Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Canada 28-25 USA

Carpenter looks to run past Clever
Colin Watson Photography
The battle of North American dubbed the Can-Am challenge took place this past Saturday with Canada hosting the USA Eagles in Kingston, Ontario east of Toronto. It was the first international match for both country´s this year and the first since Rugby World Cup 2011. As such there were noteworthy changes to both sides with a number of players from both teams no longer playing rugby. There were also some players out of action due to the long European season. Two such examples being the French Top 14 pair of Clermont´ Jamie Cudmore and Biarritz´ Taku Ngwenya. But, overall, both teams had strong teams and the match lived up to its billing as Canada won a great contest 28-25. There were six tries scored, three by each side with a James Pritchard penalty proving to be the only thing separating the two sides.

In a showpiece of running rugby, both teams looked good with ball in hand with Canada starting well by attacking the USA´ debutant flyhalf, Will Holder. It proved to be a successful tactic as Canada´s World Cup winger turned flyhalf, Matt Evans, scored the games first try after he showed good foot work to step through and run 20 metres to score. Great work from Saracens´ Chris Wyles saw the USA Eagles hit back to score the games second try as he successfully though dummy passes to attract defenders before passing to Luke Hume who moved well off his right to beat a defender and score a try on test debut. Canada hit back scoring a try through lefet winger, Ciaran Hearn, the first of his international career which started in 2008 and has seen him earn 20 test caps. Pritchard had converted both tries for Canada while Holder had been off target which made it 14-5 before the pair traded penalties and then the USA got the upper hand following a second Holder penalty and a well-worked try to James Paterson who came off his wing to latch onto a Holder pass. That made it 18-17 in favor of the USA but it was Canada who would be leading at the interval as Pritchard scored a penalty to close the half. 

Scott LaValla wins lineout ball
Colin Watson Photography
The second half started jsut as the first ended as Pritchard kicked his third penalty goal which put Canada five points clear. Holder missed a penalty chance before Canada scored its third try with backrower and captain, Aaron Carpenter scoring after Hume had failed to find touch from a clearing kick. Carpenter provided support to outside centre DTH van der Merwe who fed him the ball to go over. This gave the Canadians a ten point lead but Todd Clever and his players showed no signs of giving in. The USA came closeto scoring in the corner but South African referee, Marius Jonker deemed that it had been held up. The USA Eagles continued, however, and after sustained pressure Stade Français´ Scott LaValla went over beside the posts for the USA´ third try. Holder converted to make it a two point game but it was too late for the visitors to add further points to the score sheet. 

1 Hubert Buydens (Prairie Wolf Pack)
2 Ryan Hamilton (BC Bears)3 Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack)
4 Brett Beukeboom (Ontario Blues)
5 Tyler Hotson (London Scottish, England)
6 Nanyak Dala (Prairie Wolf Pack)
7 Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock)
8 Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion, England)
9 Sean White (BC Bears)
10 Matt Evans (Cornish Pirates, England)
11 Ciaran Hearn (The Rock)
12 Mike Scholz (Ontario Blues)
13 DTH Van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
14 Sean Duke (BC Bears)
15 James Pritchard (Bedford Blues, England)

Reserves: 16 Jason Marshall (Stade  Aurillacois, France), 17 Tom Dolezels (Ontario Blues), 18 Jebb Sinclair (Stormers, South Africa), 19 Tyler Ardron (Ontario Blues), 20 Kyle Armstrong (Ontario Blues), 21 Phil Mackenzie (London Welsh, England), 22 Jeff Hassler (Prairie Wolf Pack)

15 Chris Wyles (Saracens, England)
14 James Paterson (Glendale Raptors)
13 Paul Emerick (London Wasps, England)
12 Andrew Suniula (Cornish Pirates, England)
11 Luke Hume (Old Blue)
10 Will Holder (Army)
9 Mike Petri (NYAC)
1 Mike MacDonald (Unattached)
2 Chris Biller (Northampton Saints, England)
3 Eric Fry (Wellington Old Boys, New Zealand)
4 Louis Stanfill (NYAC)
5 Brian Doyle (NYAC)
6 Scott Lavalla (Stade Francais, France)
7 Andrew Durutalo (Old Puget Sound Beach)
8 Todd Clever (NTT Shining Arcs, Japan)

Reserves: 16 Derek Asbun (Oxford University, England), 17 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England), 18 Tom Katzfey (Life University), 19 Taylor Mokate (Wellington Old Boys, New Zealand), 20 Shaun Davies (BYU), 21 Roland Suniula (Chicago Griffins), 22 Colin Hawley (USA Rugby Sevens)

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