The Canada U-19 team are now back in Canada after playing 3 games on their 12 day tour of England. The three Abbotsford players on the trip, Paul Ahn (Yale graduate), Jorden Best (Bateman student), and Connor Hunter (Aldergrove graduate) have undoubtedly learned a lot about the game on this exciting tour. Hunter scored 14 points in the first game for Canada.
Several articles have been published on the Rugby Canada Website from the trip, the following of which is the most recent.
Courtesy Rugby Canada Communications
The Canada U-19 Rugby team took on an outstanding Northampton Saints Academy team at Franklin Gardens on Saturday coming up on the wrong end of a 55-14 score. Playing on the 1st Team pitch was an unbelievable experience for the young Canadians, but it was the home team Saints that came out on fire. With an awesome display of power and pace, Northampton continually sent big, hard running men into the line. While the Canadians gave it all they had, they were coming up second best in the contact situations and the Saints went over for 3 tries in the first 12 minutes. “With two England U-19 in the front row and two New Zealanders in the backrow, our players really saw firsthand what a top level academy team is capable of” stated Head Coach Paul Connelly. While Canada was valiant in defense, the Saints continued to hammer at the line…with three more tries the halftime score was Saints 40 Canada 0.
At half-time, coach Graeme Moffatt encouraged the men to be more ferocious in contact…”we have to get lower than them and smash through” was the message. Right from the start of the second half, Canada finally got on the front foot…more dynamic rucking and some excellent line breaks. Canada ran in two well-constructed tries scored by Eric Garnham and Luca Pallatalla while holding the Saints to two scores themselves. Final score: Northampton 55 Canada 14
“Many positives can be taken from the game” stated Connelly.” The set piece was strong, our contact work in the second half showed much greater commitment and we ran some quality lines. We came here to immerse ourselves in a world class-professional environment and now the players have a much better understanding of what it will take to get to the next level.”
The tour wraps up tonight with a team dinner followed by a 5:30 am departure to the airport. The coaching and management staff of the Canada U-19 Rugby Team would like to thank the players…they were outstanding representatives of Canada and have a very bright future in the game.
For more articles, please visit the following links:
Feb 29 - Postcards from U-19 in England
Feb 27 - Day 4 of U-19 Tour to England
Feb 26 - Day 3 of U-19 Tour to England
Feb 25 - Canada U-19 Kick Off England Tour