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SUMMER 2013 Issue 02
In this Issue
The Fans Perspective of the Game
Canada vs Ireland at BMO Field was a record-setting night. BY chris perrotte
CANADA FALL JUST SHORT OF PACIFIC NATIONS CUP GLORY
Despite a single loss, it was an incredible summer of victories. BY jeff hull
RUSSIAN TOWARDS THE OLYMPICS
Men’s and Women’s teams with BEST EVER FINISHES AT RWC 7s BY DOUG CROSSE
U20 Women take nations cup
The leader of the Senior National Women’s Team leads by example. BY DOUG CROSSE
There were many questions at the start, but were quickly answered! BY robert murray
Senior Women Take Nations Cup
What a 2013 it has been for Canada’s women’s fifteens rugby programs! BY JEFF HULL
All in the family
The de Goedes, an all-Canadian rugby family. BY andrew smith
The regular Stuff 4 Freeze Frame
The best rugby images from the past months
10 Message from Rugby Canada & THE Editor 12 The Engine Room
Not all rugby news happens on the pitch
14 Socially Speaking
Who is sayin’ what on the web and the twitterverse
34 The Vault
We unlock the Rugby Canada archives. This issue features the De Goedes family. BY Andrew Smith
38 Coach’s Playbook
Tips and drills from Dustin Hopkins
Support your rugby community
Men’s team hooker Ray Barkwill
The Rugby Canada Heritage Collection
partners in the pursuit of excellence
46 The Last Word
Meghan Mutrie talks about International view of Canadian rugby.
COVER: Jen KisH. Photo By dean azim, photoworks 3
BIG TIME! 20,396 were on hand at Toronto’s BMO Field to make it the single largest rugby crowd in history as Canada played Ireland on June 15th.
José Lagman 4
This Lane Closed Sara Kaljuvee(Toronto Scottish) (left) and Breanne Nicholas (Chatham Kent RFC) shut down the attack of USA #8 Jordan Gray in the Nations Cup final in England, won by Canada 27-3 on July 22nd.
Ian Muir 6
Hang Time Mike Scholz (Oakville Crusaders) of the Ontario Blues is tackled by Alex Rogers (Mount Pearl Dogs) of the Atlantic Rock in CRC action on August 17th. The host Blues beat the Rock 27-25 in Burlington.
JosĂŠ Lagman 8
FIRST WORDS SUMMER 2013 / Number 02
Message from the CEO
RUGBYca magazine is your magazine
Publisher Rugby Canada
Editor Doug Crosse Design & Layout PIX
Dear Rugby Canada Fan, Martin Seras Lima Lissy Tomlinson Bryan Kelly JAG
Contributing Writers Jeff Hull Robert Murray Andrew Smith Bryan Ray Doug Crosse
Al Charron Penny Kroll Chris Perrotte Bryan Kelly Travis Paterson
Firstly, I would like to thank you for the feedback many of you provided Rugby Canada with regards to the first issue of RUGBYca. We will continue to strive to make every issue as compelling as the first, including a wide variety of stories and updates on the state of the game in Canada. I hope you find it as hard to put down this issue, as you did the last! As CEO, I am appreciative of the support that Rugby Canada received from our board in turning the magazine from a concept to a tangible means by which to communicate to you, our fans, who are crucial to the ongoing success of our sport. I firmly believe having this print version of the magazine will do so much to raise the awareness and success of our sport – both at a national and grassroots level. Whilst providing you with information on rugby in Canada and stories about our national teams and athletes, raising the profile and reach of the sport is our ultimate goal.
Photography José Lagman Judy Teasdale Colin Watson Ian Muir
Advertising Sales Sion Ishmael 30 East Beaver Creek Unit 110, Richmond Hill, ON (905) 707-8998 x 231 firstname.lastname@example.org Printer Transcontinental
RUGBYca magazine is published three times a year by the Rugby Canada , 30 East Beaver Creek, Unit 110, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 1J2. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use, in whole or in part, by any means without the express written consent of the publisher is prohibited. Manuscripts, artwork and photographs are submitted at the sender’s risk. All materials submitted will remain property of Rugby Canada. Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of this magazine, Rugby Canada or its sponsors. No article herein shall constitute endorsement by this magazine or the persons and organizations associated with it. RUGBYca magazine will not knowingly accept fraudulent or misleading advertising. Subscriptions are available at a cost of $13.95 per annum, payable to Rugby Canada care of RUGBYca magazine. All Rugby Canada and Rugby Canada member union logos and marks depicted in this magazine are the property of the Rugby Canada and their respective member unions and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the Rugby Canada Marketing Committee. PRINTED IN CANADA. RC Board of Directors PAT ALDOUS KEITH GILLAM GORDON SNEDDON JAY JOHNSTON TROY MYERS LARRY JONES DOUG CAMPBELL TIM POWERS JAMIE LOCKWOOD PEARSE HIGGINS KATHY HENDERSON JOHN SEAMAN BRIAN BURKE CHRIS LE FEVRE DAWN DAUPHINEE MARK LAWSON RICK POWERS ARABA CHINTOH RICK BOURNE Chris Lefevre
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CANADA POST CORPORATION agreement no. 42619013 10
graham brown Rugby Canada CEO
Message from the EDITOR
What a treat to hear the feedback from our inaugural issue, delivered to the homes of rugby fans this past June. We learned so much in putting the first issue together, but also learned people still love a magazine when it is done well and has interesting content. Big thanks needs to go out to PIX, who is the company that takes all the words and photos, puts it in his magic layout machine and produces a high quality periodical. This issue was especially fun to put together, because there was so much going in the sport of rugby this summer, and we were on hand to chronicle it all. Our photographers, led by Jose Lagman, captured beautiful images for this issue, which is one of the hallmarks of the magazine. When you look at the great double page spreads in Freeze Frame and some of the articles, spare a thought to the hard work and time that goes into capturing that moment in time. Also, I wanted to thank Rugby Canada board member Troy Myers for his work on the last issue
RUGBYca magazine is home-delivered to member households (1 per household) three times a year (May, August, October). Delivery addresses are based on the registration information submitted to Rugby Canada. Rugby Canada Provincial Unions are strongly encouraged to provide all Union Executive Member and program participants’ current mailing information in order to receive the subscription. Any address changes should be notified to both the local rugby union and Rugby Canada through the registration system.
I would also like to remind our readers, that, this is your magazine. So please, do let us know how we are doing, send us story ideas, tell us your triumphs at the provincial and club levels and let us tell everyone else why your players or club is so special. Finally, I would like to encourage you to aid the development of our sport in Canada: if you know someone who is not a registered member of Rugby Canada but would enjoy the magazine, let them know about RUGBYca, so they can subscribe too. Simply visit rugby.ca to order an annual subscription. We were overwhelmed by the number of orders in the first month and hope to keep that momentum going. Just because you don’t play anymore, doesn’t mean we don’t want to reach you. Become a subscriber and stay involved with one of the most progressive sports in Canada. Thanks, and enjoy Issue 2. We look forward to your continued support!
acting as our final set of eyes in the editing process. In this issue we welcomed back Ian Kennedy, former Rugby Canada Press Officer, to cast his eyes over every piece of copy for Issue 2. Finally, a big thanks to you, the reader, who receives this magazine and has been so supportive of it from the moment it landed in your mailbox. Traveling across the country this summer, I received so much great feedback and it galvanized why we undertook this project in the first place. It is a great time to be involved with the sport of rugby in this country. From the record crowd at the Canada v Ireland match in Toronto, to our women’s sevens team finishing second at the Rugby World Cup in Moscow,, to our men nearly winning the Pacific Nations Cup in the first year of involvement, the sport is on a great path and will only get better. Enjoy Issue 2 and drop us a line to let us know what you think - email@example.com magazine.
Doug Crosse RUGBYca Editor RUGBY ONTARIO - Provincial Logo FOR PRINT USE ONLY
Thanks to the Provincial Unions
THE ENGINE ROOM Not all rugby news happens on The PITCH
Expanded Women’s Sevens Circuit
As part of the promotional lead up to the Canada vs USA qualifier match in Toronto, Canadian Captain Aaron Carpenter threw out the first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays vs Boston Red Sox game August 13th. Pictured with Ace and Josh Thole of the Blue Jays.
04 THE QUIZ Jeff Hassler (Ospreys Rugby)
Questions to Jeff 1. How did he lose his front tooth? Pond Hockey 2. Three brother’s names? Tom, Jon, Ryan 3. What is his favourite music/singer? Brooks and Dunn
Harry Jones (Capilano RFC) 1. Playing football and forgot his helmet 2. Three - Two younger brothers & one older brother 3. He likes country - I think maybe - Blake Shelton 4. Little Mermaid 5. Goofy 6. Captain America in the Avengers - Chris Evans 7. The lion tamer - but do his own dance as well
The International Rugby Board has announced the inclusion of São Paulo as a host city of an expanded IRB Women’s Sevens World Series for 2013/14. The new series aims to capitalise on a stellar debut season with rounds across the globe, kicking off with Dubai (November 28-30), then Atlanta (February 15-16), São Paulo (February 21-22), Guangzhao (April 4-6) and Amsterdam (May 16-17). The IRB will confirm the destination of the sixth leg in due course, following strong interest from Member Unions in hosting a round of the showcase series. IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “This announcement caps a great year for Women’s Sevens and follows an outstanding and highly competitive Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow and a strong inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.”
AARON Carpenter Pitch Perfect
Burke joins RUGBY CANADA Board Former Toronto Maple Leafs President and GM Brian Burke has joined the Rugby Canada Board of Directors. The news certainly caught the fancy of the hockey mad media in Canada - and provided some exposure ahead of the USA v Canada 2nd leg match - won by Canada 13-11. “Brian has a deep understanding of professional sports in North America and, with his successes and contacts across the National Hockey League and beyond, we’re happy to have him involved with Rugby Canada,” said Graham Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada. “We look forward to working with Brian in the build-up to our men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups and Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” Brown added. “I played five years in New England and I thought that was good competition until I moved to Vancouver and saw club rugby in BC and how good it was.” “I am excited and honoured to join Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors and to help grow the game of rugby in Canada,” said Burke.
Women’s Sevens World Series 2013/14: Dates and Venues First leg: Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 28-30, 2013 Second leg: Atlanta, Georgia, USA, February 15-16, 2014 Third leg: Arena Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil, February 21-22, 2014 Fourth leg: Guangzhao University, Guangzhao, China, Apr 4-6 2014 Fifth leg: Rugby Centrum, Amsterdam, NDL, May 16-17, 2014 Final leg: TBC
03 Canadians on the Move
Tyler Ardron - Ospreys - Rabbo Direct Hubert Buydens - Manawatu Turbos of the ITM Cup, NZ Aaron Carpenter - Cornish Pirates - RFU Championship Jamie Cudmore - Clermont Auvergne - French Top 14 Matt Evans - Cornish Pirates - Greene King IPA Jeff Hassler - Ospreys - Rabbo Direct Tyler Hotson - London Scottish - Greene King IPA Jason Marshall - Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne Pro D2 Phil Mackenzie - Sale Sharks - Aviva Premiership Taylor Paris - Agen - Top 14 - France Cameron Pierce - Paloise - France D2 Sean Michael Stephen - Plymouth Albion Greene King IPA Jon Phelan - Lille Metropole - Federal 1 - France Jebb Sinclair - London Irish - Aviva Premiership James Pritchard - Bedford Blues - Greene King IPA DTH van der Merwe - Glasgow Warriors - Rabbo Direct
we quizzed JEFF HASSLER of the men’s national sevens team and then asked three teammates what hIS answers were. 4. What is his favourite movie? Braveheart 5. What is his cartoon character? Wile E Coyote 6. Who is his celebrity look-alike? Tom Brady 7. What would his job in the circus be? Flying Trapeze
Sean Duke 1. Rugby game 2. Three - younger one is Ryan don’t know other 3. Brooks and Dunn 4. A Walk to Remember 5. Hunch Back of Notre Dame 6. Kevin James from King of Queens 7. Sword Swallower - (No Hesitation)
between the 22’s Number of test matches at the helm of the men’s Canadian team by current coach Kieran Crowley. He is 20-17-1 since 2008, and has a 5-2 record heading into the November test series against Portugal, Georgia and Romania.
Nanyak Dala (Castaway Wanderers) 1. Pain too much for a tattoo 2. Dirks Bentley 3. Three brothers - all models 4. The Notebook 5. Mini Mouse 6. Tom Brady 7. The short fat clown between acts
WOMENS LEAGUE champions 06 NATIONAL
RUGBY CANADA - NWL LOGO FOR PRINT USE ONLY
Download a digital version (French or English) of RUGBYca Magazine at rugby.ca
Feliciations to Equipe Quebec for taking top honours at the National Women’s League event in Vancouver in July. The ladies from the Alantic Region won it all going 3-0 in the Senior section, while Ontario’s U20s edged Alberta and BC for top honours in that division.
DIGITAL ART available from Glenn Ryan @ PIX Tel: (416) 504.3622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
AMERICAS RUGBY Championships RETURNS TO LANGFORD, BC The IRB has announced that Canada will host this year’s America’s Rugby Championship from October 11-19. Tournament competitors include representative teams from Canada, Argentina, USA and Uruguay All games will be played at the Westhill Stadium, which is home to the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence in Langford, British Columbia. Canada is preparing for a strong tournament performance, following a loss to Argentina in last year’s tournament final. Crowds flocked to the three rounds of the tournament, setting attendance records with over 7,000 people through the gates. “Hosting international Rugby at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence is always an exciting opportunity. Local community support for the ARC is incredible. This year, we hope to make the tournament an even better experience for fans in attendance and those watching our live stream online, “ said Graham Brown, CEO of Rugby Canada. Like in previous years, the tournament is a round robin event with six matches being played over three days. Four points are awarded for a win,
with two points for a draw. One bonus point is available for scoring four or more tries in a match with an additional bonus point for losing a match by seven points or less. “We know this tournament Local is going to be a great success community for Canadian rugby and for support for the local community. Canada the ARC is faces stiff competition, but incredible. we’re certain to compete hard and are looking to secure a championship on home soil,” said Kieran Crowley, Head Coach of Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team. “The Americas Rugby Championship represents a great opportunity for the Game across North and South America, providing a competition format that will generate exciting and competitive matches. It will also allow the participating Unions to take a closer look at the development of their elite players as we look towards Rugby World Cup 2015,” said IRB Head of Development and Performance Mark Egan. Tickets for all ARC matches as well as full tournament passes are on sale now by going to events.rugbycanada.ca.
CANADA LOOKING FORWARD TO THE STRONG COMPETITION October 11, 2013 6:00 PM USA v Argentina 8:00 PM Canada vs Uruguay October 15, 2013 6:00 PM Argentina v Uruguay 8:00 PM USA v Canada October 19, 2013 3:00 PM Uruguay v USA 5:00 PM Argentina v Canada
THE BATTLE Canada and Uruguay in action in the 2012 ARC tournament.
FILE NAME: 13-ENT-076 RIDD RUGBY MAG AD 1/2 PG
TRIM: 7.5”w X 4.5”h
socially speaking who is sayin’ what on the web and the twitterverse
WIN A RUGBY CANADA PRIZE PACK! This one is a straight guessing game. Tell us what year you think this photo is from and if you are right win a $150 prize pack from the Rugby Canada Online Store. Go to RUGBYca/ contest and fill in the info on the online form and hopefully you will come way a winner.
Spring ISSUe contest winner!
In our first issue we ran a contest to identify members of the 1962 Canada team that played a Wales U23 squad - tying them 3-3 off the on the strength of a Don Burgess penalty kick. We had many people identify the photo correctly and from there we drew a name, so congratulations to Steven Nimmo of Toronto, ON.
TWITTERVERSE Follow us @RUGBYCANADA
#RugbyCAN @RugbyCAN The future of rugby in Canada! One of the youngest supporters in attendance at BMO today for @RugbyCanada! Cheers! daniel cudmore @danielcudmore Great article in the @globeandmail with @Burkie2020 on @RugbyCanada and his role on the board of directors, such a great addition! Aaron Carpenter @Carpatron Q and A and autograph session with the@RugbyCanada big guns @RealSports great questions from the fans. #FanSupport Retweeted by RugbyCanada megan @megandurfey knowing that Canada just beat USA for the World Cup qualifier just made my night ten times better! #REDNATION @RugbyCanada Jamie Cudmore @JNCudmore On way to @rugbyworldcup in 2015 !!! Great work everyone !! @RugbyCanada #REDNATION
Here is the correct answer. Back row L to R: Mike Chambers, Bill Granleese, David Ure, Bob McKee, John Lecky, John Newton, Bert Wyatt, Des O’Neill (assistant manager). Next Row: Barry Stubbs, Don Burgess, George Puil, Buzz Moore (captain), Peter Grantham, Brian Williams, Peter Frize. Front Row: James Ward, Gerhardus Wessels.
They said it
Darren Moore@DarrenMooreD22 Watching the game from the #mancave in St Catharines, On. #REDNATION @rugbycanada
“Thanks for all the msgs of support. Boys are up for it! To those coming down to BMO today, we wanna hear you... so BE LOUD!!! ”
“Super excited for round 2 vs USA! Live on @TSN_Sports 2 or http://irb.com for the UK. #REDNATION turn #BMO RED! 4pm/est 1pm/pst”
Nate Hirayama (University of Victoria Vikes)
DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors)
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RUGBY WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
job well done Canada was the first direct qualifier to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
CANADA QUALIFIES T
It was an amazing summer between Canada and its rival USA By DOUG CROSSE he Canadian senior men’s team became the first direct qualifier for the 2015 World Cup, being held in England, following a two leg sweep of the USA, winning by a total aggregate score of 40-20. Canada opened the series August 17th in steamy Charleston, South Carolina, scene of 12-6 qualifier loss in 2009. This edition was a much different affair as Phil Mack scored on a chip and chase try off the opening kick-off en route to a 27-9 win. With 18 points in the aggregate bank, the series moved to Toronto August 24th, where 10,000 fans saw a much improved USA push Canada to the limit before coming away with a 1311 win over the Americans, and more importantly the Americas 1 berth at the World Cup. Canada is now in Group D with three Six Nations teams in France, Ireland and Italy, along with a to be determined qualifier from Europe 2 which will include one of Georgia, Romania, Spain, Russia, Portugal or Belgium. Canadian team coach Kieran
Crowley, while acknowledging the second leg of the series was a lot tougher than the opener, was pleased with the confidence his players are showing in the fifth year of being at the helm for Canada. “The guys have shown they can win these type of games, if you look back at the last seven games they have been close, and they don’t know it yet but we seem to be able to grind it out.,” offered Crowley. “We have had a lot of close calls and one day they will realize what they can do.
Our guys were under a lot of pressure throughout the game and I thought they responded well. We’re going to enjoy the victory and we’re excited for the World Cup in 2015. Canadian team Captain Aaron Carpenter reflected on the number of times he has had to face the USA in his career, and how this win ranks up there among his highlights.
Canada 27 USA 9 BLACKBAUD STADIUM CHarleston, SC August 17, 2013 Canada Tries - Phil Mack, Harry Jones, DTH van der Merwe Conversions - James Pritchard (3) Penalty: James Pritchard (2) USA: Penalties Chris Wyles (3) Attendance: 5,000
GAME 2 Canada 13 USA 11 BMO FIELD TORONTO, ON August 24, 2013
Canada: Tries - James Pritchard, Jason Marshall Penalty: James Pritchard USA: Try - Takudza Ngwenya Penalty: Chris Wyles (2) Attendance: 10,200
“I think about half my caps are against the USA, at least it feels that way, we play them more than any body, they are our biggest rivals and most common enemy, its good to get one over on them, I think they wanted to be in that pool, we each were fighting for it,” he said. “It was an amazing summer, but a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day its us just being able to get together and win matches.” Canada will get to test itself against potential Pool D qualifiers as a fall tour to Europe will see them play Georgia, Romania and Portugal in November. The tour will kick off with a home match at Toronto’s BMO Field against the New Zealand Maori All Blacks on Sunday November 3rd. rivalry Canada won the Can Am Trophy when it beat the USA in Toronto 13-11
The Fans Perspective of the Game
Canada vs Ireland at BMO Field was a record-setting night. By Chris Perrotte
PHOTOS By JOSĂ‰ LAGMAN AND Anthony Isabella
The crowd buzzed with excitement
A record crowd 20,396 filled BMO Stadium in Toronto to see Canada take on Ireland on June 15th.
at BMO field as Canada faced Ireland in an international game on June 15, 2013. “It’s awesome because we’re a pretty big rugby family. It’s good to come out and watch Team Canada play,” said Tyler Harper, who currently plays rugby for University of Toronto. He came with his father Glenn to be a part of this special event and to share another family rugby moment. Fans came to watch not just for the love of the game but to support their sons or brothers who had donned the Canadian jersey to play for their country. Katy Phelan came with her family to watch her brother Jon who wears number 19 play in [the game.] “I’m so excited. I’m excited for him. He played against Fiji, the whole game and that was an awesome game and now to play Ireland, it’s going to be insane!” said Katy. His father Scott Phelan is also very proud of his son. “It’s wonderful to be here,” said Scott. “We’re from Montreal so we came down and made a weekend of it. I’m looking forward to a great game.” Phelan understands that rugby could be near its tipping point, but has yet to quite break into the main stream. “The infrastructure for rugby in Canada is amazing. It’s played at the high school level, the collegiate level, the university level and the club level,” said Scott. There are hundreds of thousands of kids participating in one of the best sports in the world and rugby doesn’t receive nearly the same kind of coverage soccer gets.”
Great game, great atmosphere, didn’t expect a crowd like this. It’s fantastic. A lot of knowledgeable supporters and we’re enjoying every minute of it. With a record attendance of 20,396 fans who came from near and far to see the sixth test between these two nations there is hope that the media will pick up on the enthusiasm of the rugby patrons. Fans of the sport have even come from Ireland to support their countrymen and to be a part of this spectacle. “Great game, great atmosphere, didn’t expect a crowd like this. It’s fantastic. A lot of knowledgeable supporters and we’re enjoying every minute of it,” said Kieran Murphy visiting from Ireland with his son Joe. “It is good to see the sport developing here [in Canada].” The crowd that came to see this match wasn’t disappointed as they witnessed a close physical game. They also witnessed history being made as Canada’s James Pritchard became the all-time Canadian scoring 17
liftoff Taylor Paris of Canada (Barrie RFC/Agen) goes up for a high ball against Irish wing Andrew Trimble.
leader with 494 points which broke the record of 491 previously held by Gareth Rees. The 33 year-old scored nine points in the first half to eclipse the mark. At half-time Canada trailed Ireland 12-9 and for the first time in six matches it looked as though this Canadian squad might put an end to the winless streak. “It’s absolutely great. I’m really impressed with Canada. They’re pushing really hard,” said Eamon McBride a native of Ireland. “I wasn’t coming here with too much expectation that [ Canada was] going to do well, but they’re really pushing Ireland [hard]. It’s going to be a struggle for Ireland to come through this one.” McBride who recently moved to Toronto was pleasantly surprised by the Canadian fans and their enthusiasm of the game. “Great crowd, great atmosphere. The Canadians are crazy about their rugby,” said McBride. “It’s great. It’s like one big rugby family and everybody has a bit of banter. It’s great fun.” That fun and enjoyment for the sport of rugby is what brought high school students Erica Buglisi and Natalie Gontar to the match. “It’s fantastic, it’s enjoyable. It’s a really good game. Their tackles are really intriguing,” said Buglisi who used to play rugby for Michael Power/St. Joseph High School. She was attending her first Canadian team rugby game. Gontar who’s never played the sport but watches her sister play also has enjoyed her first time experience and the atmosphere of rugby at BMO Field. “It’s amazing,” said Gontar. “They [Canada] definitely have it in them to pull out a win.” In the second-half, although the Canadian squad couldn’t stop the momentum of the Irish men, losing 40-14, the players 18
Cheering and chanting and enjoying the hard effort put on by the boys in red. The Canadian fans were proud to support their team, win or lose.
appreciated the fans support they received at BMO Field. “It’s something the boys been talking about all week, with the tickets and stuff like that,” said James Pritchard, who plays the wing. “We have never come across a crowd like this in Canada.“ “We’ve played overseas [ in places] like Ireland where those sorts of teams are used to these sorts of crowds. Here in Canada it’s exciting. The boys were excited to get out there and play and I’m sure if you go into that dressing room today, you would see just how disappointed everyone is with having lost.” Pritchard and his teammates wanted to put on a good performance and felt that they let the fans down. However, to scan the BMO Field stadium, one would see a crowd engaged [with] every play. Cheering and chanting and enjoying the hard effort put on by the boys in red. The Canadian fans were proud to support their team, win or lose. When it came to the fan support the Irish players received, they never expected that sort of turn out, but it was much appreciated. “I think we knew coming into the game that this was going to be a big crowd and obviously there’s a lot of Irish in Canada in general and in Toronto especially, so we knew we’re going to get some support, but I don’t think we expected that,” said Peter O’Mahony, the Irish team captain. “They were chanting “Ireland“ throughout the game and we really appreciated it big time. When it [the score] was 1412 for 15 minutes, we were getting screamed and shouted at giving us the incentive to drive on, it meant a lot to us. It was hugely impressive.” While the result wasn’t what the fans wanted, the evening proved to be a pivotal moment for rugby’s development as a main stream sport in a country fixated on pucks and sticks.
JAMES PRITCHARD BECOMES CANADA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LEADER Surpasses Gareth Rees at Canada vs Ireland game at BMO Field Tale of the Tape
hile it was a historic night for Canada from an attendance perspective, it would also prove to be an historic night for James Pritchard. After racking up 23 points vs Tonga the week before Pritchard needed two penalties in the first half to Gareth Rees’ all time Canadian points record at 491. Then with his third penalty of the half, the ten year veteran moved into first place with 494 total points. “It was nice that it happened, to get it out of the way,” Pritchard said of the record. “But this whole week has been concentrating on winning the game of rugby. That comes first for me. It’s a disappointing way to get that record, when we put a disappointing performance out on the field.” Through Canada’s final World Cup qualifying match win over the USA in Toronto on August 24th, Pritchard has 60 points this season and 522 total points for his career. Interesting to note that following his debut in 2003, Pritchard did not play in the 2004/05 seasons, so his total could be even higher but for non-selection.
52 Test Caps (2003 - Present) Set Record in 49th match
522pts 15 tries
Golden foot James Pritchard scored 60 points through the summer test season to over take Gareth Rees.
89 penality goals
55 Test Caps (1986-1999)
491pts 7 tries 51 conversions
111 penality goals 9 drop-goals
Proud supporter of Rugby Canada
“Not letting them score a try was big for us. We pride ourselves on our defense and our rush defense put them under a lot of pressure.” CONnOR BRAID
on the offensive Connor Braid (James Bay AA) led the attack against the USA and kicked 11 pts in a 16-9 win.
CANADA FALL JUST SHORT OF PACIFIC NATIONS CUP GLORY Despite a single loss, it was an incredible summer of victories By JEFF HULL photos By Stewart seemungal, JosÉ LaGMAN & JUDY TEASDALE
hen Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team began the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup, they knew they were undertaking nothing less than a schedule that rivaled the World Cup in terms of its challenges. Four tournament matches over the course of six weeks, with a home test versus Ireland smack in the middle. The competition’s end would come with a difficult journey to Japan, which came immediately on top of the test against Ireland. It was a summer of incredible accomplishments, featuring some of the most important victories Canada has posted on home soil in years.
Canada vs USA
May 25, 2013 Edmonton, Alberta
If they were to be successful in their match of the Pacific Nations Cup, both Canada and the USA knew they would have to do so without many of their overseas stars. Both coaching staffs had decided to rest some of their top players, following a long European campaign. Professional Canadian speedsters DTH Van der Merwe, Phil Mackenzie, Matt Evans and James Pritchard were all out of action for this encounter, as was injured international sevens star Conor Trainor. The Americans, on the other hand, took to the field without veterans Chris Wyles, Paul Emerick, Shawn Pittman and Biarritz flyer Takudzwa 21
Cutline James Pritchard congratulates Aaron Carpenter as teammates (L-R) Hubert Buydens, Tyler
Canada were able to absorb a vigorous Fijian comeback attempt, and hold on to defeat their more highly-ranked opponents.
the wall Connor Braid (James Bay AA) puts a tackle on Fiji’s Simeli Koniferedi.
Ngwenya. One of the key storylines of Canada’s Pacific Nations Cup campaign would be the search for the country’s next fly-half. In this first contest against the USA, rookie Ontario prodigy Liam Underwood would get the call. Underwood’s poise and the kicking of fullback Connor Braid would be hugely influential. Defying the elements, and a physical American defense, Braid kicked no fewer than three penalties and converted a crucial John Moonlight try, to see a young Canada side through to a 16 – 9 win. After the game Braid said, “Not letting them score a try was big for us. We pride ourselves on our defense and our rush defense put them under a lot of pressure. The big boys were working really hard out there, so kudos to them.” It was a great start to what would be a thrilling summer of rugby that would stretch across Canada.
Canada vs FIJI
JUNE 5, 2013 OTTAWA, ONTARIO
A travel weary Fiji arrived in Canada following a wet win over Japan the previous Saturday to open the PNC tournament. Boosted by the presence of London Irish forward Jebb Sinclair and Cornish Pirates wing Matt Evans, the Canadians now looked to sevens flyer Harry Jones to organize things from fly-half. As with Braid the week before, Jones would play an enormous role in the result. In the face of highly physical Fijian side, Canada could muster only a single Aaron Carpenter try in the first-half, which Braid converted; seeing the Fijians carry an 11 – 10 lead into the break. It was then that Jones stepped forward to spark his country to life. Having been pinned at mid-field, Jones sent a long bouncing kick into the Fijian corner, while the enemy cover defense was caught in a forward rush. Using all of the sevens speed at his command, Jones outraced some of the 22
fastest Pacific Islanders in the world to touch the ball down and give his country a lead they would not relinquish. Only moments later, hooker Ray Barkwill found himself on the end of another brilliant Canadian attack and touched down to score the crucial winning try. Nervous moments followed, but Canada were able to absorb a vigorous Fijian comeback attempt, and hold on to defeat their more highly-ranked opponents by a score of 20 – 18. “It’s about learning how to win,” said Head Coach Kieran Crowley after the win. “A few years ago we might have lost that one, because maybe we didn’t have the physical fitness or physicality that the others had, but we certainly ground it out today and learning how to win is a big thing.”
Canada vs TONGA JUNE 8, 2013 KINGSTON, ONTARIO
With DTH van der Merwe and Phil Mackenzie not yet returned from professional commitments, Kieran Crowley called on the talents of Bedford Blues Captain James Pritchard, as well as his third fly-half in three games – Nathan Hirayama - to take Canada into action. Under Hirayama’s guidance, Canada exploded for three tries and a 33 – 10 lead mid-way through the second-half. A backline chalked full of sevens talent like Harry Jones, and Ciaran Hearn, went to work, while an increasingly frustrated Tonga seemed to have no answer for the Canadian barrage. At about the same moment, things began to spin out of control; with Tonga losing two players to the sin-bin and a third to a red-card for a punch to New Brunswick’s Jebb Sinclair. At one point, Canada enjoyed an almost unbelievable 15 on 12 advantage, before an equally unlikely Tongan comeback began. With time running out, the Tongans rained down tries on a surprised Canadian defense, as they gradually saw their carded players return to the field. It took heroic Canadian tackling to hang on for a 33 – 27 win; its third of the tournament.
attempt take home the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup title. They almost pulled it off.
he’s the mack Phil Mack (University of Victoria Vikings) emerged as the scrum-half of Canada’s present and future.
Canada now led the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup with a perfect record, with only a trip to Japan standing in the way of a historic tournament win.
Canada vs japan JUNE 19, 2013 nagoya, japan
Fresh on the heels of a tough loss to Ireland in Toronto, and minus second row forward Jebb Sinclair and Tyler Hoston, and a collection of players headed to Moscow for the Rugby World Cup of Sevens, a tired and understrength group of Canadians arrived at Mizuho Rugby Ground, in Nagoya, Japan, to
In difficult and rainy conditions, Canada fought their way to a 3 – 0 half-time lead off the boot of fullback James Pritchard. Calling upon a young and inexperienced bench, Canada matched the Japanese tacklefor-tackle and try-for-try, riding a Ciaran Hearn try to a 13 – 13 scoreline with only minutes remaining. At 72 minutes - Canada gave away a crucial penalty, Japan kicking the winning points and with the loss a chance at the Pacific Nations Cup. The 16 – 13 defeat would mean that Fiji, the same group that Canada had defeated only weeks ago in Ottawa, would go on to win the tournament. Despite the loss, it had been an incredible summer of rugby. Head Coach Kieran Crowley believes his team came along way towards “learning how to win” this summer. And who can doubt, that after memorable performances like those in the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup, there are big things in store for Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team.
PACIFIC NATIONS CUP Final Standings Fiji Canada Tonga Japan USA
3-0-1 3-0-1 2-0-2 2-0-2 0-4
Results May 25 May 25 June 1 June 5 June 8 June 14 June 19 June 19 June 23 June 23
Japan 17 - 27 Tonga (Yokohama) Canada 16 - 9 USA (Edmonton) Fiji 22 - 8 Japan (Lautoka) Canada 20 - 18 Fiji (Ottawa) Canada 36- 27 Tonga (Kingston) USA 9 -18 Tonga (Carson, CA) Fiji 35 - 10 USA (Nagoya) Japan 16 - 13 Canada (Nagoya) Tonga 21 - 34 Fiji (Tokyo) Japan 38 - 20 USA (Tokyo)
16 pts 13 pts 10 pts 9 pts 1 pt
Top Points Scorer James Pritchard - Canada 31 pts
RWC SEVENS RUSSIA 2013 results
victory Canada’s men rode a 5-1 record to a 5th place finish in the 24 team event, taking the Plate Final!
Russian Towards the Olympics MEN’S AND WOMEN’S teams WITH BEST EVER FINISHES AT RWC 7s By doug crosse Photos By Judy Teasdale and IRB.com MEN
anada’s men’s team recorded only one loss at the 2013 Rugby World Cup of Sevens and that loss came at the hands of the New Zealand All Blacks, and proved to be enough to keep Canada out of Cup round contention. Canada eventually went on to win five straight games at the twentyfour team tournament in Moscow and win the Plate Final, downing a very competitive Samoa 19-12 to take fifth place at the final World Cup ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Canada edged the USA 15-14 and beat Georgia 26-19 to move into the Plate round and on the final day Canada confidently dispatched Tonga in the Plate quarter-final 26-0 powered by 11 points from Captain Nathan Hirayama and a pair of tries
from Newfoundland’s Ciaran Hearn. In the semi-final Hirayama delivered another 11 points from a try and three conversions, with Nanyak Dala and John Moonlight adding tries in a 21-7 domination of Scotland. Hirayama showed why he wears the Captain’s title when he scored all the points in the final to down Samoa 19-12.
I’m very proud. To be able to say that the only game we lost was to the eventual Cup winners is pleasing. geraint john
“I’m very proud,” said head coach Geraint John. “To be able to say that the only game we lost
was to the eventual Cup winners is pleasing. Unfortunately in the men’s group section the teams are also ranked on points scored for and against which I believe is unfair.” “The squad played a big part with all getting game time. Sometimes we forget the staff but I’d like to not only thank the players for their hard work and support but also my staff who put so many hours in to make this team very competitive.” +++ WOMEN
hile there was not much drama in the way Canada handled its first two opponents of the 2013 Rugby World Cup in Moscow, the final match of the day would give the Canucks a sense of what was to await them
later in the tournament. Beating the Netherlands 17-7 to open the tournament and then the pairing of Magali Harvey and returned veteran Heather Moyse scoring two tries each en route to a 43-0 win over Tunisia showed the Canadians had some offensive weapons. In the third match of the day New Zealand got the lead and never relinquished it, scoring two tries in each half while Canada got on the board through Mandy Marchak just before half time, with the Kiwis winning 20-5. On the second day - Canada rebounded from the close loss to New Zealand, taking its quarterfinal match over Russia in dramatic fashion, with Ghislaine Landry scoring with no time left to pip the home side favourites 15-12. In the semi-finals a resolute Spain pushed Canada hard but again it was Landry to the rescue as the Montreal native scored unconverted tries in each half for the 10-0 win. “We came out and did what we had to do,” said Canadian team player Mandy Marchak. “We have executed the process and stuck to
Canada’s Mens Pool D RESULTS June 28 New Zealand 31 Canada 12 Tries - Nanyak Dala, Harry Jones 24
June 29 USA 14 Canada 15 Canada 26 Georgia 19
Plate Quarter-Final June 30 Canada 26 Tonga 0
Plate Semi-Final June 30 Scotland 7 Canada 21
Plate Final June 30 Samoa 12 Canada 19
RWC SEVENS RUSSIA 2013 results score to 12-5. But then it was Honey Hireme dotting down once more for New Zealand to give her team a 17-5 half time lead. Canada opened the second frame with purpose as Ghislaine Landry scored her seventh try of the tournament to open the door for a possible come back at 17-10. But the Kiwis crossed what was left of the white wash two more times for a final score of 29-12. The second place finish shows that Canada can compete at the top level, but now it is about the small adjustments and improvements over the next three years, that will net Canada a possible podium finish in Rio de Janeiro.
double tries Mandy Marchak (Capilano) scored two tries in the tournament including one against New Zealand on the opening day.
our roles. I’m really proud of the girls! “We had a few moments where we were scrambled, but we bent and did not break. We are exactly where we planned to be and couldn’t be happier. Collectively, we have one goal in mind. We have come here to win a World Cup and we now have the perfect opportunity to do that.” This set the table for a second match on the weekend with New Zealand, but this time for World Cup
Canada’s WOMens Pool D RESULTS Championship glory. Torrential rain had been smashing the Moscow area all day and as a result the conditions under foot at Luzhniki Stadium were treacherous as the final got under way. Portia Woodman and Kelly Brazier got early tries for the New Zealanders, before Toronto’s Arrielle DubissetteBorrice touched down on seven minutes to bring the
June 29 Canada 17 Netherlands 7 Canada 43 Tunisia 0 Canada 5 NZ 20 Cup Quarter Finals June 30 Russia 12 Canada 15 Cup Semi-finals June 30 Canada 10 Spain 0 Cup Finals June 30 NZ 29 Canada 12
“The game of rugby is characterized by diversity, commitment and a drive for excellence. AIG embraces these same qualities, making the partnership with this historic sport a perfect fit. AIG is extremely proud to be the title sponsor of the Maori All Blacks’ first visit to Northeastern Canada and USA in November.” Lynn Oldfield President & CEO AIG Insurance Company of Canada
“Rugby Canada is extremely proud of its forthcoming partnership with AIG. Not only the attraction of the Maori All Blacks to play against Canada, but the desire for a leading global brand to be associated with Rugby Canada, demonstrates our increasing value as a rights holder to both domestic and international sponsors and partners. We are extremely excited to host both the New Zealand Maori All Blacks and AIG on Sunday November 3rd and l know it will be a well fought match between two fantastic teams.” Graham Brown CEO Rugby Canada
AIG, Presenting Sponsor of Maori All Black Match November 3, 2013 BMO Field, Toronto 27
Jennifer Kish Fast Facts First 15s Cap: November 2007 vs Scotland Total 15s Caps: 21 First 7s Cap: 2011 - Las Vegas Home club: Edmonton Rockers Age: 25 Born: Ottawa, Ontario
er of The lead nal Senior o the Nati Team leads â€™s Women ple by exam
By DOUG CROSSE photos by Judy Teasdale (inset/Main Photo) and Dean Azim - Photoworks
early a decade ago it was a group of friends in Edmonton that set in motion a career in rugby that has skyrocketed in recent years but has yet to achieve its final orbit. A young Jennifer Kish, fresh off a high school rugby season, initially was resistant to
the idea of joining a club side and playing the sport all summer. But those friends were persistent and Kish and her pals joined the Edmonton Rockers. It was a move that that would change the then teenager’s goals and dreams and put her on a path to a potential Olympic Gold Medal.
hasn’t been an easy one but a very rewarding one. It’s true what they say, “anything worth having never comes easy.” ≥At Ottawa in 2012 you got to play sevens in Canada for the first time - does that make a big difference playing in front of a home crowd? Having the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd was very moving and I think there is a huge advantage to it. Being surrounded by proud Canadians wanting to see us succeed really gave our team that extra flare over all the other teams. We didn’t just play for us that day, we played for all our supporters and I hope to do it again soon some day. I am very jealous of those teams who get to do it every year.
most is helping my teammates succeed and being able to be apart of it. ≥It is still a ways off - but every athlete eventually hangs up the boots. What are your plans post rugby? I’m not really sure what my future holds after I retire but owning my own fitness centre has always been a goal of mine.
≥Are you comfortable with the role
≥Does it matter whether it is a man or a woman coaching a women’s team? Traditionally Canada has had male coaches - but if everything were equal - which would you prefer? To me it doesn’t matter. I’ve had the opportunity to experience both at the National level.
was the biggest influence on getting you to play rugby - and do you still keep in touch? A bunch of my friends were joining so I figured I would as well. Near the end of the high school season they were all going to join a club team (Edmonton Rockers). Initially I had no interest in spending my summer playing rugby, but my friends were really convincing & playing rugby was just another way everyone could hangout and keep in touch throughout the summer. Within that summer my interest for rugby sky rocketed. Some of them I still keep in touch with as they still play.
≥When you started playing rugby
is it fair to say that a lot of what you are doing now wasn’t even on the radar? Olympics, a second place finish at the World Cup, getting financial support to play - all has to be great developments for you and ultimately the sport of rugby in Canada. I never thought rugby was going to be my ticket to the Olympics because I was in a lot of other sports but when I started to really excel in rugby that’s when it became my world. Having financial support has also helped out a lot. I was able to put more into my training and really give rugby my everything.
you ever take stock of how far you have come as a player and a person - and what conclusions do you draw from your journey? Of course. It’s important to remember where you came from and how you got there. My journey
of being a leader. If not - what parts do you feel uncomfortable with - and which parts do you relish. Being in a leadership role is something I find so rewarding. I am constantly being watched by my peers and coaching staff, which is why I always try to lead by example. This role has helped me become a better player and person because of the higher standard that comes with it. The thing I relish the
you see yourself in a coaching role? I could see myself coaching as I really enjoy being around the sport and giving back to the rugby community has always been something important to me because of what rugby has given me.
a look at women’s sport in general - what do you think the secret sauce will be to get the average sports fan looking at a sport and not comparing it to the male version of that sport - and rather looking at it on its own merits. I think the Olympic soccer team had that in 2012 where people embraced the team for who they were and
what they are doing. Did you look at that and think this is a possible scenario for Canadian women’s rugby? I think success will be the “secret sauce” and even with our recent success at the World Cup with placing 2nd, more than just rugby fans have taken notice. As we get closer to the Olympics and compete, I believe the same thing will happen to us as it did for the women’s soccer team. We really have a great opportunity to be podium contenders and people will start to take more notice.
≥You are going on a long tour, what
are the three must have items on the road (we already packed your kit and clothes)? My engagement teddy bear, Gravol & hair straightener.
us a bit about your tattoos and also - where does the canvas go from its present state? All my tattoos have significant meaning to me. I wear all my tattoos with a lot of pride because I use tattoos as a way to express myself. My next tattoo will be on my upper right arm to complete a full sleeve. 29
U20 NATIONS CUP
U20 WOMEN TAKE NATIONS CUP WITH 4-0 SWEEP By robert murray photo By lissy tomlinson There were many questions at the start, but were quickly answered!
team effort Canada’s U20 Team was unstoppable - going 4-0 to win the 2013 Nations Cup
In the prelude to the 2013 Under 20 Women’s Nations Cup which was held in England in July, several questions surrounded Canada’s team. How would rookie head coach Sandro Fiorino fare in his debut on the international stage? How quickly would Canada’s 26-woman roster be able to develop team chemistry? And perhaps the biggest question of all was who would be the team to knock three-time defending champion England off the throne as Under 20 Nations Cup champion? With the tournament lasting just over a week, Canada answered all three questions swiftly, dominating their opponents from the opening kickoff against the United States on July 11 to the final whistle of the final a week later against the same American squad. “It’s a pretty important day in women’s rugby in Canada,” said head coach Sandro Fiorino after the July 21st final. “These girls worked pretty hard and proved the point to the three teams here and to the rest of the world that Canada is pretty impressive right now.” Fiorino’s use of the word impressive to describe that what the team accomplished during those eleven days in July, is nothing short of an understatement. Canada not only earned themselves the distinction of being named Nations Cup Champions, but they also took the title away from an English side that had yet been defeated in the three previous tournaments from 2008 to 2011. Fiorino wasn’t the only one making things happen at the Women’s U20 tournament in England as twenty-six rugby players from across Canada came together in short time frame and formed an offense that seemed to score at will and a defense that stifled opponents on a constant basis. Team captain Sara Kaljuvee of the Toronto Scottish, noted during the tournament that team had a good dymanic and that it was easy for them to come together. “We knew we needed to basically be a cohesive group from the start,” said Kaljuvee
before the championship game against the United States. “We just knew that as long as we worked as a team, we just needed to focus on our game and our team and so far we’ve been off to a pretty good start.” Playing in a short tournament, Kaljuvee faced a situation similar to the Nations Cup last November when she donned the blue and white for St. Francis Xavier at the CIS Women’s Rugby Championship. “There’s a lot going on so I know maintaining your focus is always a big thing when you come to major tournaments like this,” said Kaljuvee. “I would have to say the big thing that’s really related between the two is focus and the team staying together as a group, you’re in your bubble basically.”
The one constant that remained for Canada’s potent offense was North Vancouver product Jess Neilson. One of the many rookies on the team, Neilson made an impact with her foot, scoring 45 points throughout the tournament. The total from Neilson alone surpassed South Africa’s output of 32 points for the entire tournament, making her kicking game a prized asset over the course of the event. Although the games were unavailable to watch live on television, Canada’s Under 20 Women’s team gave Canadian rugby fans an experience they’ll never forget.
U20 Women’s Nations Cup Results July 11 July 14 July 17 July 21
USA 15 Canada 25 Canada 43 England 15 Canada 37 South Africa 0 USA 3 Canada 27
SENIOR NATIONS CUP
What a 2013 it has been for Canada’s women’s fifteens rugby programs!
By jeff hull photo By lissy tomlinson
ith success on the sevens and fifteens fronts throughout 2013, including the Canadian U20s claiming a first ever Nations Cup title in England, expectations were high for Canada’s first senior team action since 2011. New Women’s Head Coach Francois Ratier led his squad for the first time, as the Canadians made their way to the campus of the University of Northern Colorado, an hour north of Denver where the 2013 Women’s Nations Cup was to be held. Canada vs England On the back of multiple tries from Sevens speedsters Magali Harvey and Elissa Alarie, the Canadians raced out to an early lead against England; the very nation that had defeated Canada in the final of the 2011 Nations Cup. England, however, would not go quietly and fought its way back to take a lead of its own with only minutes remaining on the game clock. With Canada desperately needing to recover their own re-start, Quebec’s
Bianca Farella soared high into the air and re-claimed the ball giving her team a chance at the win. Kelly Russell, Alarie and Farella all linked in one final frantic Canadian attack, before the ball once again found Magali Harvey lurking on the wingwho streaked over for the winning score. The 29 – 25 win over England marked the first for a Canadian fifteens team in over 20 years. Canada vs USA Canada’s forwards battled valiantly providing time and space for their exciting backline to flourish. Sadly, on this day, it would be to no avail. The USA Eagles rode a powerful performance from its Captain and back-row Shaina Turley, to claim a 29 – 17 victory. The Americans would head into their final round-robin match at the Nations Cup with a perfect record. Canada vs South Africa Canada’s Captain Kelly Russell and her team knew, heading into their
final round robin match versus South Africa, that a place in the Grand Final might possibly come down to points differential. Multiple scores from Farella and Harvey along with still more from fellow Sevens stars Amanda Thornborough and Elissa Alarie saw Canada to a 53 – 15 thrashing of the Springboks. Coach Ratier knew that Canada’s high score would likely be good enough to see his team through to the final. But who would Canada play in the final? Grand Final Canada vs England Within minutes of the kick-off, a beautifully constructed Canadian skip-pass found Jessica Dovanne, who glided through three England defenders and raced away down-field. Dovanne outwitted multiple English pursuers as she raced 60 meters to open the scoring for a jubilant Canadian team. England seemed to have halted Canada’s momentum, when a huge kick down field sent winger Bianca
Farella flying in pursuit. Taking a difficult bouncing ball at full-speed, Farella dodged the remaining English defenders and raced under the posts. Harvey’s conversion saw Canada stretch its lead to 14 – 3. Canada dominated the first 40 minutes, and carried a thin 14 – 3 advantage into half-time. In the second-half, England once again applied their power game as flyhalf Ceri Large drove a kick deep into the Canadian corner. The resulting England drive saw Georgina Roberts score a try to bring England within six points 14-8. From another attempted England kick to the corner, Canada took possession and drove towards halfway. The ball found Farella on the wing, and with the Canadian bench going absolutely crazy, she rounded her English opposite number and outran the remaining cover to score under the posts. Canada led 27 – 13; a score-line that saw them become Nations Cup Champions. Head Coach Francois Ratier offered these words on his team‘s fairytale win: “Every win over England is an enormous accomplishment, and this is a victory that should live long in the memory for Canada fans. Full credit goes to our players and Captain Kelly Russell. They executed our game plan perfectly. I would also like to thank my staff, the other coaches in the women’s program at the Centre of Excellence, and all those at Rugby Canada who have supported us.” The victory caps an incredible run of success for Canada’s women’s program, rivaling their two-year undefeated run in the Sevens game, which ended in 2011.
Women’s Nations Cup Results July 30 Canada 29 England 25 July 30 USA 35 South Africa 22 August 4 England 18 South Africa 17 another try Bianca Farella was a scoring threat any time she touched the ball.
August 7 Canada 53 South Africa 17 August 10 USA 61 South Africa 5 August 10 Canada 27 England 13 (Cup Final) 31
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HOT IN CHILE E By Travis Paterson
xcept for the disappointing ending, in which Canada was outplayed by Italy in the men’s under-20 Junior World Rugby Trophy final, the tournament was a smashing success for Rugby Canada. Second place is Canada’s best finish in four trips to the JWRT, having finished sixth, fifth and sixth again in three years since being relegated from the Junior World Championship in 2009. Unfortunately it was tainted by Italy’s 45-23 win, and marred with sin bins to Canada. “It was bittersweet,” said head coach Mike Shelley. “We want to be proud of second. There will be a good group of guys next year. Hopefully they’ll be in the final game.” Canada will return to the JWRT in 2014 when its hosted by Hong Kong. Taking Italy’s place will be the Americans, who went winless at the JWC. Temuco, Chile was credited for hosting an excellent event on late notice as the country’s northern city of Antofagasta pulled out just weeks prior, putting the IRB in a lurch. “Hats off. We were impeccably looked after, the training ground was first class and the stadium was as good as anything we play at in the world,” Shelley said.
kicking three conversions and one penalty.
It was a wet affair, with Canada’s forward pack asserting itself against the big Tongans. In the second half, hooker Alex Mascott capitalized with a try on the hard work by the forwards to extend Canada’s lead to 21-6. It was the first of two tries in the tourney for Mascott. O’Leary kicked 14 of Canada’s 24 points that day, with the other try from winger Justin Douglas. “We’re probably the only team here praying for rain,” Shelley said, referring to the wet conditions of Canada’s home on Vancouver Island.
Game 3 June 5 Canada defeats Uruguay 36-15
Game 2 June 1 Canada defeats Japan 39-15 The junior Brave Blossoms of Japan were one of the pretournament favourites going into the tournament and looked to be dangerous after taking Uruguay downwitha40-20inthefirstround.. But the Canadians sizzled with their most dynamic outing of the JWRT against Japan, scoring six tries, three of them from winger Jake Webster. Before the game, Webster had talked to O’Leary about the possibility of an aerial attack and it happened twice. O’Leary connected with a cross-kick to Webster for his second try, into the right corner, and then again soon after O’Leary into the left corner for Justin Douglas to make it 27-10. Fullback Jack Fitzpatrick also scored a try with O’Leary
American Tour Following the team’s assembly at Langford’s Rugby Canada Centre of Excellence in early May, the squad visited the National Sports Centre in Blaine, Minn., for a 10 day training stint and two exhibition tests against the 2012 JWRT champions U.S.A. The Canadians used the time to gel on and off the field, while also sweeping both games from the host Americans, a rain soaked 26-16 win followed by a 32-19 win. It was the first of six straight wins for Canada, including a third exhibition match, 59-26 over a B.C. under-23 team in North Vancouver a week before departing to the JWRT.
Game 1 May 28 Canada defeats Tonga 24-6
Coach Shelley made some key decisions to rest many of the starters against winless Uruguay, though not all the regulars came out. Prop Djustice Sears-Duru played all 160 minutes in the first two games and started against Uruguay too. It was a chance to insert a core of players bound to start for Canada in 2014. Chief among the changes was Jack Smith, who scored two of Canada’s four tries at No. 7. James Pitblado and Matt Heaton also scored a try each, and O’Leary hit kicked 11 points.
Final vs Italy
June 9 Italy defeats Canada 45-23 Italy was ahead 10-6 at halftime despite a slight edge in possession for Canada. A win looked quite doable and the Canadians response was strong to start the second half, with a try from Mascott off the lineout. But soon came a pair of controversial yellow cards which gave Italy the game-changing advantage. With less than 20 minutes remaining Pat Kay was sin binned for slowing the ball and not rolling away, and SearsDuru picked up a yellow card during an Italian try. Italy scored again three minutes later to make it 31-16, a deficit the Canadians couldn’t overcome.
Canadian Captain Pat Kay (U. of Victoria) and his Italian counterpart Angelo Espósito pose with the trophy ahead of the final. 33
All in the family The de Goedes, an all-Canadian rugby family By Andrew Smith Photos from RUGBY CANADA ARCHIVES
the vault Across the Canadian rugby landscape, few families come with the recognition of the de Goede’s, a name engrained in local Victoria sporting folklore. Whether it’s producing Hall of Fame worthy performances for Canada or guiding James Bay to provincial titles or even refereeing and serving on club executives, few families have been as involved with every facet of the game. Now a new generation of de Goede’s is crashing on to the scene as the proud family tradition carries on.
n a warm summer evening in late July, a young girl named Sophie and her family are cruising up the I-5, heading back towards the Canadian border after a gruelling three-day basketball championship in Spokane, Washington. The 5’10 Lansdowne Middle School all-star has spent the last few days earning her stripes with the Under-14 BC provincial basketball team. Like her father, basketball comes naturally for a taller-than-average athlete. Unlike many of her peers who will now head home to enjoy the final weeks of summer, Sophie is headed back to Vancouver to try out for the provincial Under-16 girls rugby team. Her parents are excited for the opportunities ahead for their youngest child, following a long line of successful athletes carrying the de Goede name. Her father, Hans, Captained Canada at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. Her mother, Stephanie White was Canada’s first Captain in the inaugural women’s test match against the USA in 1987 and remained Captain at the first Women’s Rugby World Cup in 1991. Though extremely accomplished in their rugby endeavours, both parents remain quiet spectators on the sidelines the next morning as their daughter tries to crack one of two U16 rosters set to compete for the first time at the annual Rugby Canada Age Grade National Championships. The following day, the provincial team staff will name the youngster not just to the long list player pool, but as part of the BC-Gold team, the top side at the tournament. “At a young age Sophie has an understanding of the game and has already perfected many of the basic skills that you don’t usually see at her age level,” says Marlene Donaldson, BC Rugby Girls Youth Development Officer and Manager of the U16 provincial program. “She can already pass, kick and tackle and it’s obvious she has had strong coaching from an early age.” “I’m sure genetics don’t hurt,” Donaldson adds with a smile. +++ Arguably the most famous of the de Goede clan, Hans was one of five brothers to suit up for the renowned James Bay Athletic Association in Victoria, BC. A standout basketball player in his junior year at Victoria High School, a disagreement with his head coach over keeping a job during his senior year
longevity In 24 appearances for Canada de Goede won 8, lost 15 and drew 1.
captain canada Hans de Goede (pictured middle row centre) Captained Canada eight times
cost him a spot on the varsity roster. Unable to play his favourite sport, Hans focused on soccer where his athletic prowess caught the eye of long-time rugby man Tilman Briggs. During his final semester in high school, de Goede was persuaded by Briggs to try his hand at rugby and a legend was born. “I made the Victoria All-Star team and never looked back,” de Goede said. “I played one year of Junior Tide (Island rep) rugby and then it was 15 years for the senior Tide, 14 for BC and 13 for Canada.” De Goede spent his Canadian career with James Bay and under Briggs’ tutelage, the club toured to places like New Zealand, Australia and across Canada. It wasn’t long before Hans’ four brothers soon followed suit. Half dutch and each standing at over 6-foot-tall, the de Goede’s were renowned in the local rugby scene. Jim (now 58), John (54), Mike (53) and Dick (50) featured regularly in James Bay rugby matches over the next few decades winning numerous Island and provincial championships. “I started playing mostly because of Hans,” said middle-brother John, seven years younger to his oldest brother. “I played with every one of my brothers at some point. It was a good sport for us and we really enjoyed the camaraderie.” LOOKING Hans first debuted AHEAD “Hans, Jim and I played in the second for Canada in 1974 and row and our younger brothers were would go on to earn a little bit smaller and played on the 24 caps for the senior flanks,” John added. men’s national team. Hans first debuted for Canada in 1974 and would go on to earn 24 caps for the senior men’s national team. A career that included a 1979-78 stint with Cardiff Blues after their centenary year, Hans went on to captain Canada at the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Now president of James Bay and Manager of the BC Bears senior men’s rep side, de Goede has since turned his focus towards administration and improving the game. His brother John is now one of the Island’s top officials and serves on both the Vancouver Island Rugby Referee’s Society and BC Rugby Referee’s Society executives. 35
the vault With their fathers and uncles featuring regularly for James Bay on Saturday afternoons at MacDonald Park, it wasn’t long before the next generation of de Goede’s took to the pitch. In Victoria, John’s two sons Jim (26) and Andrew (24) were soon in the thick of it. John coached the boys in minis with his wife Sandra while the two attended Rogers Elementary, before they went on to play at Reynolds’ Secondary. The towering forwards have since developed into rep level players competing for the Crimson Tide in the 2013 McKechnie Cup and this past May were key pieces of James Bay’s Rounsefell Cup winning squad. “It’s a lot of fun seeing them both do so well on the field, especially this year when they won the provincial title,” adds John. “We’re very proud of them and their achievements.” While John’s two sons have excelled in the game, so have Hans’ with both Thyssen (25) and Jacob (26) both suiting up regularly for the Bays. Products of Ken Erikson’s GP Vanier program in the Comox Valley, the two have since moved to Victoria to play their senior rugby. Thyssen has earned rep honours for BC and played for the Under-20 XVs and senior men’s national sevens teams. This past June, the mobile back row in XVs was in his element in the front row at the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow. “My brothers and our wives have really enjoyed watching him play and it’s wonderful to see him playing at that level,” said Hans. “He wants to do well in rugby and he has the ability to go play professionally in Europe with his passport. It’s great to see him out there.”
big bro Thyssen de Goede has enjoyed much success on the 7s pitch in recent years.
She is very humble considering the recent success she has had and the name that she has,” adds Donaldson. She certainly comes from good stock and we will be hearing plenty more about her down the road.
Watching her older brothers, cousins, uncles and parents enjoy the game of rugby really opened the door for the latest de Goede to pick up the rugby mantle. The youngest of Hans’ three has now taken up to playing and has a bright future ahead. This past spring “Baby-Soph” as she was referred to by her teammates, was the youngest player to compete for the inaugural BC Under-18 women’s provincial seven-a-side team. The first ever BC junior girls rep side to tour placed third in Las Vegas against high school sides from across the continent. Excelling at the club level for the new Castaway Wanderers junior girls rugby program, de Goede did her region proud this past August when the young scrum half played a key role in the BC U16 provincial team lifting a national championship at UBC’s Wolfson Fields in Vancouver. “She is very humble considering the recent success she has had and the name that she has,” adds Donaldson. “She certainly comes from good stock and we will be hearing plenty more about her down the road.”
lil’ sis Sophie de Goede at just 14, recently helped guide the U18 BC Women’s Sevens team to a third place finish in las Vegas and a Gold Medal U16 title at the 2013 National Festival.
Come enjoy Canada’s other great test match
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By dustin hopkins
Quick Ball/off load Touch
Objective Spatial awareness, Scanning skills, Decision making, Communication, Evasion, supporting ball carrier Equipment Balls 1 Cones 4 Shields N/A
Bags N/A Suits N/A Bibs N/A
Drill Requirements Area 30x30 grid Players All Time No limit
description : Once an attacker is touched he/she must offload within one second
: Condition game so that players have to pass the ball in front of defenders [and] pass behind the defence by taking two steps past the defender before offloading : Question players on what they consider to be the most effective option when attacking
Key Coaching Points + Change of speed and direction to beat the defender + Support runner attacking the ball + Good body position whilst entering a potential contact area + The importance of getting behind defenders
Relevance to the game Highlights the importance of getting behind the defenders to make more ground in attack and to keep possession ‘alive’. Support is key for keeping possession with the touched player having to pass within 1 second.
Support your rugby community
Honouring the Past; Inspiring the Future Rugby Canada Hall of Fame and Award Nominations of the Year) were both members of the This is Rugby Canada’s vision for our new Hall of Fame that will indeed Fifteens team that beat England to win the Nations Cup. Tyler Ardron (Men’s 15s honour the past contributors to the sport Player of the Year) recently signed with and inspire the future athletes, coaches, the Ospreys, and John Moonlight (Men’s match officials and volunteers who will 7s Player of the Year) and Lucas Hammond take us to the next level and continue the (Men’s Young Player of growth and success the Year) were on the we’ve seen in recent Sevens team that took years. We are confident the Plate Finals at the Rugby has been Rugby World Cup in that there are many included as a sport Moscow. recognized in many deserving people The nomination provincial Sport Halls out there that have forms, eligibility and of Fame. Rugby Canada helped build the past information on the is pleased to begin and will be the new nomination process for honouring individuals both the Hall of Fame generation that will and teams that and Annual Awards are have been significant lead the growth and available online via the contributors in a Hall of shape the future for Awards & Recognition Fame dedicated solely rugby here in this button at rugbycanada. to the sport of rugby. great country. ca or by contacting the Recipients of our Rugby Canada office first Annual Awards at 905-707-8998 ext. presented earlier this 240. We are confident year continue to excel in their categories. Jen Kish (Women’s that there are many deserving people out there that have helped build the past and 7s Player of the Year) led the women’s will be the new generation that will lead Rugby World Cup team to a silver medal performance in Moscow in June. Maria the growth and shape the future for rugby Sampson (Women’s 15s Player of the Year) here in this great country. Nominate your and Bianca Farella (Women’s Young Player candidates today!
Nominations Nominations are now open in the following categories: Hall of Fame • Athlete • Builder (Including but not limited to Referee, Coach, Team Manager, Volunteer and Administrator) • Pioneer (Individual or Team) • Media • Team
Annual Awards • • • • •
Player of the Year Young Player of the Year Coach of the Year Match Official of the Year Volunteer of the Year
The 2013 Winners - Back Row John Moonlight, Chris Silverthorn, Pascal Foucault, Dean Kittleson, Andrew McMaster, Tyler Ardron, Lucas Hammond Front Row: Bianaca Farella, Jennifer Kish, Maria Jaworski Samson 39
Support your rugby community
We want YOU, Alumni By AL CHARRON
Rugby Canada Archives
In this age of the internet, social media, that have done great service to the sport here in cable television, a Canadian rugby enthusiast can Canada. Not all our alumni are household names certainly get his or her fix of great rugby news and as some should be but it is fair to say that they set coverage quite easily. Both here in Canada and right some markers for the players who followed them. To play international sport whatever around the world, unlike in the past, we the era, demands and commands are getting instant results and reports a lot of sacrifices, all for the love of for the sport we all love. That said it is the sport and glory of representing also a coup for rugby in this country to your country. It is fair to say that have this very fine magazine to cover each generation of players stands rugby with a focus on Canadian rugby. on the shoulders of the players that Thus from a Canadian standpoint, came before them. And though it is the welcoming rugby smorgasbord of perhaps tinged with some envy for news has been great. Especially when what the current crop of fine athletes our men’s and women’s senior teams as well those at various age grades in Getting our representing Canada today receive, both 7’s and 15’s have been front and past players our alumni are extremely proud of they accomplished and relish center in recent months doing their re-engaged what cheering on and supporting today’s country proud with their outstanding is a fantastic national team as they set their marker performances. Canada of course has initiative by for the players who will come after fielded many senior national men’s and women’s teams over the years Rugby Canada them. Many Canadian rugby alumni
canadian legend Canada’s Ro Hindson secures ball against Ireland in 1987.
have been busy over the years since their playing days giving back to the sport be it at the school, club, provincial or national level. Either through coaching, refereeing, or off the field work by sitting on boards, fund raising, public speaking/ appearances, administrative work etc- all very commendable and it is what helps make rugby grow stronger in Canada. Rugby Canada would be the first to admit that over the years they have not always done a great job of looking after our alumni, but to their credit they have recognized that and in recent years have reached out to re-engage the great alumni who have represented Canada through its alumni representative for both the men (Al Charron) and the women (Marlene Donaldson). Getting our past players re-engaged is a fantastic initiative by Rugby Canada and be it receiving a complimentary ticket or discounted ones to attend a home international, it is a stepping stone in the right direction to get our alumni on board and recognized properly for having represented their country. From my perspective and certainly from the feedback I have received, I know the alumni who have taken up the Rugby Canada’s offer of attending home internationals has been a positive one. Great to see old faces ( in some case new ones as a result of some vain plastic surgery!), to catch up and share some laughs and retelling of old war stories that never get old. I also think it is an added boost to the present national team looking to impress knowing the old guard is in the stands watching . We have not been able to locate everyone on our honorary long list of capped alumni so I am asking those who have not been contacted to please reach back to Marlene and myself so we can update our records and keep you informed of alumni events. Much is planned in the months and years ahead to do more with our alumni and we welcome ideas and suggestions that we can take on board to make our alumni program stronger and more rewarding for all those who have had the honour and pleasure to have worn the Maple Leaf on the international stage. If you have represented Canada in a senior rugby test match, please get in touch with Rugby Canada through Al Charron at email@example.com and/or Marlene Donaldson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ray Barkwill You have to earn your place on the team. You don’t just walk in.
oldest rookie Barkwill had a great Pacific Nations Cup tournament scoring a try vs Fiji in Ottawa
RUGBYca Magazine caught up with 33 year-old rookie hooker Ray Barkwill earlier this summer in Kingston, ahead of his preparations to play against Fiji in Ottawa. A former player for the Western Force A, a pathway team to the Australian Super Rugby Western Force squad, Barkwill has returned to Canada, has a job as a teacher, and it also seems, a spot in the Canadian team for the foreseeable future. By DOUG CROSSE Photo By STUART seemungle Looking back a year did you think all that has happened to you was a possibility? “I don’t think so, I kind of thought the chance of [a Canadian cap] had passed by. I was living in Australia at the time and got an opportunity to play with
Western Force because it’s not an opportunity you turn down. To think [that] an opportunity to play for Canada [might] come out of it, I didn’t really think so. When I got a message from Kieran (Coach Crowley) and (Manager) Gareth (Rees) asking me to send them
some video and show how I was doing, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased. In the fall of 2012 you got the call to play for Canada A in the Americas Rugby Championship and that proved to be a real launching pad to your Canadian team involvement. The ARC went really well. I was pretty pleased with my play and it kind of showed what I learned down in OZ from the coaches down there and the tempo and speed of play.
≥ So you get into the November tour and ultimately a game against the New Zealand Maori and score a try. That must have been an amazing feeling? To get your first appearance for Canada and then to score your first try for your country and to do it against the Maori, that is a pretty prestigious side to play. You’ve got some All Blacks and there and some pretty respected players in world rugby on that side. It made my day and I was pretty happy when it happened. I was more happy that it put us within a score to win that game and put pressure on them in the last fifteen minutes of that game. At the end of the day I think it was a successful tour for [me.] Maybe it could have been better for Canada as we wanted to go out and win all three games but I was pretty pleased with my performance in all three games. ≥ How is life for a rookie in his 30s? You are doing the same kind of thing as the first timers in their 20s or do you manage to dodge some of that? You get to dodge very little. The guys that are close to your age keep you grounded. To be part of the team you have to earn respect, whether you are 18 or 25 or you are thirty years old. I still get the banter and the “good” grief and I say “bring it on”. I like it. I think that is part of being on the team. You have to earn your place on the team. You don’t just walk in. I haven’t done anything for Canada. You are at the bottom and I am
happy to take on that role. ≥ Talk to us a bit about your tattoos. What is the story behind all the ink? The first one I got when I was about 18 years old. I got a little half shamrock, half Canadian Maple Leaf. Obviously I have an Irish background so that was the first thing I wanted to get because I knew it would mean something (for me). For the next one I waited another year or two, then a couple of years off then I really started picking up the pace. I stopped during University just because I didn’t have any money to pay for them. I found a really great artist and have stuck with her for a number of years now. She has done 90 per cent of my tattoos. A lot of my work is Celtic and kept it close to the stuff I am about.
You just got a job as high school teacher after a few years away in Australia. How is that going to be going back as Mr. Barkwill who also happens to play rugby for Canada? The kids I know at my school, I think it is pretty exciting for them. I can remember being that old and looking up to some of the players, Pat Dunkley being one of them and Mark Cardinal. I would see them on TV and go to games and watch them play. Now I see new Twitter followers after every game with young players asking questions about how to get better. I think it is exciting, it is a kid’s dream to play for their country and play professionally. ≥
To watch the Ray Barkwill interview and check out his tattoos, visit RUGBY.ca
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CANADIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
BC Defeats Wolf pack in CRC U19 Finals By andrew smith in vancouver Photo By José Lagman
anada Under-20 international James Pitblado (Vancouver) scored the go-ahead try in the dying minutes of Sunday’s national final to lift British Columbia to their second straight Under-19 Canadian Rugby Championship. Down 13-10 for much of the second half, a charge down by scrum half Jorden Sandover-Best (Abbotsford) opened the door for Pitblado’s late heroics as BC spun the ball wide and scored the pivotal try for the 15-13 win over hosts Prairie Wolf Pack. “We were down but had most of the possession for the final 20 minutes,” said BC head coach Kris de Scossa. “We were very good at using our bench throughout the tournament and again it really helped when we brought on fresh legs. We stuck to the process and were creating scoring opportunities and finally it came with under a minute to play.” Sandover-Best - also a Canada U20 rep - had tallied a try of his own in the first half and with a conversion and penalty from Quinton Willms (White Rock), BC trailed 13-10 at the break. The Wolf Pack’s 13 points were notched by tries from
Wade Lavalee and Ben LeSage with Adam McQueen kicking a penalty. The two sides had previously met the day before in the final match of the round-robin where BC came out on top of a 33-15 decision. BC went into the final undefeated, outscoring their opponents 98-47. BC dominated “This is a great in the forwards. group of players who know each other well from previous years together,” added de Scossa. “They were able to gel as a team during the tournament and were able to produce some quality rugby over the four games.” Ontario took home third place with a convincing 53-3 win over Ontario East-Quebec reps Voyageurs.
July 17-21 U19 Canadian Rugby Championship
Calgary Rugby Park, Alberta July 17 BC 22 - 20 Ontario Blues July 18th BC 43 -12 Voyageurs July 20th BC 33 - 15 Prairie Wolf Pack Playoff Rounds July 21st 3rd/4th Consolation Ontario 53 - 3 Voyageurs National Final BC 15 - 13 Prairie Wolf Pack
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Left to Right Sean Duke > Canada 77 T-shirt Mike Scholz > RC Team Hooded Tyler Ardron > Classic Leaf T-shirt Harry Jones > Canada Script Hooded Nanyak Dala > Vintage Crewneck Jeff Hassler > Union V-neck
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The Last Word
views of RUGBY IN CANADA
Come out of Nowhere? NOT C
Canadian rugby fans are in for a real treat!
anada, I’ve been meaning to pass on a WRWC where Canada finished sixth, the NSWT backlog of praise I’ve been collecting has actually been ranked fourth in the world by proxy: you’ve developed quite a since 1987. following in the international rugby community. But my Canadian-ness overrides that answer. Working as a sport reporter in the rugby- centric nation of New Zealand for the past few Instead, I thank them, resisting the years, people would compliment me on your inexplicable urge to say sorry, then steer the national teams’ performances and personalities. conversation to how incredible it is that New This all started during the 2011 Rugby Zealand currently holds every World Cup, in World Cup after the Canadian boys endeared every code of rugby, for both genders, barring themselves to New Zealanders, women’s rugby league (they lost in garnering respect both on the the final). pitch and off, enough to be invited I handle those interactions like let me finish into the All Blacks’ locker room a true fence sitter but now, to after their match to share a few empathetic ears, let me finish my my cerebral beers with the eventual World cerebral flag-waving and explain flag-waving and Cup champions. why I don’t believe the NSWT just explain why I It’s continued through the IRB ‘picked the right time’ to ‘come out don’t believe Sevens World Series and right up of nowhere’. the NSWT just to Canada’s strong showing in The ‘right time’: there’s less than the Pacific Nations Cup (lots of a year until the next Women’s ‘picked the support during the card-riddled Rugby World Cup in France and right time’ to Tonga test), but lately, it’s the just under three years for Rugby ‘come out of women who have been causing Sevens to make its Olympic debut nowhere’. the most comment. in Rio de Janeiro. Nothing verbatim but the gist The results: in August, in the 2013 of what’s been floated my way Nations Cup, the NSWT XVs beat goes something like, ‘Your girls are peaking at England for the first and second times in history the right time!’ and/or ‘Man, your ladies came to win the four-team tournament. In June, the out of nowhere, aye?’ NSW7s, ranked third in the IRB Womens Sevens What is then said in my head is very different World Series, finished second at the Rugby than what leaves my humble Canadian lips. Sevens World Cup when they lost the final to In my head, my long-winded response NZ. impresses the pants off them: I would proudly And why ‘coming out of nowhere’ will keep (but politely) explain that, except for the last happening: in July, Canada dominated the U20
between the 22’s The ranking of the National Senior Women’s Team in 2013.
best finish ever The Canadian Women’s Sevens team qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics by finishing second at the 2013 Rugby World Cup of Sevens.
Nations Cup, handily beating USA, South Africa and England. At 17, fly-half Jess Neilson plays and thinks like she’s at the senior level. Fullback Emily Belchos, 18, also impressed and both girls will naturally join the rest of the centralized Canadian players in Victoria. Canadian rugby fans are in for a treat. This program is built to carry on. Both codes of the Canadian women’s program have a solid and integrated succession plan and the recent results are mapped to continue under an equally solid and integrated coaching and management staff. Most of the current senior players have already been teammates at some stage, having worked their way through Rugby Canada’s agegrade and provincial systems, a progressive depth and talent flow chart. But the program now would be the first to acknowledge that its recent success lay in its history and self-regulating culture as much as it does today’s players and staff From 1987 through all 97 tests, every woman who was ever part of this program - from Moira Shiels and Steph White to current XVs captain, Kelly Russell; from Kelly McCallum, Leslie Cripps and Gillian Florence to NSW7s captain, Jen Kish - all had as big a part in those historic wins over England as the 22 players on the day. The tradition of leaving the Red Jersey a little better than one found it has been passed down for 26 years between women who are all cut from the same fabric. Like attracts like; simply, they’re great people. I don’t imagine this pattern will change but neither will my response to the compliments. It wouldn’t be very Canadian of me otherwise.
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Published on Oct 1, 2013