Canada eliminated from rugby 7s

Bob Mackin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:03 PM ET

DELHI, India -- Canada is out of medal contention after a win and two losses at the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens tournament on Monday.

Canada was three-time defending champion New Zealand’s first victim when the All-Blacks rolled to an easy 43-7 win at Delhi University. Neil Meechan had Canada’s only try at 12:14, converted by captain Phil Mack of Victoria. New Zealand was short two men because of yellow cards to Tomasi Cama and Liam Messam.

“(New Zealand) are fully professional players, our players are all amateur domestic players,” coach Geraint John said. “There is a gulf.”

Canada fell 19-17 to Scotland in a midday tale of missed opportunities.

Early in the first half, Mack’s pass to Nathan Hirayama of Richmond, B.C. was dropped at the try line. Taylor Paris of Barrie, Ont. and Sean Duke of Vancouver gave Canada a chance when their late tries narrowed the gap to two points. Mack’s convert attempt on Duke’s try, however, fell short and Canada’s medal hopes crashed.

Scotland held 12-point advantages in both halves.

“We set our goal to go through, it’s a game we should’ve won,” John said.

Canada ended the day on a high note with a 47-0 win over Guyana, the Caribbean champion.

Thyssen de Goede of Victoria, Justin Mensah-Coker of Vancouver and Mack scored first half tries. Hirayama had back-to-back tries in the second half, sandwiched by Mensah-Coker tries. Hirayama was also four-for-five on conversion goals.

“We wanted to win that Scotland game and get those two wins, Scotland and Guyana, but that's in the past now,” said Mensah-Coker. “We got a good win over Guyana, the boys are motivated after that game.”

Canada is out of medal contention, but is in the running for the bowl consolation trophy on Tuesday.

The 16-nation tournament features nine of the world’s top teams, but not the best players because it falls outside the International Rugby Board’s player release window.

Delhi 2010 organizers claimed the rugby sevens tournament was one of the hottest tickets, but the 10,132-capacity stadium was only near-capacity while South Africa embarrassed the host nation 59-0.

The International Olympic Committee voted in October 2009 to admit rugby sevens into the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca


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