Rugby: Canada crash out of Singapore Sevens, Fijians look in ominous form

Canada fell 19-22 to Samoa - after leading twice in the match - to end their hopes of defending the Cup trophy they won in sensational fashion last year.
Canada fell 19-22 to Samoa - after leading twice in the match - to end their hopes of defending the Cup trophy they won in sensational fashion last year.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/HSBC SINGAPORE RUGBY SEVENS

Coach laments lost opportunities after South Africa and Samoa beat reigning champs

SINGAPORE - Isaac Kaay trundled up to South African Selvyn Davids and shoved him in the chest. It was a clear illustration of Canadian frustration as Davids had already grounded the ball on the National Stadium pitch for South Africa's final try in their 26-12 Pool C win over the North Americans on Saturday (April 28).

Kaay received a deserved yellow card for his petulance and the self-destruction of Canada at this year's HSBC Singapore Sevens was completed later in the evening. They fell 19-22 to Samoa - after leading twice in the match - to end their hopes of defending the Cup trophy they won in sensational fashion last year.

"Sometimes teams are too good for you, and you've got to hold your hands up, but we lost twice to teams where we opened the door and let them through - it's our own fault," said Canada coach Damian McGrath.

"We got well in front, then handed the ball over twice inside our own 22, good teams don't do that. To hand over your title, you want to do it in the right way, we gave it away really.

"It's very frustrating."

For periods yesterday, it looked like Singapore would live up to its billing as the "surprise sevens" leg of the World Series that has seen two first-time winners on the series: Kenya in 2016 followed by Canada's shock victory.

New Zealand, who won the Commonwealth Games gold earlier this month and have never missed out on a Cup quarter-final appearance in the World Series, had lost 12-19 to Australia in Pool D and were in danger of ending that proud run before edging past Scotland 22-12 to secure their place in the last-eight.

Kiwi coach Clark Laidlaw put his team's unconvincing display down to inconsistency, this after making five changes to the 13-man squad that triumphed on the Gold Coast two weeks ago.

But it will only get harder as the All Black Sevens face Pool A winners Fiji in today's first quarter-final. It is a repeat of the Commonwealth Games gold medal match.

Laidlaw said: "It's a new group (of players), new combinations, and we're a little bit rusty, but there's excitement for tomorrow. If we can bring the same effort, then who knows what can happen.

"The draw is what it is, you've seen some really tight pools today, so you've got to beat everybody. We'll take it on the chin get ready for Fiji."

Australia, under new coach Tim Walsh, and England ended the day with a perfect record of three wins in their respective pools, but that meant little to Walsh.

"Reality is anyone can win anything if you're not prepared properly, so we're going to make sure we're on again tomorrow. It's about waking up tomorrow and in the best physical and mental state," he said.

"I can't complain about today, we got three out of three - that's pretty good. But it's a two day tournament, you can ask me again tomorrow after (the quarter-final)."

Day 2 (Sunday, April 29) highlights

1.58pm:

Under-14 Singapore Schools Sevens Series final, ACS (I) v Saint Andrew's

12.30pm: Cup quarter-finals

4.50pm: Cup semi-finals

5.24pm: Live performance by the Village People

8pm: Cup final

Cup quarter-finals:

Fiji v New Zealand

South Africa v Kenya

Australia v Spain

England v Samoa