Hodgkins – including an under pressure, game-winning kick – secured the victory.

“We were up against it,” Canada Men’s U20s Head Coach Adam Roberts said post-match. “Our discipline was a bit of an issue and we couldn’t seem to gain momentum, but they stuck with the plan, stayed with each other and kept battling. It was fantastic to see them have a go, stay in it, stay in the fight and keep working. These are the type of character wins that we need. This is the next generation and I’m just so proud of them.”

Canada came into Tuesday’s game on the back of a 32-24 defeat to Zimbabwe in their opening fixture, while Chile lost 27-3 to Uruguay in the tournament’s curtain raiser on Saturday.

Following a scoreless start to the match thanks to well-drilled defence from both teams, Hodgkins eventually gave Canada the lead in the 21st minute as he expertly dispatched his kick between the posts from a penalty. Chile then responded with a penalty conversion of their own just five minutes later to tie things up.

The visitors were reduced to 14 men when Juan Noriega was shown a yellow card. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Chile were able to score the game’s first try four minutes before the half as Dante Marchesse went over to make the score 10-3. Another Hodgkins penalty conversion cut their lead to just three points on the first half’s final play.

After the break, Chile scored their second try as their forwards collected a lineout and drove the resulting maul over the line to touch down. Canada responded when, following a sustained period of pressure, they swung the ball out to substitute Klimchuk who outpaced the Chile defence on the wing to go over.

The Canadians then went in front for the first time in the match as Jurgeneit scored the go-ahead try midway through the second half. Chile came back to retake the lead and make it 24-18, but the hosts remained patient and scored their third try when Sol Jacques went over. Hodgkins’ successful kick from the resulting conversion gave Canada a narrow 25-24 advantage.

And that was how the match finished as the home team collected a first vital win of the tournament. Earlier in the afternoon, Uruguay came away with a 35-12 victory over Zimbabwe to take pole position in the standings.

The last round of fixtures at the tournament will see Canada take on Uruguay at 6:15 p.m. Eastern / 3:15 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday, August 23. That’s after Zimbabwe face Chile at 3:30 p.m. Eastern / 12:30 p.m. Pacific. Admission is FREE.