Monday, September 9, 2013

Rugby Canada: Hit of the Summer

September has started with the promise of a calendar packed with the club competitions in the Northern Hemisphere and the Rugby Championship dominating proceedings south of the Equator. One nation though will surely be happy to spend a little longer basking in the warm glow that came with August.

Canada finished the summer with a flourish. Back-to-back victories against the USA in a two legged tie ensured The Canucks a spot at the World Cup in two years time, whilst condemning their rivals south of the border to a tricky tie against Uruguay to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

They had all bar guaranteed qualification with an 18 point victory of the Eagles in Charleston before they confirmed it on home soil a week later at Toronto's BMO field, continuing their impressive run of victories against the US.
Rugby Canada, Rugby, Canada, Line Break, USA, Eagles, RWC 2015, CanAm
The Red Nation also impressed at this year's Pacific Cup boasting victories against Fiji and Tonga with scrumhalf Phil Mack looking like he could test the defences of any team on his day. Meanwhile, big things are also expected of backrow specialist Tyler Ardron and his progress should take an upward curve having signed with Swansea based region the Ospreys. Ardron is joined at the Liberty Stadium by fellow countryman Jeff Hassler, a winger with a try scorers instinct.

And whilst Kieran Crowley's men were busy booking their spot in the RWC 2015 the women were storming their way up the IRB rankings helped with an impressive showing at the Nations Cup.

Canada's Women's Under 20s were already Nations Cup holders when the senior team entered their tournament. Excellent performances from winger Bianca Farella and the sure boot of Magali Harvey saw them beat the much fancied England for the second time in a week and secure the title for the first time.
Rugby, Rugby Canada, Women's Rugby, Ashley Patzer, World Cup, USA
The success of the cup has boosted their standing, pushing them up the IRB rankings into the top 5 to just one spot behind their rivals from the USA.

Success has come in the 7 player form of the game too. The Canada Women's 7s grabbed silver at the Sevens World Cup in Moscow, succumbing to New Zealand in the final. It's another signal of their increasing power in the women's game under coach John Tait and influential captain Jen Kish after they were also named as one of the six core teams for the World 7s Tour.

The Rugby Canada Centralisation Programme has announced it's latest plans for 2013/14 and, with the Olympics in mind, it's the Sevens game that has been given priority. After the women's relative success in the reduced numbers game they get the majority of the funding. 
Langston BC, Rugby, Rugby Canada, Line out
Some 24 women and 18 men have received funding from Sport Canada with each person receiving between $900 and $1500. On top, Own The Podium has paid $2.45m toward the Rugby Sevens programme with the hope of results in Rio 2016.

Such funding can only help to serve the Rugby Canada in both codes and push them further forward in international rugby terms and make them more likely to compete against union's big guns. All there hopes and ambitions of a continually brighter future will be aided by the purpose built and increasingly impressive facilities on offer at Rugby Canada's home in Langford BC.

So, as autumn starts to set in and the leaves begin to fall, the maple leaf is on the rise. Rugby Canada and the Red Nation is the feel good hit of the summer.

Feel Good Hit of the Summer - Queens of the Stoneage

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