Canada into Glasgow Sevens quarter-finals with two wins and draw with England
Saturday, May 03, 2014 03:45 pm
GLASGOW, Scotland - Canada enjoyed a successful first day at the Glasgow Sevens rugby tournament, finishing on top of Pool B with wins over Japan and France and a draw with England.
Canada opened Saturday's play with a 52-0 thumping of Japan, and followed with a 28-12 win over France. That was enough to guarantee them a spot in the quarter-finals of the Cup competition.
In a battle for top spot in Pool B, Canada and England fought to a 7-7 draw. Philip Mack converted his own try in the first half to give Canada an early lead, but Tom Powell replied with a converted try in the second to draw England level.
Both Canada and England, which is currently fourth in the IRB Sevens World Series overall standings, finished with eight points in three matches, but the Canadians took top spot in the pool with a superior point differential.
"I thought we had chances to score but so did they," Canada coach Geraint John said of England. "It's important for us to top the group. We've come close in recent tournaments but we have shown the depth here, as well as the big players stepping up."
Canada will play Kenya in Sunday's quarter-final. The Kenyans advanced after a surprising 33-19 win over Argentina.
England will face Fiji, ranked third on the circuit.
Canada reached a fifth straight quarter-finals for the first time.
Earlier, Canada routed Japan behind three tries by Mike Scholz. Sean White, Connor Braid, Mike Fuailefau, John Moonlight and Harry Jones also crossed the line, while Mack booted four conversions.
Moonlight, Conor Trainor, Sean Duke and Scholz scored tries against France, while Mack kicked four conversions.
Canada entered the tournament seventh in the overall series standings, one point behind Samoa.
The Glasgow Sevens is the second-last stop on the Sevens World Series circuit. The schedule concludes with the London Sevens next weekend.
Elsewhere, New Zealand underlined its tournament ambitions with a 19-5 win over South Africa in an uncommon pool matchup of the world series' two leading teams.
New Zealand and South Africa previously met only in finals this season, with the Africans winning two of three. But New Zealand's consistency has it leading the series by seven points.
Despite resting stars DJ Forbes and Tim Mikkelson, New Zealand dominated the pool decider physically, but struggled to score.
New Zealand will face Australia in the quarter-finals, while South Africa lined up host Scotland, which topped a pool for the first time in more than a year thanks to comfortable wins over Australia, the United States and Spain.
— With files from The Associated Press.