WAITANGI, 8 Sept. - This time it was sharks; next week the Canadian team will be hunting Sea Eagles of the Tongan variety in their opening Rugby World Cup 2011 clash.
The Canada team showed their command of the marine world by reeling in a 2m shark in the Bay of Islands, just under a week from their Pacific Island match-up.
Seven members of the Canada team took to the water on Thursday, indulging in an afternoon of fishing ahead of their first Pool A match on Wednesday, 14 September.
There was friendly rivalry aboard two boats, with competitions for the biggest fish, most caught and an ''hour of power'' when players vied to land the most fish in 60 minutes.
Forty fish were reeled in during the afternoon, but Jebb Sinclair was the hero of the day after hooking the shark.
Hour of power
Scott Franklin, who won the hour of power with five, was impressed with his teammate’s catch. “I had some fish envy, for sure,” he said. “I thought my effort was pretty good until then.”
Aaron Carpenter caught the most fish (15) and the prize for the largest catch went to forwards coach Neil Barnes. He was in the process of reeling in a snapper, when a john dory seized the fish on the line.
“It was a two-for-one deal. The john dory just came and ate it,” said Franklin.
Not all were so lucky with their fishing. “There is one of us who thinks he is a big fisherman and he only caught two fish. Pretty weak of him, eh?” Franklin said of captain Pat Riordan’s efforts.
But while the team's catch was impressive, Franklin is sure their talents lie in other areas. “We’re OK fishermen but we’re better rugby players."