Canada U20s Win In High-Scoring Affair

SBRA Builds Young Rugby Players

Game 1 of the two-game series between the USA and Canada Men's U20s ended on the Canadian side of the ledger, 44-33, but there's still one more game to play at Shawnigan Lake, BC.

The winner of this series will play in the World Rugby U20 Trophy competition, and lately this has been Canada's series. This year, the USA team has a talented squad and some solid planning behind it, but the Canadian team has talent, too, and has been together a little bit longer.


Canada started off stronger, exerting power in the scrum and using that to their advantage. A scrum at midfield produced a penalty for Canada and they then attacked off a lineout to set up Avery Oitoman on a snappy backline play. Scrumhalf Will Percillier missed the conversion but added a penalty some minutes later for an 8-0 lead.

The USA responded, launching a box kick from Ethan McVeigh for Ryan James to chase. But the Canadian cover just got there to knock the ball dead—potentially a penalty but instead a 22 dropout.

Canada made the dropout pay off. A very deep kick set up a lineout for the USA. But Canada stole the ball back, attacked wide again, and David Richard cut through. Percillier was good on the conversion and it was 15-0.

Percillier then showed he can run with it, too. Richard went on a big charge, and then popped off the ground for the scrumhalf to finish it off. 20-0. It wasn't until the 27th minute that the USA got on the scoreboard. With a kickable penalty in the Canadian half, captain Bailey Wilson opted for the kick to touch. From the lineout, hooker Jack Manzo got the ball at the back of the maul and peeled off to get over. Mike Weir was good with the extras.

Canada replied almost immediately with a long, winding run from Percillier. Then just before halftime, the USA forwards put on the pressure, and from a penalty McVeigh tapped quickly and stretched over. Weir's converted to make the halftime score Canada 25 USA 14.

The Comeback

The USA started well in the second half. Still playing a somewhat simple game, usually charging up after just one pass, they still asked questions of the Canadian defense. Eventually a breakthrough from lock Asa Carter set up a ruck, and fullback Sam Walsh, stepping in at first receiver, slipped through. With Weir's conversion it was now 25-21. 

And soon the USA had the lead as Weir raced in to make it 28-25.

Canada Responds

But a couple of key turnarounds scuttled hopes for the USA. The Americans had the ball on attack but a fairly unforced knock-on gave Canada a scrum. From their they got a penalty, took the lineout, and then Quinn Ngawati charged through to score. Manzo was fortunate not to exacerbate losing the lead as he interrupted the Canadian celebration with a few pushes for some unseen slight.

Nevertheless, Canada had the lead back at 32-28.

Once again, the Americans ceded momentum. With the ball and running the phases, they knocked the ball on at the base of the ruck. Canada attacked from the ensuing scrum and Ngawati saw three USA players charge him. He sidestepped them all and had a mostly free run to the corner. On the chase, Weir pulled up lame and was replaced.

After a series of phases, Canada put Gabrial Casey over to make it 44-28. The USA started to open up its attack and Wilson made a huge play, cutting back against the grain from 25 meters out to score.

The USA almost had one more. Manzo was on the charge but was brought down a meter from the line. Canada counter-rucked, won the ball, and kicked the ball dead to end the game, Canada 44 USA 33.

Another Shot

All of those tries were crucial as the series is about aggregate score. Down 11 going into Satuday's second game, the USA has shown it has the firepower to make that up. But defensively, and in the scrum, they looked vulnerable. The loss of Weir is a worry, especially in the goalkicking, but it might prompt head coach Scott Bracken to slot Junior Waqavesi into the #10 jersey, which is where he shines.

For Canada, their tight five worked very hard, and Percillier was superb.

Canada 44
Tries: Oitoman, Richard, Percillier 2, Ngawati 2, Casey
Convs: Percillier 2, Ngawati
Pens: Percillier

USA 33
Tries: Manzo, McVeigh, Walsh, Weir, Wilson
Convs: Weir 4

Canada U20s RosterUSA U20s Roster
1. Stefan Zuliani, Queens University, Ontario1. Jack WilesSt. Bonaventure
2. Jared Augustin, Queens University, Ontario2. Jack ManzoUniversity of California
3. Tyler Rowland, UBC, Ontario3. Jared MillerLife University
4. Frank Carson, UBC, BC4. Sam GollaUniversity of California
5. Tyler Duguid, Edmonton Nor’westers, Alberta5. Asa CarterArkansas State
6. Quentin James, Stade Francais, BC6. Chase JonesSaint Mary's
7. Will Matthews, Beaconsfield RC, Quebec7. Miles McCormickOMBAC/St. Augustine
8. Nick Carson, UVIC, BC8. Bailey Wilson (C)Utah Valley University
9. Will Percillier, Stade Francais, BC9. Ethan McVeighCardiff Metropolitan University
10. Brock Webster, Oshawa Vikings, Ontario10. Mike WeirDartmouth College
11. David Richard, Mississauga Blues, Ontario11. Inoke WaqavesiUSA Sevens Residency
12. Quinn Ngawati, Westshore RFC, BC12. Lauina FalateaUSA Sevens Residency
13.Gabriel Casey, UVIC, Ontario13. Jack WendlingCentral Washington
14. Jarvis Dashkewytch, UVIC, BC14. Ryan JamesSan Diego Legion
15. Avery Oitomen, Toronto Arrows, Ontario15. Sam WalshUniversity of California



16. David Carson, UBC, BC16. Braden LooperUniversity of Arizona
17. Josh Tweed, UBC, BC17. Doug MitchellCentral Washington
18. Guerschom Mukendi, Stoney Creek RC, Ontario18. Alex LopetiLife West Gladiators
19. Reid Davis, James Bay AA, BC19. Matt GelhausKutztown
20. Mason Flesch, James Bay AA, Ontario20. Chris NoggleSanta Barbara Academy
21. JT Boehme, James Bay AA, BC21. Jeff Peleseuma-BreizSFGG
22. James Biss, Saracens, England22. Cole SemuBYU
23. Thomas Isherwood, Westshore RFC, Alberta23. Jasper GreenDartmouth College
24. Siaki Vikalani, Burnaby, BC24. Will VakalahiDC Old Glory
25. Antoine de la Fontaine, Sherbrooke Abenakis, Quebec25. Luke FreemanUniversity of California
26. Austin Pinnell, Edmonton Nor’westers, Alberta26. Royce FisherSanta Barbara Academy







Rugby Rules 101: What Does "Ruck" Mean?

For new players to the game of rugby, the concept of a "ruck" can be a tricky one to apprehend, as there is no other sport that involves rucking. However, once you've got a clearer picture of a ruck, also known as a "breakdown", it's a relatively easy thing to understand. 

Premiership Rugby Eyes Mid-August Return

Following the league shutdown due to coronavirus in March, the Gallagher Premiership looks set for a return to action on August 15th. One week ago, UK government officials announced that elite-level sports would be able to resume on June 1st behind closed doors. 

The 5 Best Women's Rugby Shorts

Having a comfortable pair of rugby shorts can greatly impact one’s performance during training and games. When choosing shorts, you want to take into consideration the fit and the durability, especially if you’re going to be in the scrum. The last thing you would want is for your shorts to rip during a scrum because the fabric was not durable enough. In addition to the durability, you want to make sure the shorts are breathable and comfortable for tackling, running, and potentially kicking. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shorts, here are five different types of shorts that you can check out:

Rugby vs Soccer: Former SEC Soccer Player Compares The Two

One of the great things about rugby is that it's a multi-skilled sport which lends itself well to crossover athletes. Particularly in a sports-mad country like the United States, we see tons of players seamlessly make the transition from other sports to rugby. 

How To Throw A Great Rugby Pass

Throwing a great pass can carve up a defense unlike any other facet of the game in rugby. A well-timed, well-placed ball puts a defense under enormous pressure and causes fractures in the defensive line. As long as the ball is placed accurately, on time, and in a position that the receiver can catch the ball on the move without breaking stride, it doesn't matter what it looks like. Heck, if we're looking at football, think of Peyton Manning's passes. One of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game rarely threw a spiral, but he did tick the boxes of accurate, on time, and in stride. 

Some Useful Rugby Passing Drills

Here is a quick, easy passing progression that will help you and your team sharpen your distribution skills and carve opponents up on the weekends. Even the best defenses in the world cannot defend near-perfect passing, so having the ability to run-catch-pass is one of the most lethal weapons in the book. 

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Rugby Drills That Keep Your Social Distance

As of June 1st, many rugby teams have been granted the option of getting together to conduct practice. However, the practices must adhere to the six feet social distancing rules and players are not allowed to use any equipment. Therefore, options for a practice plan are going to be extremely limited, but that doesn't mean you can't still get some good out of having the team together. 

Bring Em Down: How To Tackle Big Guys In Rugby

For many of rugby players out there, especially us smaller ones, we're all too familiar with the sight of a large, rampaging big man or woman lined up across from us about to get the ball. Our fight or flight instincts kick in, and in that moment of instinctual reaction we dictate the likelihood that the tackle does or does not get made. 

Step By Step Guide: How To Break Tackles In Rugby

One of the best ways to completely unhinge a defense is to beat your defender one on one with a step or a tackle bust. While not all of us can step like Cheslin Kolbe, we do all have the ability to break a tackle and get our team on the front foot. No matter your size, speed, or strength, you can always bust out of a tackle with some clever use of footwork and a trust in your balance.