Written by Cody Secker
Sunday, 26 June 2011 17:29
Beach Outstanding in Vancouver 7s Win
Talk about achieving greatness and doing it in a fashion that was nothing short of brilliant. When Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) got to Connaught Park in Vancouver, BC the team had a mission - to not only compete, but win.
On Saturday, five teams witnessed, in awe, just exactly what they could do.
The first game of the elite bracket of the Vancouver 7s saw Beach face Bayside Ambassadors and was all OPSB from start to finish 41-0. It started with a quick try from Mike Nelson. Quickly thereafter, Isimeli Daveta got the ball on the wing, stutter-stepped a defender, and was off to put OPSB up 14-0. And for the next 10 minutes, it was more of the same with Beach managing to squeeze in four more tries before the final whistle blew to end the bleeding for Bayside.
OPSB matched up against defending Vancouver 7s champs Burnaby Lake in the next game. Though Burnaby Lake was the first to put up points, OPSB settled in for a 40-7 thrashing. Winger Alipate Tuilevuka scored his first of three tries, while Nolan Allen broke an impressive run by breaking two tackles en route to a much-deserved try. Tuilevuka then scored back-to-back tries with excellent ball movement to put the game away with less than two minutes to play. After the game, Coach Evan Haigh seemed to be confident, but also cautious about the road ahead.
“Even with two victories like these, I knew we hadn’t really achieved anything yet,” Haigh told RUGBYMag.com. “Offensively we were up to par, but defensively I wanted to make sure we make our presence known and keep setting ourselves higher goals.”
Those chickens almost came home to roost in the next game, OPSB’s closes. The Young Bucks from British Columbia scored first on a brilliant try from their talented back line. Tuilevuka then worked his magic again after a superb pass from 7s legend and OPSB coach Waisale Serevi to dart for his fourth try of the day. Then, an unexpected try put a kink in Beach’s winning formula. The Young Bucks sneaked in a score to cut the halftime lead to 14-10.
However, Beach didn’t show any signs of panic.
When the second half started, OPSB put away any confidence the Young Bucks may have had going in. Nolan Allen scored two tries in a row to put OPSB up 21-10 with just a few minutes of play. Then Miles Craigwell saw a lane between two Young Buck defenders, hit it and never looked back on his way to a 45-meter try for a 28-10 lead. The Young Bucks would put up one more try, but OPSB was too far ahead to be concerned.
With an undefeated record in three games, and hardly being challenge, OPSB rolled into the semifinals with no significant injuries, but still with something to prove. Playing a Fijian-loaded South Sea Connection (SSC) squad, OPSB had its work cut out for them, but walked away with a 24-7 victory.
USA 7s player Craigwell posted yet another great run off a ruck to get Beach on the board early. SSC then showed a little trickery of their own, with fancy footwork on the outside and outpacing their OPSB opponents to equal the score at 7-7. OPSB went back to its pattern with quick scores by both Craigwell and Allen, which put the game away before halftime. Tuilevuka would add his to already impressive try-scoring total by outmuscling two SSC defenders to the tryline.
Beach was in the final, but facing their 5th game of the day after a four-hour drive to the tournament, they were flagging a little. The final, against the Tiger Sharks, would be tough.
Out of Vancouver Island, the Tiger Sharks handled the Young Bucks 29-12 to reach the final and looked to be stern competitors.
But OPSB once again made it look easy once again, winning 38-15.
The Tiger Sharks started off quickly for a 5-0 lead. Then OPSB showed their poise and experience with yet another try from winger Alipate Tuilevuka. USA 7s player Nu'uese Punimata, back in action after an injury suffered at the USA 7s in Las Vegas in February, was next. He got to the edge then cut back in to make two Tiger Shark defenders miss. Tuilevuka would once again reach the tryline before halftime by dragging a Tiger Shark defender 10 meters to put Beach up 19-5.
Tuilevuka scored again for his ninth try just after the half to take any chance the Tiger Sharks had of making s comeback. Both Mike Nelson and Craigwell scored in between a late try by the Tiger Sharks to seal off the victory and a miraculous run by OPSB.
“I was really proud of the way the guys played,” said Haigh. “We got through some challenges (injury and a red card) and defensively we shaped up a little more. I’m really glad we got this tournament, but now it’s time to prepare for the next.”
Man of the Match Pate Tuilevuka, just recently named in Eddie O’Sullivan’s pool of 50 players for the 15s World Cup, said it was a pure team effort.
“They made me look good,” said the leading try-scorer. “It was a whole team effort, I got a lot of clean passes from everyone and I was just lucky to be able to finish them in the try zone. I’m just looking forward to playing some of these guys again on the international level”
Still relatively new to rugby, and brand new to the OPSB team, Craigwell had nothing but praise and smiles for winning for his tournament.
“It feels really good to be a part of this and have so many of the guys take me under their wing and teach me the ropes,” Craigwell said. “This last year has been a whirlwind, going from the NFL to rugby, to get myself into rugby condition and slimming myself down, and going through the [IRB] circuit and getting to play all different teams and meet a lot of great people.”
OPSB 41 Bayside Ambassadors 0
OPSB 40 Bayside 7
OPSB 28 Young Bucks 15
OPSB 24 South Sea Connection 7
Final: OPSB 38 Tiger Sharks 15
Written by Press Release
Sunday, 26 June 2011 15:57
New Zealand Wins Junior Champs
New Zealand have won a fourth successive IRB Junior World Championship title, although they were made to work exceptionally hard for a 33-22 victory in a thrilling final at Stadio Plebiscito in Padova, Italy, on Sunday.
The destiny of the distinctive trophy was in doubt until the final few minutes when Baby Blacks full back Beauden Barrett chased down his own toe poke to touch down to the delight of his teammates and ecstatic New Zealand fans in the crowd.
England came as close as anyone has ever come to beating New Zealand in their 20 Junior World Championship matches, but for the third final in four years it was the men wearing the red rose on their chest who were left in tears at the final whistle.
Both sides scored three tries in the final, Charles Piutau, Ben Tameifuna and Barrett for New Zealand with a Christian Wade brace and Henry Thomas touchdown for England.
However, it was the perfect kicking record of New Zealand fly half and man of the match Gareth Anscombe which proved the difference, with his opposite number George Ford missing three kicks at goal.
In the other matches on the final day, Australia avenged their defeat by France in the pools stages with a 30-17 victory in the third place play-off final with captain Colby Faingaa their talisman.
South Africa ran in a record-equaling 16 tries to overwhelm Fiji 104-17 to secure fifth spot, while Wales also finished on a positive note by beating Ireland 38-24 to match their seventh place finish of last year in Argentina.
Argentina held off a Scotland fightback to claim ninth place overall with a 15-14 victory in Rovigo, where Italy saved their best to the last day to beat Tonga 34-22
10 Jun, Argentina 8-34 Wales Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
10 Jun, Italy 7-64 New Zealand Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
14 Jun, New Zealand 92-0 Wales Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
14 Jun, Italy 3-27 Argentina Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
18 Jun, Italy 6-56 Wales Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
18 Jun, Argentina 15-48 New Zealand Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
10 Jun, Australia 54-7 Tonga Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
10 Jun, France 24-12 Fiji Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
14 Jun, Australia 50-25 Fiji Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
14 Jun, France 27-14 Tonga Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
18 Jun, Fiji 36-18 Tonga Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
18 Jun, Australia 25-31 France Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
Pool C 10 Jun, England 33-25 Ireland Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
10 Jun, South Africa 33-0 Scotland Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
14 Jun, England 39-18 Scotland Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
14 Jun, Ireland 26-42 South Africa Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
18 Jun, England 26-20 South Africa Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
18 Jun, Ireland 30-13 Scotland Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
9th Place Semifinal
22 Jun, Scotland 30-11 Tonga Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
22 Jun, Argentina 12-8 Italy Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
5th Place Semifinal
22 Jun, 18:00 Wales 20-34 Fiji Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
22 Jun, South Africa 57-15 Ireland Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
22 Jun, England 33-18 France Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
22 Jun, New Zealand 37-7 Australia Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
11th Place Playoff 26 Jun, 12:00 Tonga 22-34 Italy Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
9th Place Playoff 26 Jun, 14:10 Scotland 14-15 Argentina Stadio Mario Battaglini, Rovigo
7th Place Playoff 26 Jun, 12:00 Wales 38-24 Ireland Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
5th Place Playoff 26 Jun, 14:10 Fiji 17-104 South Africa Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
3rd Place Playoff 26 Jun, 17:00 France 17-30 Australia Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
Final 26 Jun, England 22-33 New Zealand Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
Written by Cody Secker
Sunday, 26 June 2011 16:07
Dad's Army Takes Vancouver Social Title
It was a tournament that didn’t disappoint its spectators. Big hits were a dime a dozen and games consisted of lightning-quick players who could put up points quicker than someone could write them down.
The Vancouver 7s Men’s Social Division began and ended with a match between Dad’s Army and Velox, and Dad’s Army won both, the second time 26-5 to win the Men’s Social Final.
Dad’s Army started quick to make it presence known by taking the ball off the scrum for a quick seven points. The next five minutes did more of the same thing with Dad’s Army not even wanting to humor the thought of letting Velox have a shot.
The scoreboard was lopsided at halftime at 19-0. And before Velox even knew what hit them they were in a 24-0 hole deep in the second half. Dad’s Army found its way to the try zone on multiple occasions by using a steady formula meshing strong forward play with getting the ball out to their talented backline.
Velox would eventually crack the scoreboard with a late try off a Dad’s Army passing error. However, Dad’s Army stayed confident in their game plan and eventually walked off the pitch $500 richer and a feeling of having completed a mission that every team in their Social Division had in mind.
“I just wanted to preach to my guys to be strong and don’t throw the ball away,” Dad’s Army player-coach Ian Brehemy said. “We knew they were a strong team, so all we needed to do was keep it tight, keep it in the middle to have options and hold onto the ball.”
Written by Press Release
Saturday, 25 June 2011 20:47
Canada Names 50-Man World Cup Pool
Canadian national senior men's coach Kieran Crowley has released a 50-man extended Rugby World Cup squad.
A squad list is a requirement of the IRB for the Rugby World Cup and can be as few as 30 or as many as 50 players.
While the 30-man cup squad confirmation isn't due until July, Crowley said he wanted players to know where they stood in terms of development and selection opportunities.
"We wanted to make it 50 to show player where they're at," Crowley said. "We've got to make sure all players know they're in contention so they continue to work hard."
The squad features all members of the 2011 Churchill Cup squad and players ranging in age and experience.
"It's a squad we've narrowed down when looking at positional coverage," Crowley said. "We've picked the 50 best players that we can and the Canadian rugby Championship has played a big part in that. We've certainly used the Americas Rugby Championship trip to Argentina, the European tour in November and the Churchill Cup to expose a lot of players, which allowed us to narrow it down to the group we have. It's been a long process."
At the helm of the squad is Pat Riordan, who Crowley has named his Rugby World Cup captain.
The 31-year-old hooker from Burnaby, British Columbia, has 37 caps for Canada and brings to the table the elements Crowley looks for in a captain.
"Pat's been captain ever since I've been here," Crowley said. "He has the values I'm looking for in a player. He works hard on and off the field, he knows the game and creates a very positive team environment."
While no players have been ruled out of the squad due to injury, the squad is without prop Kevin Tkachuk.
The 34-year-old with more than 50 caps to his name recently finished his final season with the Glasgow Warriors and Crowley said there were several factors that led to the decision not to include him.
"Kevin has been a great servant for Canadian rugby," Crowley said. "We just feel there's been some players that have gone past him in terms of performance.
"You've got to have so many players who can play both sides of the scrum. Then you look at how many looseheads and tightheads you've got. We feel we've looked at all the positions and covered them."
In terms of the overall forward selections, Crowley felt the scrum had show improvements during the Churchill Cup, but knows the Rugby World Cup will present distinct challenges up front with Japan, Tonga, France and New Zealand competing in Canada's pool.
"Our scrums improved, but it's still a massive challenge," Crowley said. "We've got a long way to go."
Crowley added that there were some other players that had been working hard and came close to selection.
"There's a couple of players that are probably very unlucky to not be included in this list," he said. "But it's about positional coverage."
Crowley also addressed the youth element in the squad, saying development has been a key focus in the lead up to the World Cup.
"Over the last couple of years we've developed players through various opportunities to the extent that in the last year we've had players come through in ability and experience," he said. "There are some young players in the squad. Youth brings excitement, it brings a lack of fear. They bring a change of environment."
Ryan Hamilton (Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Mike Pletch (Lucan, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Pat Riordan (Burnaby, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Hubert Buydens (Saskatoon, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Tom Dolezel (London, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Scott Franklin (Regina, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Jason Marshall (Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Andrew Tiedemann (St. Albert, AB, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Frank Walsh (St. John's, NFLD, The Rock/CRC)
Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Brett Beukeboom (Lindsay, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Jamie Cudmore (Squamish, B.C., Clermont Ferrand/PRO)
Brian Erichsen (Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Mitch Gudgeon (Victoria, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Tyler Hotson (Vancouver, B.C., Plymouth/PRO)
Jon Phelan (Montreal, QC, The Rock/CRC)
Luke Tait (Barrie, ON, unattached)
Tyler Ardron (Peterborough, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Aaron Carpenter (Brantford, ON, Plymouth Albion/PRO)
Nanyak Dala (Saskatoon, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Adam Kleeburger (White Rock,B.C., Unattached)
Jeremy Kyne (Wellington, NZ/Edmonton, AB, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Stan McKeen (Vancouver, B.C., Oxford University)
John Moonlight (Pickering, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Chauncey O'Toole (Bell Isle, NB, The Rock/CRC)
Kevin Parfrey (St. John’s, NB, The Rock/CRC)
Jebb Sinclair (Fredericton, NB, The Rock/CRC)
Sean Michael-Stephen (Oakville, ON, Plymouth Albion/PRO)
Kyle Armstrong (Whitby, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Ed Fairhurst (Victoria, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Jamie Mackenzie (Oakville, ON, Esher/PRO)
Sean White (Victoria, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Eric Wilson (Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Connor Braid (Victoria, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Nathan Hirayama (Richmond, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Ander Monro (Victoria, B.C., Ontario Blues/CRC)
Nick Blevins (Vancouver, B.C., Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Ryan Smith (Calgary, AB, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Conor Trainor (Victoria, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Phil Mackenzie (Oakville, ON, Esher/PRO)
Mike Scholz (Oakville, ON, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Tyler Wish (Victoria, BC, The Rock/CRC)
Sean Duke (Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Bears/CRC)
Justin Mensah-Coker (Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Bears)
DTH van der Merwe (Victoria, B.C., Glasgow Warriors/PRO)
Jeff Hassler (Calgary, AB, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC)
Ciaran Hearn (Conception Bay, NFLD, The Rock/CRC)
Taylor Paris (Barrie, ON, Ontario Blues/CRC)
Matt Evans (Duncan, B.C., Unattached)
James Pritchard (Parkes, Australia, Bedford/PRO)