Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Canada vs Russia - Churchill Cup Preview


After defeating Italy 26-9 at Northampton on Saturday, Canada have its second Churchill Cup match on Wednesday as the worlds second largest country will face off against the largest country in the world, Russia in the small English town of Esher. It is to be the first time ever that the two sides meet in the history of the Churchill Cup and only the second time overall. The two sides only match took place in Vancouver in november 2009 with Canada running our 22-6 winners. If Canada can defeat Russia, they will finish top of the table regardless of the result of Italy A vs Russia and will take on the best side of England Saxons, Tonga and the USA. Russia are in the Churchill Cup for the second time in history after debuting last year and having missed results. After competing well in the group stage vs the USA and England Saxons but going down to both, Russia impressed with a 38-19 win over Uruguay.

In addition to having Churchill Cup play-off´s places on the line, the international also counts for IRB World Rankings as it is an official international match. Canadian coach, Kieran Crowley has made eight changes to his starting XV with the long awaited return of Clermont secondrower Jamie Cudmore after missing all of Canada´s internationals since Rugby World Cup 2007 through suspension and experimentation. Cudmore wilkl be joined in the secondrow by Tyler Hotson. Other changesin the forwrds include a new front row with Hubert Buydens, Pat Riordan and Jason Marshall all being replaced by Tom Dolezel, Ryan Hamilton and Scott Franklin. Buydens and Riordan will take a place on the bench. Crowley´changes to the backline include thew clut figure of scrumhalf Ed Fairhurst being replaced by Sean White. Both wingers have also been changed with Justin Mensah-Coker starting at 11 and flyhalf / fullback Matt Evans selected to play 14. Ryan Smith has been rested with Mike Scholz taking over at inside centre.

Prediction: A opportunity for Canada´s quality backrow to shine. Russia will keep it tight while Canada will use width. Canada to win by 15 points.

Canada
1 Tom Dolezel (Prairie Wolf Pack)
2 Ryan Hamilton (B.C. Bears)
3 Scott Franklin (Prairie Wolf Pack)
4 Tyler Hotson (Plymouth Albion, England)
5 Jamie Cudmore (Clermont, France)
6 Jebb Sinclair (The Rock)
7 Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock)
8 Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion, England)
9 Sean White (B.C. Bears)
10 Ander Monro (Ontario Blues)
11 Justin Mensah-Coker (B.C. Bears)
12 Mike Scholz (Ontario Blues)
13 Conor Trainor (B.C. Bears)
14 Matt Evans (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales)
15 James Pritchard (Bedford Blues, England)

Reserves: 16 Pat Riordan (B.C. Bears), 17 Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack), 18 Hubert Buydens (Prairie Wolf Pack), 19 Mitch Gudgeon (B.C. Bears), 20 Nanyak Dala (Prairie Wolf Pack), 21 Ed Fairhurst (B.C. Bears), 22 Phillip Mackenzie (Esher, England)

Russia

15 I Klyuchnikov
14 V Artemyev
13 I Makovetskiy
12 A Makovetskiy
11 V Ostroushko
10 Y Kushnarev
9 S Shakirov
8 S Popov
7 V Korshunov (captain)
6 I Prishchepenko
5 V Boltenkov
4 A Voytov
3 A Temnov
2 A Garbuzov
1 V Grachev

Reserves: 16 V Tsnobiladze, 17 A Travkinm, 18 A Panasenko, 19 V Gresev, 20 A Bykanov, 21 S Trishin, 22 A Ryabov.

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