Isaac Kay did what was mandatory.
He grabbed the free ball and booted it excessive into the Hong Kong crowd.
Sport over. Sport gained.
Kay didn’t soar for pleasure. Nor did he high-five any teammates, or punch the air in celebration. Because the referee’s whistle blew to verify Kay’s motion was the ultimate act, he merely squatted and shook his head.
He knew what all of us knew. It was one other missed alternative for Canada.
Sure, Canada had gained – but it surely was a hole victory. Beating Portugal – a crew of largely inexperienced children, was the naked minimal expectation on the historic Hong Kong Sevens.
WATCH | Canada vs. Portugal:
It wasn’t even a convincing win. Within the occasion it was irrelevant since Canada’s destiny was sealed earlier than a ball was kicked. Losses to Argentina and France had already consigned them to a different day of comfort Problem Cup laborious labour.
Canada is just not a crew that might. Canada is a crew that may. It has teased us with glimpses of brilliance; lower than a month in the past it had the audacity to beat Fiji, the Olympic champions. Canada is a crew that may, however too typically doesn’t.
In Hong Kong, the crew struggled to beat the part-time Portuguese. There’s a purpose Portugal misplaced its core standing three years in the past. It’s not adequate to compete at this degree of rugby sevens. But it threatened to embarrass the Canadians, and positively received a lot too shut for consolation.
Canada has solely itself in charge. These are self-inflicted wounds. Rugby sevens is a straightforward recreation the place tempo and possession is paramount. Any aspiring nation should be capable to shield the soccer and act shortly. Canada is responsible of not executing the fundamentals effectively sufficient.
WATCH | Canada vs. Kenya:
The expertise exists. The Canadians could not have the manufacturing line luxurious loved by the likes of New Zealand, Fiji or South Africa, but it surely has prime degree gamers. Most groups would roll out the pink carpet to welcome the likes of Nathan Hirayama, Connor Braid or Justin Douglas.
However it’s not about people. Simply look South. The People have a worldwide famous person in Perry Baker – or moderately they did. Baker – the reigning World Sevens Participant of the Yr – has performed solely a handful of recreation this season resulting from harm, however the People are higher than ever. It’s, and all the time has been a crew recreation, and as a crew, Canada is simply too typically discovered wanting.
Speaking of Crew U.S.A., the Canadians ought to go to mattress each night time singing the Stars & Stripes. The People’ continued collection success is nearly sure to result in an computerized Olympic berth. Canada’s regional qualifying marketing campaign ought to due to this fact be considerably much less daunting with out the U.S. to hinder the view.
The People loved one other robust weekend. They once more reached the rostrum – their sixth in seven outings to stay prime of the collection standings. Fiji closed the hole, victorious in Hong Kong for the fifth straight 12 months, registering their third win of the season.
WATCH | Canada vs. Wales:
In the meantime, Canada plods on, taking part in for scraps to protect its personal core standing. At a time when some may do with a relaxation earlier than subsequent month’s qualifiers, they’re nonetheless required to indicate up recreation in, recreation out to stop any dramatic decline within the closing three tournaments.
No excuses from Coach Damian McGrath. After his crew capitulated to Kenya after which Wales, ending final, he admitted it “was without doubt the worst tournament we’ve played since I began coaching Canada 7s.” Full marks for honesty.
It’s a quick hop from Hong Kong to Singapore. Two quick years in the past, the Canadians celebrated the best second of their sevens historical past, climbing the mountain and successful the Singapore match in a thriller towards the People.
Isaac Kay was on the sphere on that humid, superb night time in Singapore. He is aware of what it takes to win all of the marbles. Little surprise he shook his head in Hong Kong.