Gold Coast, Aus. - Canada improved from their two test wins against the USA for a performance with much more possession and phase play in a 38-14 loss to the Australian Barbarians in front of 4,122 spectators at Skilled Park in Queensland.
Canada started well, with solid defense keeping the Barbarians honest in their own end for a length period. They were then gifted a perfect start to the match, when the Barbarians were penalized for a collapsed scrum and captain Pat Riordan opted for a shot at goal. The shot was wide of the uprights, but Canada had proved early they were ready for the challenge.
The Barbarians then piled on the phases for sustained pressure, but Canada's defense was up to the task despite being camped close to their goal line for five minutes.
The deadlock broke when the Barbarians sent the ball wide and centre Rob Horne came back on the angle to break over for a try.
Canada fired right back when a scrum in the Barbarians half turned into seven points on the scoreboard. Canada won the scrum and went blind for one phase. Before Ander Monro hit DTH van der Merwe on a three-man cutout pass and into a whole for a 20-metre dash to the try line. James Pritchard added the extras and the game was tied.
The Barbarians scored again through Rod Davies, Barnes and Drew Mitchell. Barnes hit three from four conversions in the first half.
Canada closed the half positively with van der Merwe turning the ball over in a ruck and send Phil Mackenzie on a run for his third try in as many games, as he soccered the ball all 30 metres to score.
Canada had closed the gap to 26-14 by half time.
Canada made some changes at and shortly after the half-time break, with Tyler Hoston coming on for Jamie Cudmore and Nanyak Dala on for Aaron Carpenter. Ryan Hamilton came on for captain Pat Riordan 10 minutes into the second half as a blood sub.
The Barbarians spent 18 minutes of relentless attack inside the Canadians' 22, but Canada's defence held solid for the opening stanza of the second half with very little possession to speak of.
After nearly half the second half with possession possession to begin the second half, Matt Hodgson scored for the Barbarians off a five-metre scrum and a successful conversion by Barnes took the score the Barbarians 33-14.
Canada controlled possession and territory for much of the remainder of the second half and strung together controlled phase play despite fierce defence from the Barbarians.
Ben Tapuai sealed the Barbarians win with an unconverted try for a 38-14 finish.
By the end of the game, all of Canada's substitutes had taken the field.
"30 minutes into the first half I think we took our foot off the gas for a bit and they scored a couple of quick tries, so that was a good lesson for us," said Canada captain Pat Riordan. "I think the scrum was a huge part of our game tonight. Aside from a few at the start, I thought our scrum went well."
"Although we were on the losing end there were a lot of positives,” added Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley. “The difference to me was their ability to make the breaks. The pace of the game and the intensity was that much higher."
Tries: van der Merwe, Mackenzie.
Convs: Pritchard 2
Australian Barbarians 38
Tries: Rob Horne, Davies, Mitchell, Barnes, Tapuai, Hodgson
Convs: Barnes 4
Canadian side versus Australian Barbarians
NAME (HOMETOWN, PROVINCE, CRC, HOME CLUB, SCHOOL)
1. Hubert Buydens (Saskatoon, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Saskatoon Wild Oats, Walter Murray/University of Saskatchewan)
2. Pat Riordan (captain) (Surrey, BC, BC Bears/CRC, Burnaby Lake, Tamanawis Secondary/University of Victoria)
3. Jason Marshall (North Vancouver, BC, BC Bears/CRC, Capilano, Carson Graham Secondary/Simon Fraser University)
4. Jebb Sinclair (Fredericton, NB, London Irish/PRO, Fredericton Loyalists, Fredericton High School)
5. Jamie Cudmore (Squamish, BC, ASM Clermont Auvergne/PRO, Howe Sound Secondary)
6. Adam Kleeberger (White Rock, BC, BC Bears/CRC, University of Victoria Vikes, Semiahmoo Secondary School/University of Victoria)
7. Chauncey O'Toole (Belleisle, NB, Ospreys/PRO, Belleisle Rovers, Belleisle Regional High School)
8. Aaron Carpenter (Brantford, ON, Plymouth Albion/PRO, Brantford Harlequins, Brantford Collegiate Institute/McMaster University)
9. Ed Fairhurst (Vancouver, BC, UBC Old Boys Ravens, St. Michael's University School/University of Victoria)
10. Ander Monro (VC) (Victoria, BC, Ontario Blues/CRC, Castaway Wanderers, Glenalmond College/Edinburgh University)
11. Phil Mackenzie (Oakville, ON, Esher/PRO, Oakville Crusaders, Appleby College/University of Victoria)
12. Ryan Smith (Calgary, AB, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Calgary Irish, Mayfield Secondary/University of Guelph)
13. DTH van der Merwe (Victoria, BC, Glasgow Warriors/PRO, James Bay, Dr. Martin LeBoldus)
14. Ciaran Hearn (Conception Bay South, NL, The Rock/CRC, Baymen RFC, Holy Spirit High School)
15. James Pritchard (Parkes, Australia, Bedford Blues/PRO, Randwick, Red Bend Catholic College)
16. Ryan Hamilton (West Vancouver, BC, BC Bears/CRC, Capilano, Rockridge Secondary/University of Victoria)
17. Scott Franklin (Regina, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Castaway Wanderers, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame/Camosun College)
18. Tyler Hotson (Vancouver, BC, Plymouth/PRO, UBC Old Boys Ravens, St. George's School/University of British Columbia)
19. Nanyak Dala (Saskatoon, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Castaway Wanderers, Glenwood High School/University of Saskatchewan)
20. Sean White (Victoria, BC, BC Bears/CRC, James Bay, Oak Bay High School)
21. Conor Trainor (Vancouver, BC, BC Bears/CRC, UBC Old Boys, St. George's School/University of Western Ontario)
22. Nathan Hirayama (Richmond, BC, BC Bears/CRC, University of Victoria Vikes, Hugh McRoberts Secondary/University of Victoria)