Canada finished third in the Americas Championship, running in eleven tries to down Chile 62-12 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, in a world rankings game. The Wolverines were indebted to stand off Ash Calvert who claimed 26 points from two tries and nine goals, and a superb start which saw them 22 points up in almost as many minutes, but Chile earned enormous credit for their display in perfect conditions.
James Horvat (moved from loose forward to scrum half, was outstanding) as was full back Thomas Garrido, claiming their first tries against non Latin American opposition with a double.
“Ash ran the show, and three tries in four minutes in the second half put the game to bed,” said Canada head coach Benjamin Fleming. “We defended with some intent, which was pleasing and we now need to continue to build for the future.”
Canada moved the ball wide and often from the start, catching out the inexperienced Weichafe’s, Rick Shouten across in the seventh minute on the overlap. Christian Miller, who along with Ruairi McGoff off the bench, were handfuls throughout, strolled over and skipper Rhys Jacks stepped to the line. Abbotsford Griffins’ Shaun McKenzie went through a gaping hole and Canada were 22-0 up and seemingly unstoppable.
Horvat sent Garrido over to stop the rot and his high kick caused problems, but Canada finished the first half with a fifth try, Calvert stepping clear after a fine offload from Scyler Dumas.
After the break, Horvat’s 40/20 put the Chileans in prime position, Miller pulling off a terrific tackle on Brandon Tobar but later spilling Sean McInroy’s offload with the line begging. A clever clever reverse kick from Horvat, into midfield on the last, was gathered by Garrido who shrugged off one challenge, beat another and bounced off the post protector to claim his second try.
The next five minutes belonged to Toronto City Saints’ Mastroianni, who claimed a try double as Jacks swept the ball wide. Louis Robinson was then held up as Canadian pressure mounted, Austin sending in McInroy for his second and Calvert’s seventh goal bringing up the half century.
As the Chileans tired, Calvert gathered a dropped high kick for his brace and, following a huge Eddie Bilborough break, Hullett deservedly crossed.
“They played quicker than us, they have a different calibre of player,” commented Chile head coach, Roderigo Miller. “We struggled to stop the momentum when they got on the front foot.
“But we have enjoyed the experience and we need to take that into the next few years.”
CANADA 62 : Jordan Drew, Michael Mastroianni, Shaun McKenzie, Eddie Bilborough, Rick Schouten, Ash Calvert, Brad Austin, Wes Black, Rhys Jacks, Joel Hulett, Scyler Dumas, Christian Miller, Louis Robinson. Substitutes: Ruairi McGoff, Sean McInroy Jason Park, Jack Couzens. Tries: Schouten (7), Miller (12), Jacks (20), McKenzie (24), Calvert (37, 74), Mastroianni (55, 59), McInroy (57, 73), Hullett (79). Goals: Calvert 9/11.
CHILE 12 : Thomas Garrido, Ferec Cavezas, Mana Castillo-Sioni, Taylor Salas, Zecil Yao, Bradley Millar, James Horvat, Eduardo Wegener, Christian Sancoval, Piero Diaz, Nick Doberer, Brandon Tobar. Substitutes: Iziah Esera Catrileo, Jonathan Espinoza, Juan Araya Garcia, Jose Nitor-Alvear. Tries: Garrido (31, 50). Goals: Horvat 2/2.
Referee: Geoffrey Poumes (France). Half time: 28-6
Man of the match: Ash Calvert