HSBC Canada Sevens kicked off with Canada seeing a mixed start in the first of two days of competition at BC Place Saturday.
Canada took the field at 10:45 a.m. for their first game, stirring up the dust against Australia.
Although Australia took the early lead with a try from John Porch, Canada soon got the crowd on their feet as Nathan Hirayama, #9 from Richmond, broke a tackle for a try to tie the game.
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Shortly before the first half buzzer sounded, Duncan native Pat Kay, #10, broke a tackle and carried Canada 12-7 into the second half.
Shortly into the second half, Australia had a comeback with two trys back to back by Ben O’Donnell, helping his team lead with a score of 19-12. With zero seconds left on the clock and the crowd on the edge of their seat, John Moonlight, #4, made a magnificent steal and sprint to the end zone for his first try, wrapping the game up with a tie at 19-19.
Patriotism was high in the stadium as crowds welcomed Canada back for their second game of the tournament, where the men faced Team USA.
Kay scored an early try for Canada, making Duncan fans proud.
Abbotsford born and raised, Justin Douglas, #8, followed soon after with the second try of the game, leading Canada 14-0 within the first few minutes.
However, with the crowd still on their feet and cheers dying out, Perry Baker from USA scored within seconds, closing the gap between USA and Canada at 7-14.
Following his try, Baker kicked the ball up and scored again. With all conversions being good, Baker stood tall as he led USA into the second half with a tie at 14-14.
The second half began in front of a tense crowd, as USA made a quick try within the first minute, leading 21-14 with six minutes to go.
Soon after, Moonlight picked up a loose ball, bringing the crowd to their feet yet again as he tied the game at 21-21.
With the crowd at the edge of their seat, chanting for Canada to win, Kevon Williams scored with zero seconds left on the clock, winning the game for USA, and leaving the Canadian crowd with a disappointing loss at 21-28.
Canada plays its’ final round-robin game of the day against Uruguay beating them 47-5 but it was not enough to advance to Cup play.
Hirayama, Moonlight, Vancouver native Harry Jones #11, Victoria native Connor Braid #6, and Douglas (2) had tries in the match.
Hirayama finished with six converstions in the game.
Tomorrow, Canada plays Scotland at 9:30 a.m. for the Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals.