De Goede helps Canada retain Bowl championship at Hong Kong Sevens rugby tourney




Canada beat Japan 33-12 Sunday to win the Bowl Championship at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens, part of the International Rugby Board Sevens Series.

Thyssen de Goede of Courtenay started all the games for Canada and a Rugby Canada spokesperson said the G.P. Vanier grad and now James Bay stalwart’s ability to get to the ball on Canada’s kickoffs was a big reason for the team’s success.

The Bowl competition is for teams who finished second in their respective pools. Canada finished the round robin portion of the tournament 2-1 and went on to win all three games on the final day to take the title for the second straight year.

Canada built a 19-5 lead in the first half over the Japanese as Chauncey O’Toole, Neil Meechan and Sean Duke all crossed for tries.

In the second frame the Canadians pulled away with Duke opening the second half with his second of the game and John Moonlight scoring as the hooter sounded to give Canada the 33-12 victory and capping a weekend that saw just one loss to Australia against five wins over the three days.

Earlier in the day Canada had to hold on for a 12-5 win against France in the Bowl quarter-final. France opened the scoring in the first minute. In the fifth minute however, Ciaran Hearn found a seam and galloped over 60 metres for a try under the posts, with captain Phil Mack’s conversion knotting the score 7-7.

In the second half Chauncey O’Toole hit for his third try of the tournament, striding from nearly half way to touch down left of the posts. The conversion was missed and the game became one of keep away from France for the final two minutes.

As the clock evaporated Canada had back pedaled across its own line – touched down. The French appealed for one more restart, but the referee blew for full time and the Canadian win.

In the Bowl semifinal Canada had its work cut out as Wales built a 12-5 lead in the first half. It was Moonlight providing the second half heroics as the speedy forward burst for two tries in the fourth and seventh minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute to turn the game on its ear for the 24-17 win.

Canada coach Geraint John, hoarse from a weekend of yelling at the raucous Hong Kong Stadium, said it was an emotional win for the team and showed how all the hard work they had put in had paid off with big improvements from February’s Las Vegas Sevens.

“I am really proud,” commented John. “Not just today but the whole weekend. We were so close to beating Australia in our pool game. To get three wins today and then Zimbabwe (24-10) and Argentina (22-21 and nearly beating Australia (26-24) in our pool games, all in all it has been a fantastic weekend.”

New Zealand won the Cup championship beating England 29-17 to take the overall lead in the series with three events to go.





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