Canada finished their World Rugby u20 Trophy tournament on a winning note as they shut out Hong Kong by 38-0 in Montevideo on Sunday. A soggy pitch made for challenging conditions but the Canadians did enough to score six tries against their clearly outclassed opposition.
A dominant scrum put Canada on the front foot from the start. Jake Thiel broke from the back and bounced off two defenders to keep the Hong Kong defense in retreat. One further hit-up from Liam Doll and the ball was spun wide to Cole Davis in space. The big winger brushed off one and stepped inside another to score the first try.
The second was pure brute strength from Cole Keith. Four defenders tried and failed to bring the tighthead prop to ground as he lumbered over from 10 metres out. A third came when Thiel simply ran around and through the line from a collapsed scrum. James O’Neill picked up try number four from close range after Steven Ng had punched a hole through the defensive wall.
Canada started the second half as they finished the first. Another massive scrum drive gave Will McDougall-Percillier all the space he needed to race over the line. Will Kelly added his fourth conversion of the day to make it 33-0 and it looked like the score could get ugly.
The blowout never materialized, however. With the result no longer in doubt and exhaustion setting in after two hard weeks on the road, concentration levels seemed to drop and several scoring opportunities were left begging. One last try went O’Neill, who simply fell over the line after the scrum had done the hard work.
It wasn’t the most exciting game of rugby but Canada will at least take one win back with them after a frustrating pool stage. Most will now return to their club or university sides but a select few might well be asked to keep their bags packed with a return to Montevideo with the Canada ‘A’ side for the Americas Pacific Challenge only a few weeks away.
Tries – C. Davis (6’), C. Keith (18’), Ja. Thiel (29’), J. O’Neill 2 (36’, 77’), W. McDougall-Percillier (42’)
Cons – W. Kelly 4/5 (7’, 19’, 37’, 43’), B. Prevost 0/1
HONG KONG 0
1 Connor Sampson, 2 Steven Ng, 3 Cole Keith, 4 Liam Doll, 5 Matt Beukeboom, 6 Jamie McNaughton, 7 James O’Neill, 8 Jake Thiel, 9 Will McDougall-Percillier, 10 Will Kelly, 11 Cole Davis, 12 Josh Thiel, 13 George Barton (capt.), 14 Anton Ngongo, 15 Aidan McMullan
Replacements: 16 Jack McRogers, 17 Liam Murray, 18 Nick Frost, 19 Thomas Davidson, 20 Evan Norris, 21 Brennig Prevost, 22 Niko Clironomos
1 Ken Encarnacion, 2 Jack Scanlon, 3 Lachlan Oliver-Kerby, 4 Zach Baldwin, 5 Jake Barlow, 6 Gregor Ramage, 7 Olly Overman, 8 Max Denmark, 9 Mark Coebergh (capt.), 10 Daniel Archer, 11 Oliver Duffy, 12 Cameron Smith, 13 James Karton, 14 Marcus Ramage, 15 Paul Altier Matt Worley
Replacements: 16 Ho-Ming Wong, 17 Jay Cooke, 18 Thomas Gibb, 19 Kin-San Tsoi, 20 Henry Poon, 21 Thaddeus Summers, 22 Dan Pusack
Referee: Tasuku Kawahara (JRFU)