(Via Rugby Canada)

Canada finished 13th at the Sydney Sevens after beating Kenya.

Earlier in the day, Canada lost to Japan in the Challenge Trophy quarterfinal before beating Papua New Guinea.

It is the third 13th place finish for Damian McGrath’s men this season in four series stops. The team finished fourth last weekend in Wellington.

The series returns next month at the Las Vegas Sevens March 3-5.

What head coach Damian McGrath said:

“It was a tough weekend for us. The weather was a huge factor, the high humidity and 41 degree heat was hard to handle stood on the sidelines never mind running for 14 minutes. We chased the ball and defended against Russia for large parts of our first game and whilst we came away with a win it drained us physically.”

“Our biggest problem is lack of strength in depth. The loss of Hirayama was always going to be difficult to cover but to have Pat Kay and Adam Zaruba injured in the first game really made things hard. Justin Douglas had a sickness bug which eventually meant we had to rest him. These  four players are our first choice backline and we have no like for like replacements. With that in mind I was really pleased with how the guys played out of position. Mike Fuailefau was outstanding and Harry Jones and John Moonlight were models of consistency.

“We were disappointed as a group but I saw enough to know with our choice team we will be very competitive going forward.”

CANADA 7-19 JAPAN

Canada’s Day 2 got off to a slow start as three first half tries proved to be their undoing in their Challenge Trophy quarterfinal.

Japan got first half tries from Katsuyuki Sakai, Jamie Henry and Patrick Stehlin to build a 19-0 lead.

Canada finally got on the board with less than 30 seconds left in the game through Karsten Leitner but it proved to be too little, too late for Canada.

CANADA 33-20 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Canada ran in five tries en route to a convincing win over Papua New Guinea.

Canada built a big first half lead after Adam Zaruba (2), Mike Fuailefau and John Moonlight all touched down for a 26-0 lead at the interval.

However, Papua New Guniea showed some second half fightback, scoring four tries while Caleb Jordan scored a fifth Canadian try to seal a 33-20 victory.

CANADA 10-5 KENYA

Canada secured a 13th place finish after a narrow win over Kenya.

The Canadians took the lead early on through a Harry Jones try before Keyna levelled the scores through Willy Ambaka, their third highest try-scorer in program history, to make it 5-5 at the break.

Justin Douglas’ second half try would prove to be the difference as Canada secured its third 13th place finish of the season.

Canada’s Men’s Sevens Squad for Wellington and Sydney (Name, club, hometown):

Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC

Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Lucas Hammond – (UVIC Vikes) Toronto, ON

Harry Jones – Captain (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC

Caleb Jordan – (Montreal Wanderers) Montreal, QC

Isaac Kaay  – (UVic Vikes) Kamloops, BC

Pat Kay – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Duncan, BC

Karsten Leitner – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC

John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

Matt Mullins – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON

Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Unavailable for Selection:

Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC

Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach – Damian McGrath

Assistant Coach – Lee Douglas

Physiotherapist – Danielle Mah

Analyst – Calum Ramsay

Manager – Sean Liebich

Canada’s Sydney Sevens Day 1 Schedule:

Canada 12-7 Russia

Canada 19-31 USA

Canada 17-17 Argentina

Canada’s Sydney Sevens Day 2 Schedule:

Canada 7-19 Japan

Canada 33-20 Papua New Guinea

Canada 10-5 Kenya