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Canada misses Cup quarter-final in London
By The Canadian Press
LONDON - Canada missed out on its sixth consecutive Cup quarter-final in men's rugby sevens Saturday at the London Sevens tournament following a win, a loss and a draw in the first day of competition.
The Canadians gave up a very late try to Kenya in the 17-17 tie that consigned them to consolation play. Canada will play Japan on Sunday in the Bowl quarter-final.
Kenya finished the pool stages in second position over Canada based on points-for and against. Canada's tries were scored by John Moonlight, Justin Douglas and Sean Duke, while Kenya's tallies were from Michael Agevi, Billy Odhiambo and Felix Ayange.
That draw was a disappointment after Canada staged a 19-point second half comeback against the United States.
Connor Braid led the way in the rally as his two late tries sealed the win for Canada. The Americans had dominated possession in the first half and scored three tries to lead 19-0 at the break. Head coach Geraint John's side held strong in the second frame with Duke and Harry Jones scoring as well to help Braid complete the comeback.
Canada opened first day of the London Sevens with a disappointing 19-12 loss to Samoa. Canada's tries were scored by Duke and Jones. Phil Mack — who played in his 50th all-time tournament the Canadian side — added the conversion. Samoa's points were tries from Faalemiga Selesele and Tia Mealoi and Fautau Otto scored the final try and added one conversion.
Canada, sixth overall in the standings going into this event, will still post its highest-ever finish in the IRB series.
New Zealand won the rugby sevens world series for a 12th time in 15 seasons but a pool loss to England sent the Kiwis on the hard road to defending their season-ending London title.
Pool wins in the morning against Argentina (40-10) and Wales (49-0) before a sold-out Twickenham crowd of 75,000 ensured New Zealand reached the knockout stage on Sunday, and secured the world series a fourth straight time with an unassailable points lead over South Africa.
The Kiwis have won a series-leading four tournaments this season, twice as many as next-best South Africa and Fiji, and they have yet to lose before the semifinals.
That record will be on the line, as the 15-12 loss to England put New Zealand into a quarter-final against South Africa, an unbeaten pool winner along with England, Samoa and Australia, all previous champions in London.